Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Vets Enjoy a Smooth Ride

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Vets Enjoy a Smooth Ride

Article excerpt

As expected, the veterans led the way in Sunday's Inter-Area Team Cyclo-Cross Championships.

Newly-crowned national champion Cliff Featherstone, his target achieved for the season, managed sixth in the combined veterans category but backed up Peter Wilkin, who took third in the event.

With Paul Cook making the third counter in 11th place, the North East squad finished a single point ahead of rivals Yorkshire.

Most of the region's top riders are now signed up to teams outside the area.

And the North East was dealt a further blow a week ago with a request from Arthur Caygill RT that they be allowed to affiliate to the Yorkshire Division, rather than the North East, which has been the case since boundary changes three years ago.

The switch meant Noel Clough was then entitled to permanently ride for a Yorkshire A team, as he has done since the change, which was still well beaten into second by the North West, despite Yorkshire's Shaun Snodden taking first place.

Despite the lack of firepower, Alan Nixon still managed 22nd place and led Neil Withington in 30th and Vince Potter, in 35th, to eighth in the team placings behind Yorkshire B.

The biggest disappointment was again the lack of a women's team.

Last year, all four members of the North East team finished, albeit a lap down when the event was held in Nottingham. This year, the region

failed to rouse a single entry.

But if the women's event was a disappointment, the youth race more than made up for it as Darren Tiffen took third place behind Adam Turner, who beat him in the nationals, and Tom Last, who took bronze in the same event.

Tiffen's placing led the team to third place behind East Midlands, the team of Last and Turner, and a combined London/South East.

Tiffen was backed by Jamie Sharpe in eighth and Simon Whitfield in 12th.

As a measure of how Tiffen and Sharp have progressed over the past 12 months, the 2003 event was Tiffen's first national standard event when he came in 17th, nearly seven minutes down, while Sharp was 21st at 8. …

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