Cyclo cross at Harrogate Cycle Expo

As many members will know, the first ever Cycle Expo Yorkshire took place Friday 12th to Sunday 14th October at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate. As well as indoor events including the exhibition, a bike testing area and sofa sessions involving talks from none other than our president Liz Hills and club patron Lizzie Deignan, outside events were also planned including Breeze rides, off road woodland MTB demos, crit and cyclo cross races were planned for the Saturday and Sunday.

Sadly, bad weather on the Saturday caused cancellation of many events but Sunday’s cyclo cross race was able to go ahead, albeit a little muddy. Nothing – well, virtually nothing – stops ‘cross!

One of those enjoying, if that’s the correct description, the mud plugging, was that cyclo cross – or psyclo cross as he prefers to call it – stalwart Tony Wild. He’s written about it so must have enjoyed it. Probably.

“Egad… I knew my ‘dry & dusty’ luck would run out sooner or later as Winter drawers on…

“Imagine my delight in awakening on Sunday morning and peering out from my hotel bedroom in Harrogate to see it grey… but dry. Yes, I was fortunate to be already in Harrogate for Round 5 of the Yorkshire Points series, as I had been attending an athletical and healthy weekend away with my pals (yes, I do have another ‘friend’) from the Keighley & Airedale Athletics Club, and their Psycling Psection, aka the ‘K’ Town Klangers.

“The previous day had involved a ‘brisk’ ride with 6 other riders of some 55 miles in and out of some blustery but extremely warm (I’M TOO HOT!) conditions in North Yorks.

“Whilst I had envisaged a little light leg loosening pre-race….. there were to be ‘no prisoners!’ as Lawrence of Arabia famously cried in David Lean’s fillem of the same name on espying the fleeing Turks…. For one of our number had recently been a member of the British Cycling paralympian development squad… Mile OFF!!! So, imagine my disappointment on rechecking the prevailing weather conditions post ‘lie in’ a short while later… to discover it was still grey, and raining… stair rods… Oh dear.

“It continued to rain for what seemed like the rest of the day, and my new found ‘friends’ who had previously been keen to cycle to the Harrogate Showground, to support me and my psyclo-cross travails, were nowhere to be seen at brekker….

“In summary, and much to my surprise… this being only my second encounter with ‘mud’ in 3 years of the ‘Cross…. I did actually enjoy myself… no.. really. Why, I even managed to move up a place or two too…

“It was a brilliant course involving lots of uppy/downy bits, off-camber hair raising traverses, mud baths…. streams… fast tarmac sections, and all within sight of the viewing terrace hosting Yorkshire’s first Cycle-Expo. What’s not to like.

“So, 10 Otley riders braved the ‘atrocious’ weather conditions, and great to see one Tim ‘Timster’ Hovercraft making a very welcome appearance to consolidate the “Blue Train”. Whilst I only saw him briefly, passing me quickly…. as he gave chase to his arch-nemesis – the Cullen twins (Ian & James) – he did, according to the results, appear to have had a bit of a ding-dong with James, finishing only a few seconds behind him. I’m sure there may be some retribution taking place at Round 6 on Sunday… It’s all good fun isn’t it… isn’t it?

“Again, some strong Otley finishers, certainly at the younger end of the spectrum, with podiums for Isla Aylward – 3rd FU10, Dexter Leeming-Sykes – 2nd MU16 and Megan Cullen 3rd FJun”.


Under 10

Isla Aylward – 3rd FU10, 22nd overall – 37 finishers

Under 12

Ruaridh Aylward 16th MU12, 17th overall – 45 finishers


Dexter Leeming-Sykes – 2nd MU16, 4th overall, Mo Leeming-Sykes – 6th FU14, 18th overall – 58 finishers

Vets 45+/Women/Novice

Ian Cullen – 33rd MV50, 67th overall, Andrew Moxon – 40th MV50, 79th overall, James Cullen – 43rd MV50, 83rdiverall, Tim Howcroft – 44th MV50, 84th overall, Megan Cullen – 3rd FJUN, 86th overall, Tony Wild – 11th MV60, 108th overall.

Full results, courtesy of YCCA, can be found here.

“Commiserations to Liam Mealey with another DNF due to injury.

“Thanks as ever to YCCA, Tim Evans and his team at Harrogate Nova, for a terrific event. Grateful thanks also to Bernard Marsden and Jo Allen for snaps. We could really do with a ‘Team’ photographer… any volunteers with a Box Brownie? Next event is – Round 6 Huddersfield New College, New Hey Road, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, HD3 4GL”.


20th October 2018