National Cyclo Cross Champs 2017

The domestic cyclocross season drew to a close this weekend with the prestigious National Championships taking place at Peel Park in Bradford. Racing took place on both Saturday and Sunday with the Elite Women’s and Elite Mens events concluding the weekend.

The Women’s race was a rather one sided affair with overwhelming favourite Nikki Brammeier winning at a canter from Hannah Payton and Beth Crumpton. The absence of Helen Wyman, still in the latter stages of recovery from injury, meant that Brammeier had no serious challenge as she rode to her third senior title.


Over in the men’s event Ian Field took his fifth senior title with relative ease from 2016 champion Liam Killeen and in third place Paul Oldham. The men’s event was bursting with talent from ace MTBer Grant Ferguson to veteran off road legend Nick Craig (for the record twice the age of Ferguson) and 3 Peaks superstar Rob Jebb.


The Junior Men’s event was taken by U19 European Cross Champ Tom Pidcock who entertained the crowd with a superman ride over the line. I’ve a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of this over the coming years.  Pidcock is a rare talent who has the potential to mount the very summit of this sport.


As usual the atmosphere at Bradford was terrific with enthusiastic crowds spurring the competitors on and down in the mudfest that was the pits the support crews worked tirelessly illustrating that for all that cycling is an individual sport there has to be a strong backup team of friends and family keeping the show on the road

Finally a special mention for a dignitary of the day, British Cycling legend Brian Robinson BEM. if anybody doesn’t know Robinson was not only the first British rider to finish the Tour de France he was also the first one to win a stage. Just imagine with all that has happened, particularly recently with British Cyclings incredible success, it was Robinson who kick started all back in the 50’s.


Brian Robinson

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Macclesfield Supacross. A Christmas Cracker

I didn’t know that today (27th December) was a Bank Holiday.  I also didn’t know that the M6 would resemble the main car park at Disneys Magic Kingdom on Thanksgiving Day. So when I left the house in plenty of time to catch the Vets and Women’s race at the Macclesfield Supacross and actually arrived  half an hour after it finished my stress levels were moderately raised to say the very least. So rather than stick to the original plan of taking the usual mountain loads of shots I decided to lighten my post event editing workload and just pick off the odd arty number from the senior event. The resultant shots are featured below.

The course at Macclesfield is widely acknowledged to be one of the best in the series and the fact that the event lands immediately after Christmas and on a Bank Holiday heightens the enthusiasm and the atmosphere resulting in one of the very best events on the cyclo cross calendar. It draws entries from the higher echelons of the sport in the North and coming less than two weeks before the Nationals acts as a great warm up event.

For the record forty seven year old Nick Craig took the honours doubling up on his earlier victory in the Vets. Second place went to Billy Harding with NWCCA series winner Giles Drake in third.

The women’s event was graced by the presence of Dame Sarah Storey. I only saw her leaving however thanks to that ruddy traffic jam!

Enjoy the shots and as usual feel free to download but for personal use only. Commercial use can be arranged if you contact me first.



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Who is……………..Victoria Fearn?

Sunsport Velo WRT have been busy bees in the off season checking out talent nationwide and securing the signature of some strong and committed women who are destined to bring success to the Cheshire based outfit in the coming season and beyond.

One such talent is Kents Victoria Fearn. Having tasted victory in a few events in 2016 her ambitions have led her to Sunsport and the wider opportunities that will now come her way.

We will be closely following Vicki and her new team in 2017 but for now lets find out a little of who she is.



Name?……Victoria FEARN

Age?………..35 years old

Hometown?…..Sittingbourne, KENT

Live?………….Sittingbourne, KENT (I feel I need to move now :-/ maybe, somewhere more exotic with palm trees)


In Sprint Mode

How Long Have You Been Cycling?………Been cycling for 4 years now!

Career Highlight So Far?…..Winning a Surrey road race end of 2016! Team winning a team TT stage event at Bedford 3 day. Taking part in the Ras na’Bam, Ireland too epic for words.

Biggest Influence on Your Cycling?…….Wow… there has been loads along the way and I am still making more but who stands out would be all the girls from the Wyndy Milla 2014 and PMR 2016. These are the ladies/teammates that gave me all the knowledge I needed to race and improve. Great times and laughs. And, I just know the Sunsport WRT are going to be best yet…

What Are Your Ambitions in the Sport?……..To be part a successful team. To see how many points and wins I can get in a season and what we can achieve as a team. Develop my riding to the next level. I cannot wait to do as many national races and stretch our legs over the waters to see how we can do elsewhere in Europe.

