FATHER and son Andy and Tom Whitworth of Longwood experienced the highs and lows of cyclo-cross as the traditional end-of-season madison at Sowerby Bridge brought the winter ‘cross season to a close.
The high came for Whitworth junior who, as the youngest rider in the field at just seven years old, got the biggest cheer of the day as he crossed the line.
The low came for his dad when the 41-year-old crashed on the run-up to a tight left hander as he contested the lead in the early stages of a race battled over a three-minute lap.
The Huddersfield Road Club duo were one of 16 pairings who were seeded according to age, experience and ability, with the aim of producing teams of similar standard. It was 10 laps, with partners taking alternate laps.
Although big prize money might not have been at stake the competition was fierce – and often driven by the younger members of the teams!
Certainly Noel Clough, despite a national trophy win and a top 10 at the Vets’ worlds in the last couple of weeks, had to endure some tough talking from his determined Under 12 partner, Joe Parker, for letting the Barnes brothers (Seacroft Wheelers) – Nick an Under 14 and Chris an Under 12 – from getting away to secure a win.
Youth riders Paul Young (JD Cycles) and Edward Evans (East Bradford CC) took third while veteran Chris Young from Keighley had to settle for fourth after riding alongside Halifax man Brian Barrett, of the Pedalsport team.
Young Whitworth will be back in action on Sunday when he will be among 135 ‘cross enthusiasts from across the country competing in the British Schools Cycling Association national championships at Greetland All-Rounders’ Club.
There are events across all age brackets, from Under 8s to Over 16s, plus a support event for the adults. Racing starts at 11am.
The social season moves up a gear at the weekend with the Huddersfield Star Wheelers’ dinner and prize presentation at Huddersfield Rugby Union Club, Lockwood, on Saturday night, when track champion Jamie Staff is guest of honour.
On Sunday afternoon, Huddersfield Road Club hold their dinner and prize presentation at the Croppers Arms, Marsh.