Solihull racer Knight signals title intent with dominant win in Birmingham
12th September 2017
Star cyclist Jacob Knight sent a message of intent to his West Midlands Cyclo Cross League rivals by storming to the chequered flag in Birmingham.
Knight finished 34 seconds ahead of twin brother Harrison in Round Two of the championships, which was hosted Pype Hayes Park.
Nearly 40 Solihull riders represented the club as Knight took the lead during the second lap of eight following a shaky start which saw him relegated to eighth place after the first corner.
But Knight quickly made his way through the front riders and took full advantage of Barnes going into the pits to never lose to lead, extending it lap after lap.
It was a powerful 53 minute demonstration of cyclo cross riding from the 17-year-old on a tough course that suited the Knight brothers.
Knight said: “I felt good out there today.
“The course suited my strengths and once I took the lead on the second lap, I kept extending it.
“I’m looking forward to racing at Henley next week.”
Robin Fox, Solihull CC cyclo cross coach, said: “Cyclo cross has seen a huge increase in popularity in the last ten years.
“The club has been keen to keep up with this explosion.
“It’s an important part of the Solihull CC development pathway for its riders as the format provides a safe and fun introduction to competitive cycling for younger riders.
“The club continues to have local, national and international success in cyclocross in youth and junior categories and the performances of all the riders in the West Midlands league demonstrates the strength in depth the club continues to develop across the board.”
Other standout performances came from Rose Neely, who finished second in the Girls’ Under 8s race, while Max Saunders and Ben Woodhouse finished seventh and ninth in the U12s race.
Ella Tandy came home fourth in the U12s while a strong ride from William Ryan helped him bag fifth in the U14s.Solihull Observer Link
Solihull Cycling Club well represented at opening Cyclocross Series event
5th September 2017
Dozens of racers from Solihull Cycling made the short trip to Redditch on Saturday to contest the opening round of the West Midlands Cyclocross Series.
The opening round marked the start of a busy weekend of racing for the borough team, which also had a number of veteran racers competing in the Stratford Road Race while two riders competed in the LVRC National Criterium Champs at Birmingham Business Park.
Comprising of ten races from Under 6s to Over 50s, the West Midlands Cyclocross League sees many hundreds take part – and Solihull had a presence in every race.
Many of the club’s Under 8s riders were taking part in their first race, while others including Pete Ward, Neville Gunn, Bernard Wareing and Gary Rowing-Parker have been cycling for many years.
Holly Saunders, Jack Rootkin-Gray, and Harrison Knight all scooped third place in their respective age groups while 12 other riders from Solihull achieved top ten results.
The league moves to Pipe Hayes Park in Erdington this weekend where Lichfield Cycling Club play host.
Elsewhere, Wayne McKeown, Stuart Jameson, Paul Mann, Russ Perry and Dave Back were representing Solihull at the Stratford Cycling Club LVRC Road Race at Lower Brailles.
The hilly circuit saw all Solihull racers bar one earn a medal.
McKeown and Jameson raced in the first race – four laps of a 15 mile circuit.
Luck wasn’t on Jameson’s side as he suffered a puncture towards the end of the third lap.
But McKeown went off the front of the main group with one rider, who he beat in an exciting sprint finish.
In the second race for the riders 55 and over, Mann, Perry and Back were Solihull’s racers.
Mann managed to break away from the main group of riders after 15 miles of the 45 mile race with one competitor.
The pair remained clear for 30 miles before Mann struggled to keep pace in the closing stages – eventually finishing second.
Perry finished third in his age group while Back came first in his age category – over 65s.
Finally Ian Cowan and Richard Blackman took part in the LVRC National Criterium Championships
Both racedin their age category (55-60).
A break of seven got away and Cowan sprinted to finish first in the following bunch, coming in eighth overall.Solihull Observer Link
Solihull cycling stars encourage youngsters to take up 'stepping stone' cyclocross format
15th August 2017
A pair of Team GB road stars from Solihull Cycling Club stars are encouraging budding cyclists to get into the sport’s most unique format.
Lucy Shaw and Jake Stewart both learnt their racing craft by using cyclocross as a stepping stone to riding for Team GB at the European Road Race Championships.
Cyclocross consists of multiple laps of a short course which features wooded trails, grass, hills, and obstacles.
The format requires riders to quickly dismount and carry their bike while navigating multiple obstructions, which can vary from steps, hurdles, or logs.
Belgium, Netherlands, and France are particularly strong at cyclocross, however Team GB’s Under 18s team scooped all three podium spots at this year’s championships.
And now both Shaw and Stewart are encouraging youngsters to join the latest pedal powered trend as Solihull Cycling Club prepare for the new season.
Shaw, who has just returned from representing Team GB in the European Road Race Championships in Denmark, has raced for professional women’s team DROPS for two years.
She first started cyclocross at the age of ten and competed for several seasons.
And Shaw admits racing cyclocross helped her improve bike handling skills and taught perseverance from a young age.
“Cyclocross is a tough, technical sport which requires racing through wooded sections and slippy, muddy, technical corners,” said Shaw.
“Being exposed to this kind of racing helps you develop excellent bike handling skills.
“Since racing in the professional peloton I have found the skills I picked up at a young age have really helped my confidence in moving up to the front in 150 rider strong pelotons and tackling technical narrow finishes.
“It also gave me perseverance and made me a tougher bike rider and prepared me for the Belgian spring.”
Meanwhile 17-year-old Jake Stewart has just scooped a silver medal for Team GB at the European Championships in Team Pursuit.
Stewart raced cyclocross for six seasons, competing from the age of 11, and said his love for the format grew as he competed more.
He said: “I think the reason I enjoyed it so much is often you werent actually aware of what position you was in.
“I enjoyed this early on as it meant that I didn’t get hung up on results, all I had to do was ride my bike as hard as I could and ride everything as technically well as I could.
“It is a nice variation from road riding in the summer and training through the winter. It broke up my season and meant that I wasn’t ever bored of just riding on the road.”
The new West Midlands Cyclocross League starts on September 3 in Redditch.
900 riders have registered to take part in the league which is now one of the biggest in the country – and up to 40 Solihull riders will be taking part.
Training for the cyclocross season takes place every Tuesday and Thursday evening at Tudor Grange.Solihull Observer Link