Rapha's Supercross series kicked off Saturday at Broughton Hall in Yorkshire and it was defending champions and local boys (well, just across the border in Lancashire) Hope who carried on where they left off last year, with a convincing win in the opening round.
A big, enthusiastic crowd of 3,000 cheered on over 400 competitors, with races ranging from the under 10s through to the Elites, followed by a fun event featuring fancy dress, a tequila shortcut and devilishly slippery wall of foam.
The Elite team race proved to be a close run battle. Hope's Paul Oldham took the win by seven seconds from Hargroves Cycles' Jody Crawforth; those two teams and the Rapha/GB Development squads all managed two riders in the top seven places. But it was the third counting man that made the difference for the winners, with Hope’s Dave Collins securing 12th spot to finish ahead of Hargroves, with Rapha third. Hope led the field in the women's race too, with Annie Simpson coming home with a clear half minute advantage over Delia Beddis of ViCiOUS VELO. Dirtwheels Cycles, from nearby Otley, were awarded a special Showboating Team prize, mainly based on the fantastic bunny hopping skills of Rob Watson, who kept the crowd entertained by clearing the planks every lap.
Rapha Super Cross heads to the East Midlands next Saturday (October 27th), with another full day of racing, tequila, foam, beer and crepes, at Misterton Hall, Lutterworth. Entries are still available at www.rapha.cc/super-cross.
The season grand finale is at Alexandra Palace, London, on Sunday October 28th. Spectating at both events is absolutely free.
Supercross pics by Wig Worland
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.