Seeing out 2017 with a race around Todmorden's Centre Vale Park

Tom Hill competing in the event. Picture by Jo Allen
Tom Hill competing in the event. Picture by Jo Allen

New Year’s Eve found Todmorden’s Centre Vale Park a bustle of activity as cyclists came from all over to the final cyclocross race of 2017.

Riders were happy to see the return of the Todmorden New Year’s Revolution race which had taken a couple of years off.

Cyclocross is a sport for all ages and this year’s event saw more than 30 youngsters compete in races for the under 8s, 10s and 12s and a further 17 took part in the under 14s race.

Some of them were experienced racers but many were having a first taste of bike racing.

The senior races were taken more seriously with around 100 racers taking to the course for the main event, racing for around an hour.

Local rider Jack Clarkson, of Hope Factory Racing, was the pre-race favourite, but that wasn’t counting on the last minute appearance of Olympian and multiple national cyclocross champion Nick Craig, of Scott Racing.

Nick, from Hayfield in the Peak District, had already won a race the day before in Macclesfield, and decided on a whim to complete his weekend with a race in Todmorden.

From the start, Jack Clarkson led, but Nick slowly reeled him in, lap by lap, until he had put enough of a margin in on the muddy course to give him the victory.

The women’s race was also a good battle, with early leader Annabel Simpson fading quickly, allowing Emma Knight, from Warrington, to ride to victory on the Todmorden track.