Nikki Harris, Megan James, Ava Oxley-Szilagyi, Maddi Smith, Sophie Wright and Evie Richards – National Cross Champions!
The National Cyclocross Championships kicked off in difficult conditions on Saturday, with sunshine on Friday unable to make much difference to a course turned boggy by a week of heavy rain.
In the u14s, Ava Oxley-Szilagyi dominated much of the race, despite strong efforts from Maddie Wadsworth, Eluned King and Sarah Briggs – a splendid ride by a young rider who seems to have a great future ahead of her. The Under 16s proved to be a thrilling race with a perfect start and clever riding enabling Megan James to hold off favourite Poppy Wildman, who battled with Harriet Harnden for second – until Harnden’s bad luck gave Elspeth Grace the chance she needed to swoop in for third. Maddi Smith’s ride in the Veterans race was an absolute textbook example of how to ride – her victory in the Veteran’s race was never in any doubt.
Junior Sophie Wright doesn’t have as much experience as many of her rivals, having only begun racing ‘cross very recently, but she has natural talent by the sackload – she’s been getting excellent results against some of the best U23 and Elite riders at the National Trophy and was on fine form again when she raced on Sunday: first Junior and third overall in the mixed Junior/U23 event. Meanwhile, Evie Richards – who has won two rounds of the National Trophy, was the fastest U23.
There was more bad luck in the Elite race where nine-time National Champion Helen Wyman was kept from a tenth title by a mechanical: a sad end to a typically impressive performance. However, Nikki Harris had also ridden a top-notch race and nobody can argue she doesn’t deserve the crown.
Brit track star Vicky Williamson injured at Rotterdam 6-Day
22-year-old track sprint specialist Victoria Williamson, who has a palmares boasting numerous medals won at the National and World Championships over the last six years, suffered serious injuries including a broken pelvis and several fractured vertebrae in a crash at the Rotterdam 6-Day meeting.
The accident was caused by a collision during a sprint heat between Williamson and Dutch rider Elis Ligtlee, with no suggestion from those who were at the venue that either rider was in any way at fault; both were taken to hospital for scans and initial fears that Ligtlee maight have sustained a fractured skull proved unfounded. The remainder of the evening’s events were cancelled.
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