Sport | Cyclocross domination as Leeds take gold and silver

Last weekend Leeds Uni Cycling dominated the competition at the BUCS Cyclocross meeting in Durham, taking home both male and female individual gold, men’s team gold and female team silver.

The competition was fierce from the gun. A super-fast start was crucial due to the presence of several bottleneck points early on in the first lap. Those that could get out ahead would have a serious advantage.

Leeds’ Ed McParland, a GB mountain biker, used his power to establish himself in the lead group after the first few corners, Hugo Humphreys clung tightly to his wheel and Liam Lloyd was only a few more places down. Unfortunately Hugo had a mechanical problem on lap 2 and had to withdraw from the race.

Chris Palfreeman didn’t get the best of starts but he rose to the challenge as the 3rd counter and used his strength to work through the field and into the top 20. On the final lap McParland battled with Manchester Met rider Alex Welburn but came out on top to take the glory for Leeds. He was closely followed home by Liam Lloyd in 12th, Palfreeman in 19th and Peter Bond in 39th, which was enough to take gold in the men’s team competition.

In the women’s race, Sarah Murray raced hard to stick with the men which earned her a good gap between her and the Birmingham rider, Emily Barnes, sitting in second place. She extended her lead by about 15 seconds per lap, earning her the top spot on the podium by over 1 minute.

The race was tightly fought out behind where Kat Broadbent showed her skill and endurance to come home in 6th earning Leeds plenty of vital points in the team competition. Jo Rycroft stayed strong throughout the race and completed the tightly packed women’s trio in 13th place. With the top two women from each team counting, Leeds claimed the silver medal behind Birmingham who managed to secure 2nd and 3rd individually through Barnes and Lydia Guley.

The result places Leeds at the top of the BUCS cycling league table with 84 points, ahead of Birmingham with 63 points and Cambridge with 42.

Victoria Edmondson

Image courtesy of Graham Barnes

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