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Darren Haynes ventured east for Round 5 of the East Kent Cyclo-Cross League on Sunday 21st January.  The event was held at Betteshanger Country Park on a bright and sunny, but cold day.  After a good start, Darren consolidated his position on the second lap. He was well placed on the third tour when he slid out on the mud with his bike landing awkwardly on top of him.  Despite a bruised calf and ego from having lost time and places from his own mistake Darren remounted and fought back to gain a couple of places on the fourth and final tour to cross the line in a fine 8th from 29 finishers.

Dan Street forayed north the following Sunday to compete in Round 10 of the Challenge Tyres London and South East Cyclo-Cross League.  Dulwich Paragon were the hosts and Herne Hill provided the venue on a similarly sunny, but fresh afternoon.  From 6th on the grid Dan made a superb start to lie in second place at the end of the first of half-a-dozen laps of the venue.  He was demoted one spot the next time around, but reeled off a succession of consistently quick laps to grab his first ever podium position and some prize money to boot.  There were thirty-three finishers with two failing to last the distance.

Sunday 4th February saw the conclusion of the Challenge Tyres London and South East Cyclo-Cross League and the Aeight Bike Company Sussex League.  Both competitions were resolved courtesy of a single race event held in and around Preston Park Velodrome and hosted by Brighton Brighton CC.  Round 10 of the L&SE season and the fourth round of the Sussex championship were held under a drab white sky and in the teeth of a biting wind.  Early morning dampness at least passed over and left the course slick, but fast as opposed to greasy.  

Based on recent performances Lewes Wanderer Dan Street lined up on the inside of the front row for the race for men over 50, with clubmate Darren Haynes on the row behind and Stephen Burgess, competing among men over 60, in the latter half of the 52-strong field.

Dan Street by Paget Cohen

After a swift circuit around the outdoor velodrome, enlivened by a few detours onto the grass infield, the course sent the racers up and down a tarmac perimeter path and into a sharp hairpin.  The remainder of the course saw the riders twisting through semi-woodland, but included a fallen tree to hop over before a cruel ramp back into the velodrome that only the strongest riders could ride.

From 5th at the end of lap one, Dan improved to fourth and briefly third, before his rear tyre went flat on the fifth of the eight laps.  This seriously impacted his lap times, but somehow he raced on to finish in an impressive eighth place from 35 finishers.  Three places behind Dan and with his best ever result in this championship was Darren who had risen as high as ninth on lap 2, but still has every reason to be satisfied with his performance.

Stephen lay as high as fourth place on lap 3, but lost three spots the next time around and remained in seventh out of fifteen to the chequered flag, a lap down on the winner.  This result left Stephen 10th in the final London standings and 11th in Sussex.  Dan claimed only 14th in the Sussex League, but a superb 6th in the London rankings, while Darren finished 36th in those standings and Paget Cohen 61st.

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