The mountain bike “season” may now be twelve months long, but the traditional winter bike sport of cyclocross is in rude good health. Most of the first generation of pro MTB racers came from ‘cross, and most of the current crop turn to drop bars and skinny tyres during the winter months. Last weekend saw the National Championships in Abergavenny, Wales. As you might expect from Wales in January, it was a tad damp. Heavy rain started to fall just as the riders lined up and the course turned into a classic ‘cross quagmire.
Going into the race Jody Crawforth (Evans RT) was favourite, but he couldn’t match the pace of ‘cross veteran Nick Craig (Persil) and new Specialized recruit Liam Killeen. Craig and Killeen duelled it out for most of the race, but at the finish it was Nick Craig who took the chequered flag. Killeen was a close second, with Matt Ellis (Planet X/On-One) 50 seconds back in third.
It’s a promising start to the year for Killeen, and he’s looking good for a great year on the MTB circuit. His first outing on a Specialized MTB will be the first round of the US NORBA series in Texas in March.