After a successful season as the Storey Racing road team captain, Beth Crumpton launched her British Cycling HSBC|UK National Trophy Cyclocross campaign at round 1 in Derby on Sunday 8th October. Having started her cyclocross season in the USA, with two solid World Cup performances despite suffering with illness, Beth had shaken off the virus in time to head to Derby with an open mind.
The adjusted course at Derby proved very popular with all the riders and the added technicality was something Beth was very much looking forward to. Based at the Moorways Stadium in the south of Derby, the riders were greeted by sunny conditions for the Elite races in the afternoon and the event grew a sizeable crowd around the course.
A field of over 50 women took to the start, with the Veteran categories starting 1 minute behind the senior, U23 and Junior riders and tackling 7 laps of the circuit. As predicted the start was super quick as the riders made best use of the tarmac start/finish straight before the left and right turns on to the off road section of the course. Featuring sand, hurdles, a steep bridge and other sections where it was necessary to dismount and carry the bike, the riders were tested both physically and technically in a race that went hard from the start.
Within the first half lap of the race, it was Beth Crumpton who had taken on the race and was being hotly pursued by junior rider Harriet Harnden. The gap these two riders had on a chasing pack of Amira Mellor, Anna Kay, Sophie Thackray and last year’s series winner, Hannah Payton looked significant and gradually built throughout the rest of the race.
The second lap saw Beth make a mistake in the sand section of the course, leaving Harnden to forge ahead, but the experience of previous events allowed Crumpton to relax and reel in the young rider without causing her legs too much damage.
By the 3rd lap Beth had gapped Harnden and was looking imperious with her consistent lap times, gaining time on the rest of field with every section. Her form through the technical sections was superb and the smooth transitions of her dismounts and remounts impressive to watch. When a rider is on form they appear to float over even the most challenging of sections and Crumpton was putting on a masterclass of concentration.
One of the trickiest sections of the course was the two hurdles directly before a short steep bank, this became a popular viewing spot with spectators and it was noticeable how Crumpton could power away from her remount with superb form and efficiency.
As the bell sounded the gap was around 35 seconds and unfortunately for the chasing riders this meant they had lost sight of Crumpton on the long start/finish straight. Maintaining her lap times within 8 seconds of each other was a crucial component of this winning ride and Crumpton took victory by 50 seconds over the superb ride from Harnden.
The battle for 3rd had been hotly contested through the race but it was 1st year U23, Anna Kay, who managed to find that bit extra on the final lap to distance the group she had been tussling with throughout the race.
Marking her biggest domestic victory in Cyclocross, Beth spoke after the race saying, “The plan was to ride hard from the off so I could take my own lines in the single track and be able to focus on my pacing and rhythm. I made a mistake in the sand on the second lap and Hattie distanced me a little but I knew she’d made a big effort to come over to me from the start so I didn’t panic and just rode back in to the race.”
“I am delighted to be taking the leaders jersey in to the second round in Abergavenny in 3 weeks time. This is again a course I am looking forward to and the category of race is one higher than here so there will be a few more UCI points up for grabs too!”
Beth has a weekend in the local leagues prior to travelling out to Belgium for the next round of the UCI CX World Cup at Koksijde in Belgium on October 22nd.