YOUNG Stratford Cycling Club ace Spencer Corder was crowned West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League U12s champion with two races remaining.
On completion of the 13th of 15 rounds and, with the overall result based on riders’ best 11 races, Corder’s average finishing position could not be beaten.
In the U12s race at Leicester it was the usual four riders who streaked away at the start – Luke Harris from Wolverhampton, Thomas White from Halesowen and Stratford pair Corder and Lewis Tinsley.
The Stratford duo are in their first year in this age group and conceding a year to the opposition yet they show incredible maturity and understanding of what is required to win. Sometimes, however, the physical extra strength of an extra year shows through.
After an opening lap which saw all four riders in contention, it was not long before Corder edged ahead with Harris in close attendance and gradually the pair drew away from the others and were involved in a see-saw battle as the lead changed hands several times.
In the end it was sheer strength that gave Harris the win.
The battle between White and Tinsley is much the same but the fight for third place looks set to go to the wire.
There were plenty of other Stratford riders in action, including Alex Burden who continued his excellent season in 11th place, followed by Joshua Darlow in 13th and Guy West who was 29th.
Harriet Tinsley was 20th and fourth girl home, leaving herself in with a great chance of honours come the end of the campaign.
Ruben Stringfellow was seventh in the U8s race, whilst in the U10s event Jake Deaner was sixth, Samuel Abbott 20th and Zoe Parker 15th and second in the girls’ section.
At U14 level Tom Charles remained consistent in 17th place, while David Hird continues to provide encouraging results with sixth place in the U16s.
The only Stratford senior to brave the conditions was Nigel Jones who finished fifth in the 55-plus age group.
CORDER then won the Birmingham round (14) of the cyclo-cross league by a distance, this time leaving his main rival Harris 54 seconds in arrears.
It was a four-lap race and Corder took off on the second lap and never looked back as he secured his eighth victory of the series. With team-mate Lewis Tinsley third, the Stratford duo go from strength to strength. Burden was sixth.
MEANWHILE, Stratford CC’s Jess O’Riley served further notice of her talent in her first race with the seniors.
Now 16, she enjoyed a great result as she finished third against some very experienced opponents at Stourport in the first of a series of early season races.