RIDERS From Halesowen Cycling Club took place in the second round of the West Midland cyclo-cross series last weekend.

The popular set of races, which continue until January, have increased its appeal significantly over recent years and had to be subdivided into two separate series (with part of Warwickshire and Leicestershire setting up their own event) due to competitor numbers.

Cyclo-cross races are typically between 40 minutes to an hour comprising laps of anywhere between six to 10 minutes. The courses are varied and all off road with some obstacles that require riders to quickly dismount and remount and conditions that get progressively slipper as the weather becomes more autumnal. The sport is a popular starting point for youngsters with a short course even for U6 – it allows racing in a safe environment, bike skills are quickly learned and the supporters are always encouraging no matter who the rider.

Halesowen have had good recent success with ex Halesowen rider Beth Crumpton competing in National colours and following this success National Champion Simon Wyllie showed exactly why he won the title by winning against a strong field in Redditch last weekend. Up against fellow British internationals, the brothers Toby and Dan Barnes from Lichfield, Simon took the lead on the first lap and never looked back winning by over a minute in the U18 race and at the same time beating all the senior riders. Fellow Halesowen rider, David Hird, fresh from his win the previous weekend scored a fine 3rd place as did Josh Field in 5th, with Tom Charles progressing well.

In the Ladies Junior Molly Lewis completed the course in 41 minutes to take a good second place averaging around eight minutes a lap.