Photos by Wig Worland
Hope and Hargroves go to the wire in Ally Pally Finale.
An enthralling encounter in the final round of the Rapha Super Cross Series resulted in defending champions Hope Factory Racing taking the spoils again, but only just.
An estimated 4,000-strong crowd packed Alexandra Palace park for the big finale and were treated to a day of thrilling cyclo-cross racing in the Capital.
Hope went into the final round with a healthy two-point lead, but Hargroves-Specialized and ROTWILD-Forme Coaching rode inspired races on the slippery and hilly terrain to push the series leaders down to third on the day.
Only count back separated the top two squads, with Hope’s wins in the two previous rounds at Broughton and Misterton giving them the edge.
The rapidly improving ROTWILD-Forme Coaching squad sealed third in the team standings, led home by under-23 winner Ben Sumner.
Delia Beddis repeated her previous day’s victory in Misterton after a strorming last lap to catch Leona Kadir in the women’s race.
Once the serious competition was out of the way, entrants in the Fun category were subjected to the compulsory wall of foam and the optional tequila shortcut, both proving popular with the cowbell-toting throng.
Rapha Super Cross Elite Results – Alexandra Palace
1. Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)
2. Jody Crawforth (Hargroves-Specialized)
3. Ben Sumner (ROTWILD-Forme Coaching)
First under-23: Ben Sumner (ROTWILD-Forme Coaching)
Team of the Day Award: Cycle Premier-Kovert
Rapha Super Cross Series Final Standings
1. Hope Factory Racing
3. ROTWILD-Forme Coaching
4. Rapha-GB Development
5. Cycle Premier-Kovert
6. Endura Racing
7. Dirtwheels Cycles
8. Charge Bikes
Under-23 series winner: Steve James, Hargroves-Specialized