Cyclocross season starts in earnest

PUBLISHED: 17:37 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:37 25 September 2018

Joe Taylor.

Joe Taylor.

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The new cyclocross season has started with many Clevedon riders starting well.

The days are getting shorter and the leaves have started to fall. In the racing calendar that means the road season is coming to an end but the cyclocross season is just starting.

For most road cyclists, the thought of turning to the ‘dark-side’ as it is known, feels them with a slight terror, as cyclocross is seriously tough. The races may be short but they are intense.

Circuits can include sand, hurdles, steep banks and mud. Most courses will have a section that can’t be ridden, meaning the only option is to dismount and run while carrying the bike.

Round one of the Western Cyclocross League took place on a fast and flat Gloucester course. First up was Tom Taylor in the youth race who worked hard, mixing it with the older Under-16 boys to finish in a fine third overall with a convincing win in the Under-14 category.

In the V50 veterans’ race, Kev Watts and Jon Gall joined a large field. Unfortunately for Kev a mechanical issue meant a pit-stop but he battled on to finish in a solid 32nd.

This was Jon’s first race in the V50 category having moved up from the V40s this year. Some aggressive riding allowed Jon to move up through the field to finish a fine ninth, which gives valuable points towards the all-important grid position in future races.

Joe Taylor returned for the summer from Leeds University in top form, helped no doubt by a training group that includes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

Despite a blistering pace from the gun, Joe dug deep in the competitive senior race to finish fourth overall and first in the Under-23 category. An absolutely fantastic result against some of the country’s best riders.

The next event was Shamxross at the Keynsham circuit. Tom Taylor once again convincingly won the Under-14 category and claimed third overall in the Under-16s.

He was joined by Luke Tayler (no relation) riding his first ‘cross race. Luke is more used to riding at the Newport Velodrome and so can be very pleased with fifth in the Under-14s.

Gall and Watts both improved on their round one positions in the V50 race. Jon getting a great start to lead into the first corner before settling for fifth overall with Kev taking 25th.

Unfortunately for Joe, an error in pacing meant he went too hard, too soon, in the senior race and slipped back through the field after a promising start to finish in 39th.

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