Quarry Cross

Quarry Cross | Novem­ber 5 | Shrop­shire

Cycling Weekly - - Contents - Ben God­dard for Snow­don Sports

Isla Rown­tree proved that lo­cal knowl­edge is key as she took a fine vic­tory in the Quarry Cross, while Chris Bai­ley won the men’s event at the dis­used Tit­ter­stone Quarry near Lud­low.

The usual sounds of jet wash­ers were ab­sent as rid­ers had to rely on one bike and no pit-area as­sis­tance in the muddy and rocky con­di­tions.

Veteran rider and Lud­low lo­cal Rown­tree, a former na­tional cham­pion, is renowned for only hav­ing one sin­gle­speed ma­chine and cre­ated the unique event with her Is­labikes col­leagues.

She put on a mas­ter­class of run­ning and rid­ing in the pic­turesque set­ting high above the Shrop­shire coun­try­side.

She was chal­lenged in the first half of the race by Sarah Will­hoit (Rhino Velo CC) be­fore pulling out a win­ning mar­gin of more than a minute. Fel­low veteran Karen Sum­mers rounded off the podium in third after see­ing off a chal­lenge by Melissa Baker.

“It was a lit­tle bit rougher and less sani­tised than most cross cour­ses,” said Rown­tree. “You had to plan your ef­fort as well, as all the height gain was in the last quar­ter of the lap and if you get there out of breath it’s a tor­rid ex­pe­ri­ence, but I re­ally en­joyed it.

“There were quite a lot of re­stric­tions about which bits of the quarry we could use but it’s a spec­tac­u­lar set­ting.”

In the men’s race, mtb spe­cial­ist Chris Bai­ley show­cased his skills on a cross bike to take a clear vic­tory.

The KTM Imp­sport RT rider from Stoke took the lead on the open­ing lap and steadily in­creased his ad­van­tage.

Be­hind, he was ini­tially chased by an­other rider from the or­gan­is­ing team, Robert Burns, who was just a hand­ful of sec­onds be­hind the leader com­ing into the clos­ing stages. How­ever, his race ended when he crashed into a lapped rider. Se­cond place went to Sam Hyde, while veteran Danny Alexan­der (Zep­nat RT) rode through the se­nior field — de­spite start­ing a minute be­hind — to clinch third over­all.

“It was tough but re­ally fun and pretty sketchy on some parts,” said Bai­ley. “I had a cou­ple of big mo­ments in the mud but man­aged to hold on. It was one of those races where I was try­ing not to make a mis­take, and be smooth around the cor­ners.”

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