South West Cyclo-Cross Awards Night

The great and the good of the South West Cyclo Cross scene were out in force at the Kenn Centre on the evening of Sunday the 29th of January for the annual awards ceremony. The Mid Devon were out in force with many trophies to pick up, and of course there was a buffet!

Just for the record, here’s how we did.

Bethany Coates 2nd U8 Girls

Jack Nixon 1st U8 Boys

Ben Goldsmith 3rd U10 Boys

Sol Drury 1st U12 Boys

Dylan Gorrin 2nd U12 Boys

Ross Pratt 3rd U16 Youth

Maria Weymouth 3rd Vet Women

Jackie Shute 1st Vet Women

Robin Delve 2nd Vet+ Men

Well done to everyone and thanks to the South West Cyclo Cross crew for organising such a fine series.

Cyclo Cross takes over the Velopark

On Sunday 11th December the club hosted the penultimate round of the 2016-17 South West Cyclo-Cross League at Torbay Velopark. Early morning mist cleared to reveal a course covered in frost which quickly melted in the sunshine. Last years ankle deep sodden grass and mud had made way for relatively firm ground. Competitors were treated to ideal cross conditions.

In the main race, the fast course lead to many small groups who fought for places throughout the race, positions changing lap to lap. In the men’s categories, Rich Long (Unattached) took an early lead and tried to force a gap to the other racers. As groups started to work together and racers settled into their pace, Matt Loake (South Fork Racing) slowly slowly caught and overtook Long by mid distance. He then built a small gap and maintained it to take the win.

Further back, Marcus Durant held off club mate Daniel Wellings from Somerset RC but eventually succumbed to the younger rider but claimed first Veteran position in fourth.

Andrew Parker, having stood commentating on the earlier races, had used up some of his energy and came in first rider for the MDCC in 8th.

In the women’s race Catherine Kilburn demonstrated the strength built over a season of cross by taking the win. Leading from the gun, she was out of sight after the first few laps. In second position was MDCC rider Juliet Elliot who fought a close battle with Rebecca Cornwell for much of the race, eventually proving faster than the Taw Velo rider.

Check the results page out on the British Cycling website for all the results of the clubs riders. There were some excellent performances from the clubs youngest riders with some very close racing and riders looking to secure their positions in the league standings. Ben Goldsmith taking third in the U10’s race and holding off many older riders, Ross Pratt taking 3rd in the Youth race.

Next week sees the league move on to the last league round at Mount Kelly School,

Tavistock, which will also be the South West Cyclo-Cross Championship so it’s all to ride for!

Early Christmas Present for Robin

On Sunday Robin Delve put in a virtuoso performance to win the inaugural Torbay Velopark Cross, the final round of the 2015-16 South West Cyclo Cross league.

A week of rain lead to a water logged course that gradually broke up through the day of racing for all age groups. With the main senior event taking place in the early afternoon, there were many slippy and boggy sections requiring plenty of skill and the ability to hop of the bike, run, then remount and keep applying the pressure.

Robin, took an early lead in the race and never looked back. His gap grew throughout, as the 57 year old appeared to float over the tricky conditions while younger riders tried to force their way through and quickly used up there energy reserves.

The win was truly deserved after being there or there abouts for fifteen years in the South West league. The performance bodes well for the national championships which take place on the weekend of the 9th-10th January at Shrewsbury Sports Village. Good luck!

In the other age groups, points were on offer to cement series standings with this being the last event. MDCC riders took quite a few podium positions as follows. Full results can found here

Vet 40-49
1st Andrew Parker

2nd Oliver Twigger
3rd Alex Blackburn

Youth U16
3rd Louis Priddle

Youth U14
3rd Jack Forrest

2nd Sol Drury
3rd Felix Fawn

2nd Ed Selwood


Parker Wins at Taunton

Sunday 20th September saw the first round of the South West Cyclo Cross League run in the traditional format. After the
crit style races of the Flan Rou event the riders were ready for the course at the Castle Sport Centre, Taunton, a venue
mmaking a welcome return after a couple of years abscence.

After the rain showers of the past week and overnight mist, the grass surface of the course had plenty of grip but started
to cut up through the event. The flat profile lead to riders sprinting from corner to corner, making overtaking
surprisingly difficult considering the wide open space. Two sand pits and some tight sections between trees tested the
riders skills and balanced the course.

In the senior race Chris Rathbone(Unattached) and Mid Devon’s Andrew Parker spent the hour pulling out a 1.30 minute gap
over the rest of field. Neither was able to shake off the other with Parker just finishing ahead by 4 seconds to take the
overall race and first veteran position too.

The Mid Devon had many riders taking part throughout all the categories, including a win in the Youth race for Oliver
Allen. More details to follow when the results are published.

This Tuesday, the club will be holding the usual cross training session. Meet at the Velopark in Paignton starting at
6.30pm. For this session we’ve hired the velopark so we can use the stakes and planks to create a small cross course to
practice on. It will give you a good opportunity to try out some different tyre pressures, while we practice skills and do
some interval sessions. There will be small charge for the evening so please bring along £3.