Who Do You Most Admire Outside of Cycling?….My mum, some women can just do it all, love her.


Vicki Gets Fitted for 2017 at the Sunsport Hub

Away From Cycling What Would Be Your Preferred Career?…..A rally car driver, although I did spin my rear wheel drive car 360 degrees into a kerb last week (big, big oops!)

You’re Stranded on a Desert Island with Three Famous People (dead or alive) of your Choice. Who are They?….Kevin Spacey (my favourite actor), Bear Grylls (so we could eat and survive) and Marilyn Monroe for some glamour tips!

Favourite Holiday Destination?…..South Africa, I got married there last year and fell in love with the place and I am going back out there with friends and Dame Kelly Holmes to do the Tour of Good Hope which is a massive 5 day stage in March 2017 with mammoth stages through mountain passes out in the Winelands, it is going to hurt but it is so beautiful it makes it worthwhile!

Should Pineapple as a Pizza Topping be Outlawed?…Absolutely not love pineapple and always shove loads of extra stuff on top a pizza the more the better.

When Were you Last Inebriated?………A long time ago but the Christmas season is upon us and do love a glass or two of mulled wine J

Your House is on Fire. What One Possession Do You Save?……..Without thinking my 2 dogs (and no I can’t choose between them), love them, can’t buy loyalty like that and they come and support me at races, little furry balls.

Name a Famous Person Who Really Really Irritates You and in 5 Words Why?…..Hugo Taylor, Ok, I must confess I have been watching tour du celeb! A cycling reality show.So why him, ‘doesn’t listen to pros advice’ –big mistake!

Strictly or X Factor?………Strictly, love the hair and make-up and dancing

Ketchup or Brown Sauce?……Ketchup, it goes with so much

Cats or Dogs?…….Like you have to ask, Dogs

Ant or Dec?…….Ah….. Dec but like Ant too J

Fish and Chips or Lentil and Cashew Nut Roast?….Fish and chips on a Friday

And finally (this is the deep question!) if it all ended tomorrow how would you sum it up?…….It has been great, let’s do it again somewhere else, who’s in? And remember, the most important thing is happiness and love those that love you.


And Breathe!


Terrrific responses Vicki and we are all looking forward to seeing you mixing it up on the road in 2017!

Follow Vicki on twitter @tinchistrila










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Geoff Bewley Memorial Cross 2016. A Story In Pictures.

After the early part of the cyclo cross season was deeply afflicted by good weather and dry tracks the status quo has thankfully been restored to the rain and sticky mud that this sport is noted for.

Saturday brought around the annual Geoff Bewley Memorial Race promoted by Liverpool Century RC at Otterspool Park, Aigburth.

I took shots of the Vets/Womens and the Senior events and here in pictures is my story.

Feel free to download any shots but remember its personal use only. If you use on social media it would be good to get a nod @chrismeadsphoto




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Who Is…….Liz Burrows?

Despite a short introduction to the girls who will be wearing Sunsport Velos colours in 2017 the article was sadly remiss in probing out such deep topics as favourite tv programme or ideal dinner party guest.

We have of course delved to such depths already with some of the team and in this continuing series we now put our Paxmanesque spotlight on Yorkshires very own Liz Burrows.

Liz  is another former triathlete (I won’t be happy til we have converted all of them) and has just completed her second season on the road. Her bio already appears in an earlier edition of ShoottheBikeRace but that was far too serious for this feature.



Name………………….Elizabeth Burrows
Hometown…………. Pontefract
Live………………….. Pontefract
How long have you been cycling?……….2yrs properly 10 if you include triathlon
Career highlight so far?…………………..Tour de Yorkshire
Biggest influence on your cycling?……..Boyfriend Jake Tanner
What are your ambitions in the sport?…attempt some tours this season
Who do you most admire outside of cycling?………….. Constance Hall
Away from cycling what would be your preferred career?……..PE teacher
You’re stranded on a desert island with three famous people (dead or alive) of your choice. Who are they?………..Bear Grylls, Scarlett Moffatt, David Bowie
Favourite Holiday Destination?………. New Zealand
Friday night, by law, is chippy tea night. What are you having?……… Fish butty
When were you last inebriated? …….No idea it was so long ago!
Your house is on fire. What one possession do you save?……… My dog Mya
Name a famous person who really really irritates you and in 5 words why?….. Michael Buble he is really smug


Multiple Choice

Strictly or X Factor  – X factor
Brian Mays Hair or Theresa Mays Shoes – Hair
Ketchup or Brown Sauce – Brown
Cats or Dogs – Dogs all the way!
David Essex or Joey Essex – Joey
Cider or Vodka- Cider


and finally back to cycling, what would you say is your main strength eg climbing, sprinting, suffering – all rounder

We look forward to following Liz out on the road in 2017 and in the meantime you can follow her on twitter @lizburrows1

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Sunday Muddy Sunday

After several weeks of pursuing tarmac related bike activities I stepped back into the mud on Sunday at Dark and White Events Three Counties MTB Marathon.

