Ruth leads Wheel­ers’ charge in gru­elling cy­clo-cross race

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS - CY­CLING DAVID HIGHAM

THIS week­end saw the 52nd edi­tion of the Three Peaks Cy­clo-Cross race, which is not only the tough­est but also the long­est event of its type in the UK.

Tak­ing in In­gle­bor­ough, Pen-y-Ghent and Wearn­side, the race is 61km long with 33km un­sur­faced and be­tween six and eight kilo­me­tres un­ride­able by even the most skilled – or fool­hardy.

Mac­cles­field Wheel­ers were out in force with nine rid­ers en­tered – in a to­tal field of 650 – and many more club­mates, fam­ily mem­bers and friends act­ing as backup.

As al­ways, there were some stun­ning per­for­mances. Club cap­tain Matt Law­ton was aim­ing to bet­ter his sixth-placed fin­ish last year but three punc­tures put paid to that and he fin­ished a bat­tling 68th, vow­ing to be back next year.

Fell run­ner Si­mon Harding, was the high­est placed Wheeler in 14th place, it­self a su­perb achieve­ment.

The Wheel­ers were on the podium though when Ruth Gamwell – fifth lady over­all – took the prize for the first lady rider over 40 years old. Mal­colm Fowler chose this event as his in­tro­duc­tion to cy­clocross rac­ing and fin­ished 181st, just be­hind Eelco Doc­ter (117th) and Dave Clark (119th).

Mark Row­son com­pleted his sec­ond Three Peaks in 213th place with a per­sonal best and veteran Brian Ren­shaw com­pleted his 16th edi­tion of the race in 378th place.

On the track, Chris Higgs added to her col­lec­tion of Euro­pean ti­tles when she once again took gold in the women’s pur­suit at the Euro­pean Masters Cham­pi­onship at the New­port Velo­drome.

Next up for Higgs is the World Cham­pi­onships, which will be held in Manch­ester from Oc­to­ber 4-11.

Long dis­tance ex­pert Becky Burns com­pleted the Vene­tian Nights Audax event.

This 210km ride starts at Bro­ken Cross and heads out to Bun­bury, be­fore re­turn­ing to Mac­cles­field via Mat­lock Bath and its fa­mous il­lu­mi­na­tions from which the Audax event gets its name.

Sarah Lewis rode the Macmil­lan Cy­cletta Cheshire, one of a se­ries of women-only bike rides sup­ported by Olympic cham­pion Vic­to­ria Pendleton, and com­pleted the 50 miles in less than three hours.

Terry Hay­ward took part in the 75-mile Peak Pu­n­isher Sportive which started and fin­ished in Bakewell, tak­ing in a num­ber of the area’s big climbs to make up 7,500ft of climb­ing.

James Rus­sell com­peted in the Weaver Val­ley Hill Climb held on the Cat and Fid­dle.

Con­di­tions were tough with a head­wind most of the way and Rus­sell was pleased with his time of 24.47min which put him eighth in his age cat­e­gory.

●● Mac­cles­field Wheel­ers’ Ruth Gamwell (cen­tre) on the podium at the Three Peaks Cy­clo Cross

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