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Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 15th Nov 2009

By rod - Posted on 17 November 2009

Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 15th Nov 2009

Reading CC has a new cyclo-cross champion.

Photo Caption: Gavin Spiers overcame pre-race nerves to become Reading
CC cyclo-cross champion
Photo credit: Len Quinn


Wessex Cyclo-Cross League, round 7

Gavin Spiers is Reading CC's 2009 cyclo-cross champion. He was the
highest placed Reading CC finisher in the North Hants RC cyclo-cross
race in Basingstoke at the weekend, an admirable performance in his
first year of serious cyclo-cross racing.

Round 7 of the Wessex League cyclo-cross series was organised by North
Hants Road Club, sponsored by Pedal-On cycle shop, and held at
Basingstoke's War Memorial Park. Reading Cycling Club contenders were
Glen Finch, Stephen Bale, and the in-form Spiers. The terrain was
relatively flat but there was no shortage of challenges on a course
including tight turns, enforced dismounts over barriers and a section
through a BMX course. The surprise was that after the wet weather of
Saturday the course wasn't the mud bath that everyone was expecting but
instead simply slippery. The high winds and rain had also mercifully
yielded to a lovely autumn day.

From the start Spiers would have an advantage being gridded high up the
field due to his standing in the Wessex league. The flat conditions
meant fast racing from the start and the league's top riders were quick
to capitalise on the open course in front of them, stringing the field
out. Through the often narrow turns a rider even slightly misjudging a
bend would slow those behind so finding some clear track was important.
This was seemingly not a problem for Adrian Lansley of the event
sponsoring team who pulled away from eventual 2nd place rider, Crispin
Doyle, of Swindon RC. Reading's Gavin Spiers made his way steadily
around the course showing great strength on the open grass sections.
Bale meanwhile was having a solid race further down the field but not
able to match Spier's speed. Second claim Reading rider Steve Jones of A
W Cycles had a dramatic race. Having overtaken Spiers he then had the
misfortune to roll a tyre and was forced into the pits for a wheel
change. Up at the front of the race Lansley took the win over Crispin
Doyle. Spiers was at one lap down as was Bale a couple of minutes
behind. Glen Finch was at 2 laps.

Spiers commented: "As the event was the club championship I was more
nervous than usual. My start wasn't that great and I almost crashed into
another rider but I managed to pull a few places back before we hit the
single section. I found that on the flat, grass sections I was able to
get my head down, stick it in a big gear and gain places. However, when
we reached the more technical sections all my good work was undone and I
would get caught again. I'm not sure whether my off-road skills had
deserted me or whether I was being over cautious. Luckily the majority
of the course was flat and fast which really suited me. In summary, I am
happy with my performance but I need to do some more specific training
for next years season if i want to be finishing in the top 20."
Bale: "I rode consistently and bar one corner where I slipped off I
maintained or improved my position throughout the race. That is all
until the final sprint for the line where I lost out to Nigel Page and
Steve Jones. The race was good fun and threw in elements of time
trialling, off road technical stuff, and head to head racing."
Finch: "The course didn't really suit me being open and flat. There were
a few technical sections were I made up most of my places, most notably
the double barriers which required a dismount, however these were slow
sections so I couldn't make up too much time. I didn't feel like I had
much zip in my legs but I didn't fade at the end and made up a few
places in the two laps. If I get my fitness level up I will see better

Selected results (78 finishers):
1. Adrian Lansley,
23. Gavin Spiers, Reading CC
31. Steve Bale, Reading CC
53. Glen Finch, Reading CC

Sunday Clubrun
Social, medium and fast groups leave Reading Market Place at 9am on

Roderick MacFadyen
Reading Cycling Club