Continental flavour to Ipswich Cross

THE big guns of the British cyclo cross scene will be rolling into Ipswich on Sunday for a national race with an international flavour.


HEADLINE - International flavour to national cyclo-cross event

Sub deck - Ipswich to host big names from the sport on Sunday

THE big guns of the British cyclo cross scene will be rolling into Ipswich on Sunday for a national race with an international flavour.

A field of around 150 top riders will be in town for round three of the National Trophy Series, tackling a challenging course on the rolling slopes of Chantry Park, already a firm favourite with riders from previous years.

As part of the build-up for the IP-CROSS 2012 European Championships, to be hosted in the town in four years' time, race director Steve Grimwood plans to add some touches to give the circuit a strong continental flavour.

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Riders are set to face a flight of steps cut into a huge earth bank at the bottom of the course, a real test of strength and technique as they dismount, shoulder the bikes and run up to the top; those with the right skills will be able to make up places here.

The more visually exciting change to the course will be a bridge, believed to be the only one of its kind on the UK national cross circuit, installed by builders' merchants Jewsons in front of the imposing backdrop of Chantry House.

Riders will go under the bridge at the start of the final loop of each lap before crossing over it at the top of the finishing straight.

“It should look pretty good,” said Mr Grimwood. “With the steps it gives a nice continental feel to the event.”

Among the starters for the main senior race hoping to stop Ian Field winning his third NTS on the trot will be Olympic mountain bike rider Liam Killeen, Jody Crawforth, Paul Oldham, Dave Collins and recent Three Peaks winner Rob Jebb.

Local interest will include East Anglian Daily Times Eastern league leader Shaun Aldous, Nathan Miller (Interbike) and Glenn Stanford (API Metrow).

Ipswich has a genuine chance of a winner in Hugo Robinson. The 13-year-old Ipswich Bicycle Club rider is already a national mountain bike champion and will be aiming for the podium in the U16 Youth race.

Junior David Nichols (Glendene Bike Trax) will hope to go one better after second place in the last round in Exeter and Luke Newby (Diss) will also be challenging for honours.

Rachel Moss (Ford CC) and veteran Susan Wood (Maldon) will contest the women's event and Susan's son George will join Alwyn Newstead (IBC) and Sean Dunlea in the U14 Boys.

No less than seven Ipswich BC riders will be racing in the veterans' event, including EADT league leader Julian Parker, plus another dozen local entrants.

Race card

National Trophy Series Round 3, Chantry Park, Ipswich

Youth 10.30am

Veterans 11.30am

Juniors/women 1.15pm

Seniors/U23 men 2.15pm