South West Cross League Comes to a Close

The final instalment of the South West Cyclo-Cross League took place last weekend at Central Park, Plymouth. With final league standings in many of the age categories still to be decided, there were many battles being fought in the muddy but dry conditions. During the week the points amassed from the races were put into the league standings and the overall places decided. This evening (Sunday 25th January) there will be an awards presentation at the Kenn Centre, Kennford, near Exeter where a number of MDCC riders will be taking home new trophies. It’s worth mentioning that 35 Mid Devon Devon members have entered at least one of the league events this year. That’s a great total and all those interested should keep any eye out for our weekend cyclo cross rides that will take place through the year to keep our cross skills ticking over.


Under 10s

2 Solomon Drury
3 Felix Faun
4 Ed Selwood

Under 14s
3 Oli Alen
4 Keiran Collins
5 Jack Forest
6 Ross Pratt

Under 16s
6 Oliver Twigger

1 Oscar Wiessler
9 Ashley Towey

Female Seniors
4 Elaine Mason
6 Sharn Hooper

29 James Davey
35 Ben Staley
43 Ashton Spence
47 Tim Prowse
50 Carl Austen
73 Mike Gratton

Female Vets 40-49
2 Alison Hooper
3 Nicky Quant
5 Maria Weymouth

Vets 40-49
1 Andy Parker
3 James Bovey
8 Alan Drury
16 Andy Collins
30 Rich Fowlds
37 Andy Friend
47 Tom Woodman
67 Jim Murray
84 Kris Pratt
97 Simon Miles
99 Diccon Haynes

Vets 50+
2 Ben Tisdall
3 John Newbold
5 Robin Delve
27 Tony Clark

Cross National Champs Round Up

Robin Delve on the podium

After the Christmas break the MDCC cross riders took to the national stage on Saturday, competing in the National Championships held in Abergavenny. At this time of year, with the number of riders taking part, muddy conditions were guaranteed. So equipped with spare bikes, mud tyres and lots of extra clothing, the team made an early start to arrive to pre-ride the course before competition began.

Up first were Alison Hooper and Nicky Quant competing in the Female Veteran category. Alison has put in a couple of strong performances so far this year in National events, but this time round was riding with an injury and resulting time off the bike. She put in a quick start but was slowly slipping down the field as the race progressed. Hopes then fell on Nicky’s shoulders, who overhauled Alison, then continued to gain places back, to finish a creditable 8th in the 45-49 age group. Alison came in 7th in the 40-44 group. Both riders will have picked up valuable experience for the next race.

Robin Delve was looking to improve on his silver medal in the veteran 55-59 age group he’d achieved last year. Unfortunately, bad luck plagued his race. Sometimes the smooth and fast race you planned just eludes you, and so it was for Robin. A couple of crashes in the mud, remounting when he should of been running etc., lead Robin to use his fast final lap to make third place this year. Still a place on the podium though!

Finally, the veteran 40-49 race took place in the afternoon. The sun and wind had dried out the course, so there was grip in many of the tight corners. Andrew Parker and Alan Drury were representing the Mid Devon, though Alan was still overcoming the Christmas flu, so building up to the final round of the South West Series was more on his mind. Andrew, however, had a cunning plan! He had amassed a good tally of ranking points to place himself well up on the starting grid.

Straight from the gun Andrew made a fast start. The course was wide and tarmac here, so this allowed him to get close to the top ten. Sitting comfortably at the front of the field he was able to keep up with the leaders. But now things started to go wrong. In a replay of the Milton Keynes round, problems in the form of a broken chain forced Andrew to shoulder his bike and run to the pits for his spare. This must have been a good third of the course, Alan was surprised to see Andrew fly past on his new bike only minutes after seeing him running. What could’ve been we’ll never know, but Andrew managed to finish in 10th place in the 40-44 age group. Alan came in 34th, happy to have been part of a great event.

The South West cross season wraps up for 2014 – 2015 next Sunday, in Central Park Plymouth (Click here for details.). Many MDCC riders will be racing and some will be fighting for podium placings in the overall series, why not come along and give your support?


Gratton announces his cross debut!


In an exclusive interview with Mike Gratton discussed his long awaited cyclo cross debut and his hopes and fears for the new season.

“I’ve been tip toeing around the edges of cyclo cross racing for the last couple of years, playing mind games with my major rivals. I now feel that I’m in a position to announce my cross debut on the 4th January at Plymouth Moto X park. I’ve visited the venue several times, checked out the berms and table tops and feel that the course will suit my aggressive style of racing and no holds barred attitude”.

When asked about his recent training regime Gratton explained “I’ve been trying to avoid steep descents and muddy corners, but now feel confident that I can release my inner Svenness (Sven Nyss multi world champion crosser)”.

