Mud and glory for Welwyn Wheelers as Stanborough race brings success

PUBLISHED: 17:23 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:25 15 October 2018

Welwyn Wheelers' Joe Kiely won the U16 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League at Stanborough Park.

Welwyn Wheelers' Joe Kiely won the U16 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League at Stanborough Park.

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There was torrential rain and oozing mud galore but Welwyn Wheelers still managed to find plenty of home comforts as the latest round of the Eastern League Cyclo-cross descended on Stanborough Park.

Euan Woodliffe (left) and Alex Dale (right) surround Joe Kiely, the winner of the U16 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League event at Stanborough Park.Euan Woodliffe (left) and Alex Dale (right) surround Joe Kiely, the winner of the U16 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League event at Stanborough Park.

The event, hosted and run by the Wheelers, saw the green and white jerseys to the fore across the majority of the races.

The main one was the youth race, which combined the U12, U14 and U16 age groups.

Joe Kiely took the overall win, romping away from the rest of the field to win by over a minute from team-mate Euan Woodliffe.

But when asked if it was as easy as his winning margin suggested, his answer was swift and to the point.

Euan Woodliffe beats Alex Dale to second place in the U16 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League at Stanborough Park.Euan Woodliffe beats Alex Dale to second place in the U16 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League at Stanborough Park.

“Not really,” he laughed. “It was a pretty tough course out there.

“We were all watching each other and it slowed up a bit at the end of the first lap so I thought I’d go for a bit of a flyer and I didn’t look back after that.”

It continued a 100 per cent win record in the winter discipline of the sport but despite thoroughly enjoying his cyclo-cross, it’s the road that will be the draw in 2019.

“Next year I’ll be a top year U16 so hopefully pick up a national title on the road,” he said.

Welwyn Wheelers' Rupert Cavill and Fin Woodliffe were second and first in the U12 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League at Stanborough Park.Welwyn Wheelers' Rupert Cavill and Fin Woodliffe were second and first in the U12 race of the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League at Stanborough Park.

“But in all honesty I just want to win as much as I can.”

Woodliffe had a race-long battle with Alex Dale, eventually getting the edge in the sprint for the line.

“I was expecting him to make a few more moves but I was able to stay with him,” he said.

“He’s a year older than me as I am a first year U16 but he’s a good rider to mark myself against.

The youth race heads off on the first lap around Stanborough Park in the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League.The youth race heads off on the first lap around Stanborough Park in the Eastern Region Cyclo-cross League.

“This year has been a bit of a training year as I was a year younger but 2019 is my year for U16s where I’ll be going for good results.”

Elsewhere younger brother Fin was the winner of the U12 race, beating his partner-in-crime Rupert Cavill.

He said: “Rupert and I always work together to break away from the pack and then when it’s the last lap, it’s all to play for.

“Today we worked together as always but on the second to last lap I managed to break away up the hill and attacked.

Thomas Holt shoulders his bike in the senior/junior race. Credit: Nathaniel RosaThomas Holt shoulders his bike in the senior/junior race. Credit: Nathaniel Rosa

“Then I just went as hard as I could on the last lap and won it.”

Cavill said: “I just didn’t feel like I had it today. The hill wasn’t my strongest points and Fin managed to get away.

“But I was going well on the descents and technical sections.

“It was a good course and I didn’t mind the wetness. That’s just cyclo-cross really.”

Archie Peet on his way to seventh in the senior/junior event. Credit: Nathaniel RosaArchie Peet on his way to seventh in the senior/junior event. Credit: Nathaniel Rosa

The club also celebrated the win in the U14 race with Mark Lightfoot taking the honours while Oli Stockwell continued to show his talent with a success in the senior and junior open race.

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