Liv AWOL had five riders competing in the first round of the Cyclo-cross National Trophy Series at Moorways Leisure Centre in Derby. The course wound it way from the back of the stadium, around the adjoining playing fields, zig zagged up and down the banks surrounding the athletics track, into the adjacent woods via a long stretch of sand pit, up a constructed set of steps, over boards and finally up and over a large bridge constructed especially for the event, and back into the home straight.
All the team were available on the Saturday for some reconnaissance laps, and getting guidance from experienced cross rider and team mate, Sarah Lomas. In addition to Sarah, the team included Connie Hayes, Lauren Higham, Charlotte McGreevy and Iona Moir. Harley Pell, who will represent Liv AWOL at mountain biking, but rides for CC Ashwell in the cyclo-cross discipline, was also present.
The practice session started off dry, but the ground was already damp from earlier wet spells, which left riders and bikes with a light coating of mud, and debate over whether or not bikes changes would be needed the following day. By the end of the training session rain was falling lightly and would continue on and off throughout the night. Not enough to make it a mud bath, but certainly enough to make the course slippery and sticky in places, and one that would need care to navigate.
It was very pleasing to get a team name shout out from commentator, Matt Payne (@mattfixerpayne), including the announcement of new team rider, Charlotte Broughton!
The youth riders, Iona and Charlotte, were off in the second race of the morning. The race didn’t start well, with a broken chain on the start line for Iona, and a broken rear derailleur for Charlotte (which occurred just after passing the pits!). Despite the problems, both girls fought on and finished the race with true grit.
Fortunately, the junior/U23 riders, Sarah, Connie and Lauren, didn’t suffer mechanical issues in their race. Having to share the race with Elite women, it meant the course would be pretty challenging not just from a technical point of view, but with the added riders and trying to work out who was in which race.
Lauren in her first junior trophy race put in a very competent performance, looking really strong early on, but the extra distance from last year’s U16 probably went against her. Sarah rode well and looked very smooth on what was a very fast course, and is currently still getting back to full fitness. Connie unluckily took a spill, spraining her ankle and then was knocked off on the bridge, but did well to keep at it through to the end, with good technical riding.
Final results were:
Senior & Junior Women’s Trophy
21 Lauren Higham (9th Junior)
22 Sarah Lomas
45 Connie Hayes (20th Junior)
Under 16 Girls Trophy
26 Charlotte-Louise McGreevy
30 Iona Moir
For more photos, check these two Flickr albums:
Huw Williams – 2017/18 National Trophy #1 Derby
Phil Moir – Cyclo-cross National Trophy Round 1 Derby
Featured photo is Sarah Lomas (photo: Phil Moir)