Rapha Super Cross preview: Hope hold slim lead ahead of finale

Hope Technology hold a two-point lead over Scott UK going into the Rapha Super Cross finale at London’s Alexandra Palace on Sunday.

National champion Paul Oldham and his Hope outfit start as favourites to land the £2,000 team prize having triumphed in the first two rounds at Windermere and Huddersfield, but Scott, led by former mountain bike national champion Nick Craig, are ready to pounce should they trip up.

And with seven lung-bursting ascents of Alexandra Palace Park to the iconic BBC television transmitter to be tackled, there’s plenty of riding to be done yet.

“After a fantastic opening weekend the Scott boys are going to be in London in force,” said Craig. “We are a very young team – myself excluded! – but Luke [Grivell-Mellor] and Kenta [Gallagher] rode with mature heads. It’s great to see the next generation coming through with opportunities to race at this level.”

With Wiggle, Hargroves and Rapha/GB Development all tied in third spot on 14 points, it promises to be an elbows-out fight to the line all the way through the field.

The opening two rounds saw 650 men, women and children, from tots to top professionals enjoying off-road racing under unseasonably clear blue skies, to the sound of cowbells, the roar of the crowd and, in Huddersfield, a brass band.

Ally Pally promises more of the same plus DJ Festus in the beer tent, the finest ales from Belgium, the best pies south of Watford Gap, top-quality coffee at the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club and a host of other attractions and stalls.

Racing begins at midday and free Rouleur cowbells are expected to run out soon after. Be early. Bring the family. See www.rapha.cc/super-cross for further details.

Standings after two rounds

Overall team
1. Hope Technology – 20pts
2. Scott UK – 18pts
3. Rapha/GB Development – 14pts
4. Wiggle – 14pts
5. Hargoves/Specialized – 14pts
6. Sigma Sport / Specialized – 10pts
7. Charge – 8pts

Individual under-23
1. Luke Grivell-Mellor (Scott UK) – 17pts
2. Steve James (Hargroves/Specialized) – 16pts
3. Kenta Gallagher (Scott UK) – 16pts
4. Joe Moses (Rapha/GB) – 13pts
5. Rob Watson (Rapha/GB) – 10pts

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