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Cyclo-Cross round-up

Darren Haynes by Nicola Hale

On 14th November Darren Haynes once more headed east for Round 3 of the East Kent Cyclo Cross League.  The “Grand Prix Alex Paton” was held in the grounds of Astor College in Dover on a cool, but sunny morning.

However a shower before the flag dropped made some of the grassy banks extremely treacherous and led to a mass pile-up on the opening lap of the race for men over 50.  Nobody was seriously hurt and Darren was ahead of the crash, but the officials called for a rare restart so they could clear the course and repair the course tape.

Darren didn’t get quite such a good start second time around and enjoyed a few slow speed spills of his own on the greasy surface, but remounted to finish a fine 15th out of 49 finishers.

A fortnight later Darren and clubmate Dan Street once more crossed the border into Kent to take part in the Challenge Tyres South East Regional Cyclo Cross Championships at Gravesend Cyclopark.  No rain this time around, but while sunny it was near freezing at the off at this exposed venue just off the A2.

In Darren’s race for men over 50 he lost a few places off the start, but put in increasingly faster laps on each of the four times around to place a strong 21st from 47 finishers.  In Dan’s race for men in their 40s he made a lightning start to gain 10 places from his grid spot on the opening lap and a further one by the end of the five-lap race to claim a superb 13th place from the 40 to finish.

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