Home delights for Welwyn Wheelers amid the hills and mud of Stanborough

PUBLISHED: 16:30 04 December 2018

Welwyn Wheelers Archie Peet and Joe Bennett battling on the unrelenting Stanborough Park course during the Eastern/Central Regional Championships in Welwyn Garden City. CREDIT: Nathaniel Rosa

Welwyn Wheelers Archie Peet and Joe Bennett battling on the unrelenting Stanborough Park course during the Eastern/Central Regional Championships in Welwyn Garden City. CREDIT: Nathaniel Rosa

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Cyclo-cross action returned to Stanborough Park with host club Welwyn Wheelers standing tall in many of the races.

The British Cycling Eastern and Central Regional Cyclo-cross Championship saw almost 500 riders take to the start line in a number of age-grouped races.

Heavy rain had made the course muddy to start with and heavy showers during the day made some corners treacherous but all in all it was almost perfect weather for cyclo-cross on a long and hilly course.

Elspeth Grace returned from university to win the women’s event, her first race of the season, and the victories kept coming with Oli Stockwell romping to another success in the junior men’s event.

He was joined on the podium by Joe Bennett who finished third while Archie Peet came home in sixth.

Mark Lightfoot was the winner in the U14 boys’ race with Dylan Starkey in 11th. In the girls race Millie Coleman was seventh and Beth Bennett one place further behind.

The U12 race was dominated by the green shirts of the home side with Fin Woodliffe and Rupert Cavill taking the top two places, well clear of the rest of the field

Joe Kiely, who will be back in action on Sunday at round five of the National Trophy, was in excellent form with a win in the U16 boys’ event ahead of team-mate Euan Woodliffe in third.

Ellen Bennett took second in the U16 girls while Iona Moir was fifth.

The senior events saw John Cavill 35th and Alex Peek 51st in the 80-strong 40+ category.

The whole event was not only a triumph for the Wheelers on the bike but off it as well, with a small army of volunteers ensuring the day went off without a hitch.

A spokesman for the club said: “This was a major effort by the home club to organise such a prestigious event with members being on site from 6.30am to set up the course and marshal.

“And they were there until 4.30pm to dismantle the course and store the equipment.

“It was a well-run day of racing much appreciated by the riders.”

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