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Cyclocross - invented in the early 1900s as a way for road cyclists to keep a good level of fitness over the winter months. The discipline consists of cycling, running, sometimes hurdling and is about as much pain as you can fit into an hour on the bike. The 2014 UCI world cyclo-cross championships will take place in Hoogerheide (Holland), but the most important race of the season has already been on the 14th December..... the Tyneside Vagabonds' club championship.

With quite a large number of Vags making appearances throughout the reason, the champs was showing potential to be fierce and it didn't disappoint. The champs were combined with the last round of the NECCL season at Hetton-le-hole.

The first race of the day was the U12/10/8/6. Taking to the start line from the club was Matthew Wells U12, Daniel Holmes U10 and Joe Case U10. The race was a fast and tactical one with Matthew and Daniel jockeying for the lead throughout. In the end it came down to who was leading into the final hairpin section just before the finish, and due to a sharp attack by Matthew on the 2nd last lap it was he who took the race win and the Championship. An excellent ride by young Daniel to come 2nd who will no doubt have plenty of victories in the future. A contender for ride of the day is Joe Case who worked relentlessly throughout, losing very little ground on the leaders to finish 3rd in the champs and 4th overall. A rewarding point to take from this race was that out of a total field of 9, 3 of the top 4 were vagabonds, surely a reflection of the effort and time put in by the Go-Ride coaches on a Saturday.

The U16/14 race was next, a fantastic turn out of 6 Vags in this race: Josh Craven, Joe Tubby, Fiona Turnbull, Sophie Enever, Craig Gow and Francesca Burrin. The race began at a sprint, a great start by seasoned racer Josh Craven meant he was leading the champs after the first lap. Craig Gow bridged the gap over to Josh mid way through the race to make for a close finish - Josh Craven crossing the line club champion with the novice Scotsman taking the silver. Fiona Turnbull taking the bronze overall as well as first U14 and 1st Girl. Joe Tubby coming in as 2nd U14 followed by Sophie Enever producing a gutsy ride taking 2nd Girl. New to the event Francesca Burrin taking 3rd Girl and 3rd U14. Full effort put in by all and some skillful racing.

To wrap up the champs, the final event of the day was the Senior and Veterans (>40) race. With last year's silver medallist Kyle Watts now retired and club fast men Alan Dick and Richard Lewis out injured there were a total of 7 Vags who showed up: Danny Winthorpe, Mark Reed, James Burns, Paul Young, Graeme Gow, Rob Hogarth and raining champ Adam Hogarth. Ensuring he wasn't to be tactically outwitted like last year, Mark Reed took no chances going straight to the front of the race into the first lap. Knowing he had to follow, Adam pursued Mark in this outburst running in around 3rd overall. The aggressive start soon left Mark in need of recovery, he slipped back to around 10th position, likewise Adam around 5th. Adam led the champs for the majority of the race with Mark's recovery coming in the penultimate lap where after endlessly chewing away at the 2013 champ's advantage he forced his way past in a competitive overtake. Final Positions in the senior race Mark Reed 1st, Adam Hogarth 2nd and James Burns a creditable 3rd.

In the vets race, ironman Graeme had a solid and smooth victory on the technical course, 2013 Champ Rob finishing in second after taking out the course hurdle with a "lazy" bunny hop. Endlessly improving Danny Winthorpe took the bronze after suffering two crashes in the process. Unfortunately the club's Paul Young had to abandon with a puncture in the early stages of the race.

Bring on the 2015 champs!

Pos Rider Cat Laps
1 Mark Reed   8
2 Adam Hogarth   8
3 Graeme Gow V 8
4 James Burns   7
5 Rob Hogarth V 7
6 Danny Winhorpe V 6
Under 16    
Pos Rider Cat Laps
1 Josh Craven   4
2 Craig Gow   4
3 Fiona Turnbull L 4
4 Joe Tubby   4
5 Sophie Enever L 4
8 Francesca Burrin L 3
Under 12    
Pos Rider Cat Laps
1 Matthew Wells   8
2 Daniel Holmes   7
3 Joe Case   6