Solihull Cycling Club scored an outstanding success in last weekend’s British Cycling’s National Cyclo-Cross Championships at Sutton Park.
The club finished second overall in the team standings while the youth team picked up a podium place and a bronze medal on the first day of competition thanks to U14 rider Jack Ravenscroft.
Ravenscroft finished over a minute faster than the national series winner Harvey Lowe, in fifth in a fast, frantic and highly competitive race. His U14 team mate Danny Fox finished just behind Lowe in sixth, recording a season’s best at national level.
Both Solihull CC riders were in the leading group of seven from the start, leaving the rest of the field behind.
As the race split, Ravenscroft made the front group of three that slowly pulled away, finishing third behind Billy Harding of Paul Milnes Cycles and James Shaw of Heanor Clarion Cycling Club.
In the U14 girls’ event, Solihull CC rider Sophie Faulkner was also riding high, recording an impressive sixth place in a strong national field. Team mate Natalie Clements came in 12th, while Alex Mitchell finished 23rd in the boys’ U14 competition.
Just 20 minutes later, Joe Fox lined up for what looked to be a very difficult race indeed for the Under 16 riders. With two wins at national level already this season, Solihull CC’s Fox was one of the favourites.
The incredible pace of the tarmac start split the U16 race into pieces after just 400 metres, but Joe came through this phase in eighth.
Using his normal smooth style, he gradually moved up to the top four, refusing to allow an unshipped chain to deter his progress. However, no sooner had he recovered from this than Sam Lowe and Hugo Robinson attacked. Having not recovered from the effort to catch back up, Fox couldn’t stay with them.
As the race moved into the last lap, Fox was caught in fourth, finishing just seconds behind the third placed rider.
On Day 2 of the Championships, the Solihull riders were really up against tough opposition. Becki Keogh faired the best, coming in fifth junior girl in a race that combined both seniors and juniors and was won by Belgian professional Helen Wyman.
Keogh - who has only been in the sport for 15 months - has made tremendous progress in the last year and gave it 100 per cent, finishing with her season’s best at national level.
The weekend championship competition signified the end of the six month long Cyclo-Cross season, where Solihull CC has had some of the best results in the Club’s 80 year history, scoring three wins at national level and a host of podium positions at national and regional level from riders aged six upwards.