Above: Andrew Wearing (left) goes head-to-head with Ed Moseley once again. Top Barn, Worcester. Picture: AMW Photography
Reporting by Andy Wearing.
You know it’s cold when riders are warming up in their full winter kit and have got their thermal jackets over the top! This was the scene that greeted spectators arriving at the British Cycling 2021 Regional Cyclocross Championships in Worcester on Sunday.
Incorporating round 11 of the West Midlands Cyclocross League, the race was held on a superb course, including multiple corners, open straights, steep banks, two hurdles mid-lap and multiple off- camber sections. The winter weather meant the going was slick with mud and very slippy, making the course tough both in terms of fitness and bike control.
Mike Vaughan Cycles rider Andy Wearing was feeling fresh going into the race, having had no competitions for the last two weekends. Cyclocross racing has a mass start, so on the gun it’s a full gas sprint to get into the first corners at the front.
Gridding was complete and Andy was positioned on the front row. The start gun fired, and riders barreled down the start straight, flat out into the first righthander before entering a 180 degree turn to head back up the first short steep bank of the day. Andy and Malvern Cycles rider Ed Moseley soon opened a gap over the rest of the field, that would be extended for the remainder of the race.
Battling for the lead, both riders pushed each other’s limits for the next 10 laps with Ed opening a lead on each ride over the hurdles which Andy would then close and return the effort by turning the screw through the off-camber sections. Course conditions changed as the race went on, with rain mid race meaning that racing lines changed, and the riders had to adapt though out.
The final 11th lap came, and the duo pushed the pace higher. A well timed last attack on the hurdles saw Ed open a small but unassailable gap, which he held to the line. Andy rolled to the finish in 2nd place, completing a superb run of 10 podium finishes in the last 10 rounds.
The result sees Andy take the overall lead in the West Midlands league, a position that his overall points will see him hold to the end of the season. While warming down on his rollers, Andy said “I felt good today, and it was great battling with Ed. Now I just need to get warm – I’ve just had a call to say the kids are at home building a snowman!”