RAF Halton support Cyclocross

Jane Reilly  |  Published: Oct 11th 2016

The Annual Cyclocross event took place at RAF Halton recently with cyclists from across the central region descending on RAF Halton to compete the opening round of the annual Cyclocross season, set for the third year in the splendour of the Halton training estate.  A large amount of support was given by the Station to make the event the success that it was. Course layout, construction and marshalling duties fell to Airmen’s Development Flight, under direction of Cpl Williamson and Supply Management Training Wing, Basic Training Course 16-004, supervised by Sgt Lee Craig, the Chief Marshal. 

The focus of the event was a large arena, laid out on the lawn in front of Halton House and featuring coffee and food stands, bike shops, a DJ and even a bouncy castle for families.

The event which is run by the RAF Cycling Association was won by Sgt Dan Lewis (Brize Norton) with  SAC Ian Lee (RAF Marham) coming 4th in a field of almost 100 men. 

Two of the finishers from this area are: Flight Lieutenant Adam Morris, 24th Senior Mens and  Squadron Leader Marc Preece, 23rd Veteran Men, both from RAF High Wycombe.

Cyclocross is the fastest growing form of cycle sport in the UK and is similar to cross country running, featuring multiple laps of a technical course including mud, hurdles and steep climbs.  Racing is always fierce, with closely fought battles all through the field making Cyclocross the perfect sport for beginners, experienced races and spectators alike. The event was a challenging 3km lap, taking in everything from the lawns of the ACS training area to the hidden pathways and woods surrounding Halton House. 

RAF cyclists were represented throughout the event, featuring prominently in packed fields, including record entries of over 100 racers in the senior men’s category.  Sadly, RAFCA Chairman Group Captain Gus Wells (HQ Air Cmd) was confined to the side-lines through injury leaving Squadron Leader Marc Preece (HQ Air) and Sqn Ldr Steven Bishop (Aldergrove) to represent RAFCA in the veteran’s race.  In the senior men’s event, the race was dominated by the RAF Cycling Association, with SAC Ian Lee of RAF Marham finishing 4th, narrowly missing out on a podium position.  The final spoils were retained by RAFCA however, with Sgt Dan Lewis of Brize Norton taking 1st place in a closely fought battle with respected Cyclocross experts Joe Peake (CC London) and Neil Ellison (WDMBC/Specialized Ruislip)

Despite showers of rain, racers were buoyed by the prospect of more mud, everybody else scurried for cover but the day was dominated by fine weather and a carnival atmosphere.  Music, food and entertainment from the Marching Band of 438(Thanet) Air Cadet Sqn provided a backdrop for nearly 1000 spectators and racers to enjoy their day at Halton and ensured that the event was successful.

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