Now MTB events appeal to me because its in my blood and also because I am a big fan of:

  1. Bikes with nobbly tyres
  2. Fresh air and rugged terrain whatever the weather
  3. Getting up at 5.30 am on a Sunday morning.

Alright I lied about point number 3 but if you want to combine 1. and 2. then sometimes 3. wants to get involved as well.

The 3 Counties MTB Marathon is named due to it straddling Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire and follows trails and minor roads taking advantage of the wonderful terrain that this corner of England offers. It started and finished in Buxton from where it immediately headed south to where I was lying in wait in the small village of Hollinsclough. My abiding memory of Hollinsclough will be trying to find it whilst driving down a lane approximately two inches wider than my car directly into a fierce sunrise which made a pincer movement by also bouncing up off the wet tarmac in attempt to lure me to a lonely rural death by sending me into an oak tree/stray deer/speeding tractor.


Having survived this ordeal I parked up and followed the course to a good viewing spot. Its obligatory in this type of event that my first batch of shots involves an uphill. I like to capture pain, suffering and, if I am lucky, tears. I guess this penchant for sadism owes something to my childhood although no one incident springs to mind.


Around two hundred competitors undertook the challenge in favour of a Sunday lie in and as they  crossed a footbridge and made their way up to the road in Hollinsclough it was apparent that only the strongest would make it up my chosen ascent whilst still astride their mount. The majority had to be content with either pushing or carrying their bikes whilst slip sliding away in the mud. Quite a few of the usually jolly crowd were heard uttering curses of a decidedly agricultural nature at this juncture. Fitting.


After capturing the pedestrian action at Hollinsclough i made my way to the edge of Macclesfield Forest just in time to capture most of the riders coming through. This time the terrain allowed them all to actually be riding their bikes, now there’s  a novelty! This popular location was heavy with dog walkers, hikers and families enjoying the fine autumn weather and remarks were made by them as to the courtesy and friendliness of the riders. I am not sure that at this stage of the ride I would have been so convivial so fair play to them.

Having spent about four hours out on the course and hopefully taken a shot of most, if not all of the riders I got back to the car and set off for home. There may have been some riders still out on the course by the time I sat down to edit my shots, it wouldn’t be the first time, and I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of jealousy that being behind the camera prevented me from tackling a very challenging route that 200 other off roaders had the pleasure (may not be the appropriate adjective) of doing.


Next Sunday I turn out for Dark and White Events again. The Wildest Peaks Trail Run will not be sparking any jealousy that is for sure!





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Sunsport Velo WRT Roster 2017. Introducing….Lizzy Banks

Wishing a happy 26th birthday today to the final rider on Sunsports 2017 roster. Step forward Lizzy Banks, yet another rider hailing from the other side of the hills-this time Sheffield.

She leaps across from Fusion RT Fierlan  after a successful 2016 in which, despite an injury hit mid season, she gained some notable results. Namely the individual and team gold medals at the British Universities and College Sports Hill Climb Champs in Stirling as well as a second place in the Buxton Mountain TT and third at the Manx International GP.

Although only riding for two seasons Lizzy is clearly both talented and ambitious and is likely to be the mountain goat of the team when the road rises. She will be targeting the National Series races and, in common with her other team mates, fancies a crack at the continental scene.

In her own words:

“I can’t wait to start racing with Sunsport Velo WRT and make use of all the excellent support and performance knowledge they offer. It is so important to start with a good base in your winter training and having the team support you with coaching, nutrition, performance testing, strength and conditioning and much much more will give me a head start and all the motivation needed to get through a solid winter of training! The team has an incredibly professional setup and great range of riders with a mix of talents on both the road and the track”

So with all riders names now out there plans are underway to turn this group of highly talented individuals into a team to be reckoned with when the season starts. There is a lot of tough competition in women’s cycling and nobody thinks it will be easy but with the excellent support of the owners, managers and sponsors I would say that they are better placed than most to achieve success


Lizzy Banks

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