Mansfield’s Jonathan Harper wins senior title as Bolsover riders shine

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After 14 action-packed rounds in the SRAM Notts and Derby Cyclocross League, the hotly-contested Senior Men’s title came down to the last couple of races, Mansfield Road Club’s Jonathan Harper pipping Fossa Racing’s Lee Shunburne.

The Fossa rider’s season start was delayed through injury, and despite returning to form in the later stages of the season, he ultimately failed to dislodge Harper from top spot.

Harper said “I thoroughly enjoyed this season as it’s been my best ever.

“Mixing it up with some pro roadies on occasions brought even more variety to what is the best league in the UK. It made all the training worth it after being injured for most of the summer.”

Similar levels of competition also made the Women’s league an exciting battle.

Empella’s Kate George ultimately proved victorious, despite a consistently strong challenge from Madeline Smith (Bolsover and District CC).

Although a relative newcomer to the world of cyclocross, Smith was able to take the win in the Veteran Women category as reward for her efforts.

As well as her NDCXL commitments she also managed to compete regularly at national level, clinching the prestigious Veteran Women’s National Trophy win and a silver medal at the National Championships.

“I was so proud to win the Veteran Women’s category this season,” she said. “The quality of the women’s racing and the courses set out were so high that I was pushed to my limit in every race. “Rising to this challenge every weekend enabled me and several other Bolsover & District Cycling Club riders to make the step up to racing very competitively in the National Trophy series.”

Smith’s club mate Karen Partington took second senior woman ahead of third-placed Lucy Kong (Nottingham Clarion).

In the Junior Men’s league Samuel Marriott (Bolsover and District CC) finished third, while in the Veteran Men’s League, another Bolsover rider, Andrew Hilton, took the honours in the 40-49 category.

Despite having to settle for second position in many of the early rounds of the season, Hilton’s season-long consistency saw him take league victory ahead of Fossa Racing’s Matt Crouch, and Zepnat’s Jonathan Marshall, who also claimed first Vet45.

Third Vet45 went to Bolsover’s Andrew Wainwright, third Vet55 claimed by Matlock CC’s Chris Watts and James Sutherland (Bolsover and District CC), and Bolsover’s Graham Whiting took the Vet65 title.

In the U12 Girls’ league, Grace Fishleigh (Bolsover and District CC) finished third.

The SRAM NDCXL league returns this coming September. To find out more visit www.ndcxl.org.uk.