GS HENLEY rider Mike Simpson continued his run of form on the country by taking the silver medal in the veterans’ race of the Southern Region Cyclocross Championships on Sunday.
Held on a challenging course at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, the fine weather ensured conditions were dry which made for a fast race around the circuit.
Simpson rode aggressively from the start, quickly pulling away from the field with gold medallist Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) in close order. Simpson and Doyle locked helmets in a battle royale and were clear for nearly the entire race before mechanical difficulties and lapped riders caused Simpson to slip back by 17 seconds.
Speaking after the race Simpson said: “I had a problem with the chain slipping the gears and I didn’t have a spare bike in the pits.
“Crispin had opened a gap that I was closing on the last lap but I ploughed into a crashed rider with 800 metres to go. Crispin was very strong - I don’t think the mechanical problems or the crash affected the result but it made it harder.”
Other Henley riders included Tim Hyde in eighth, riding for first-claim club Pendragon, James Pilgrim-Morris in 25th and Nick Roux 35th in only his third race.
The senior race that followed was dominated by the sponsored teams, with Steve James of Southampton-based Hargroves Cycles taking top honours.