Wheelers duo fly high in national cyclo-cross series
PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 January 2018
Welwyn Wheelers Cycling Club took two race wins in the final round of the British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-cross Series in Ipswich - with Oli Stockwell claiming the overall series win in the U16 event as well.
The London Colney racer started the day decked in the yellow jersey of series leader but knew a good result was required if he was to claim the overall victory.
Euan Woodliffe was also aware that a good result would probably guarantee him a spot on the overall podium, having begun the Trinity Park race lying third in the U14s.
Stockwell faced a field of 60 riders in his race but surged into a leading group of six on lap one.
With the action fast and frenetic, that group split in half as the Welwyn man and his main rival, Alec Gregory of Pedal CC raised the pace lap after lap, taking Simon Wyllie of Halesowen A&CC along for the ride.
The trio were still together as they headed up the finishing straight.
The sprint was flat out and although Stockwell raised his hand for the win, so close was the threesome’s lunge for the line that the result was only revealed after the judges had studied the photo finish.
However, it showed that Stockwell had indeed got there by the width of his tyre to take not only the race but also the Charlie Craig Memorial Trophy.
Across in the U14 race, Woodliffe and Wheeler team-mate Caelen Miller were in the leading group of six riders for the whole of the six-lap race and opened up a gap on the rest of the field.
As they came into the last few corners of the final lap the six were still together.
But the two Welwyn riders used their numerical superiority to their advantage, using a great tactical attack on the final bend to take the lead and cross the line in first and second.
Woodliffe’s victory was not enough to take the series win but did lift him into second place overall.