A spokesman for Mid Devon Cycling Club stated “We are pleased that Mike is joining the team, he will certainly bring a unique dimension to cross racing”

Cyclocross Round-Up

The cyclo-cross season is in full swing now with the pleasant autumn weather making way for more muddy conditions. Last weekend saw the South West league holding an event at Central Park in Plymouth and true to form the conditions were tough. Many riders were hoping to complete the course with just one bike but found themselves stopping multiple times, during the hour,  to try to unclog bikes. At the front of the race, veteran Andrew Parker formed a lead with junior rider Oscar Wiessler. The younger rider succumbed to the course and senior,  Dextor Hurlock, caught up and eventually overhauled Andrew for the win. Mid Devon CC was well represented in the days racing with 20 riders spread throughout the categories. See the results here.


This weekend saw cyclo cross fans from all over Europe descend on Milton Keynes, for the first round of the UCI World Cup held in the UK since 1992. Many competitors and spectators from the south west made the trip up country to support the regions riders and watch the pro’s in action. On Sunday the fourth round of the National Trophy series was held on the same course as used for the world’s on Saturday, giving the riders a chance to experience a true world cup course. Conditions were muddy and sticky with long queues at the jet wash stations around the course and in the pit. Andrew Parker represented the Mid Devon in the veteran category which had a full entry of 74 riders on the day. Unfortunately, on the first lap, in the heat of the race, Andrew lost his chain on a slippery climb meaning he lost vital seconds getting the chain back on and remounting. For the next forty minutes it was a question of how many places could be made up without making too many mistakes in the difficult conditions. He finally finished 21st which should help maintain his grid position for the next national trophy rounds. In the veteran over 50 category Robin Delve continued this seasons strong showing to achieve a top ten position, coming in 9th. He’s also currently just outside the top ten in the overall ranking for the series so far. This weekend will see two days of cyclo cross competition at Stover School, Newton Abbot, as the South West league host the Southern Championships. Saturday features races for novices if you fancy having a go, bikes will be available for hire. Sunday sees the usual age category races for under 8’s right through to the over 50’s. Come along and support the club’s riders, there will be trade stands and refreshments to enjoy as well as the racing!

Parker Takes It All

Winning, it’s the name of the game but sometimes things just don’t go your way, especially when the pressure is on to repeat previous success. Andrew Parker took a trip to North Devon and seems to be surfing a wave of success as he took the overall win and first veteran at West Buckland School in Sunday’s round of the South West Cyclo Cross series.

A fantastic course was laid out around the school grounds, with the manicured sports pitches providing an experience not unlike riding around a golf course. The autumn sun continued to shine and the racing was set to be fast and full on.

The numerous inclines on the course provided an opportunity for riders to make the best of a good start with the front group of riders being policed by Andrew, Oscar Wiessler and James Davey, who was returning from a couple of weeks of after a busy road season.

After an hour of racing the Mid Devon riders managed to cross the line and take each step on the podium and first position in junior, senior and veteran categories.

In other races Solomon Drury and Felix Fawn took first and second in the under 10’s while Ali Hooper took fourth in the womens race.
Again there were many other MDCC riders in action so if you fancy giving cross a try, check out the cyclo cross page where the calendar has all the details of club rides and the next race at Escot in two weeks.

More details when the full results are released!

Parker Wins at Wellington

As the summer weather continues into autumn, evergreen roluer, Andy Parker, took his first overall win in round 2 of the South West Cyclo Cross League at Court Fields Community School,  Wellington. Andy found time to crash into a tree before riding away from the rest of the leading pack, who were unwilling or unable to share the chase, resulting in the veteran’s day

in the sun.

Oscar Wiessler rode to fourth position overall and second junior, to back up his result from Bodmin a fortnight ago and confirm his entry at the top of the south west cyclo cross field.

Other notable rides were James Bovey taking fourth veteran and placing comfortably in the top ten. Other results are below but it was great to see so many Mid Devon CC jerseys competing.

The next south west league event will be in north Devon in two weeks. Check out the club cyclo cross calendar for training events.

Senior, Veteran & Junior
1 8 216 Andy Parker MDCC V
4 8 71 Oscar Wiessler MDCC J
7 8 223 James Bovey MDCC V
11 8 206 Alan Drury MDCC V
15 8 16 Steve Hodgson MDCC S
18 8 211 Ben Tisdall MDCC V
23 8 73 Ashley Towey MDCC J
34 7 201 Andy Collins MDCC V
37 7 228 John Newbold MDCC V
40 7 212 Andy Friend MDCC V
70 6 92 Nicky Grant MDCC W
71 6 99 Maria Weymouth MDCC W
72 6 91 Elaine Mason MDCC W
DNF 210 Kris Pratt MDCC V
DNF 214 Robin Delve MDCC V

U14 & Novice
4 7 117 Jack Forrest MDCC U14
5 7 114 Keiran Collins MDCC U14
7 7 119 Oliver Allen MDCC U14
8 7 147 Becky Coulson MDCC Novice
9 7 145 Sarah Miller MDCC Novice
11 6 118 Ross Pratt MDCC U14

U10 & U12
2 4 132 William Penny MDCC U12
6 4 156 Sol Drury MDCC U10
8 4 152 Felix Faun MDCC U10
9 4 157 Ed Selwood MDCC U10