Potential to perform on big stage proved by Clarkson

HALIFAX cyclo-cross rider Jack Clarkson proved his national potential when he secured a convincing victory in the fourth round of the National Trophy Series at Southampton Leisure Centre yesterday.

The Pedalsport rider – who has only been riding for around a year – was competing against some of the top juniors from across the country, but secured victory by an impressive 41 seconds from his nearest rival, Alistair Slater of Hargroves Cycles.

However, Clarkson's victory was a rare moment of glory for Yorkshire riders in Hampshire while the local riders – led largely by the Hargroves Cycles team – dominated.

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They had a one-two in the elite race with Ian Field and Jody Crawforth, while the best of the Yorkshire riders was outside the top 10.

In the veterans over-40s event, Keighley's Chris Young was again pipped to victory by Coventry Road Club rival Darren Atkins. Young – who now rides for Wheelbase.

Young was 30 seconds off the pace, and had to work hard to hold off Atkins's team-mate Phil Roach, who came in just three seconds behind.

In the youth categories, Sowerby Brothers' Jake Womersley was third in the under-16 boys race, 52 seconds behind the winner.

Back in Yorkshire, local riders competed in the Norton Trophy Races at Graves Park in Sheffield yesterday, where frozen ground made for an exceptionally fast race.

Barnsley's Pete Middlehurst (Cycle Premier-Metaltek) secured a convincing victory in the seniors race, crossing the line almost two minutes ahead of Boneshakers rival James Thompson, while Beauvale CC's Gareth Whittall finished well to come home in third.

Bradford RCC's Phil Hinchliffe was fifth, just behind Zepnat RT's James Furniss and the last rider to avoid being lapped by the speedy Middlehurst.

Pedalsport were celebrating a one-two in the veterans event with Michael Young beating Chris Taylor, while Lynne Bland of the promoting club Norton Wheelers was best woman, holding off the challenge of York's impressive Jane Godfrey.

Wakefield Tri Club's Joe and Sam Dransfield took a one-two in the youth race, while Norton Wheelers' Anna Saville was fastest girl.