Photos by Wig Worland
It was neck-and-neck all the way in the second round of Rapha Super Cross as the leading elite teams of Hope Factory Racing and Hargroves-Specialized slugged it out in the wonderful surroundings of Misterton Hall, Lutterworth.
But it was the Hope guys who came out on top, courtesy of Paul Oldham’s victory, backed by Dave Collins and Daniel Booth. To the usual Super Cross accompaniment of cowbells, oompah band, Belgian beer and frites, the big crowd lapped up the day’s entertainment in dry and sunny conditions.
With two laps remaining, Hargroves appeared to have the upper hand, Jody Crawforth sitting comfortably on Oldham’s wheel and the more likely to win the sprint, but a mechanical took the former national champion out of contention, leaving the other former champ time to finish with arms aloft.
Reigning Rapha Super Cross team Hope now take a two-point lead into Sunday’s finale at Alexandra Palace and look set to take the series barring disaster, but this being cyclo-cross, anything could happen.
A special team of the day award went to ROTWILD-Forme Coaching with a dramatic improvement on last week’s performance at Broughton to clinch third spot, while Endura’s Jake Womersley took the Rouleur Magazine £50 prime. Hargroves’ Steve James won the under-23 category for the second week running.
Runner-up at Broughton Hall, Delia Beddis (ViCiOUS Velo), went one better to take the women’s prize at Misterton. The fun racers at the close of the race programme coped admirably with a tequila shortcut and wall of foam following a Le Mans-style start.
The Rapha Super Cross Series concludes with the grand finale at Alexandra Palace, London, on Sunday October 28th, with more beer, frites, crepes, cowbells and top-class racing for all on the menu.
Rapha Super Cross round 2 – Misterton
1. Hope Factory Racing
2. Hargroves Cycles-Specialized
3. ROTWILD-Forme Coaching
4. Cycle Premier-Kovert
5. Rapha-GB Development Squad
6. Dirtwheels Cycles
7. Endura Racing
8. Charge Bikes
1. Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)
2. Steve James (Hargroves Cycles-Specialized)
3. Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles-Specialized)
Overall Team Standings
1. Hope Factory Racing – 20pts
2. Hargroves Cycles-Specialized – 18pts
3. Rapha-GB Development – 14pts
4. ROTWILD-Forme Coaching – 13pts
5. Cycle Premier-Kovert – 13pts
6. Endura Racing – 11pts
7. Dirtwheels Cycles – 9pts
8. Charge Bikes – 6pts