St Ives riders tackle Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross

FOUR St Ives Cycling Club members took on the elements in the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross Race in the Yorkshire Dales. Steve Halsall, Greg Simcock, John Batchelor and Gavin Symonds pushed themselves to the limit in the annual event which combines road cycling

FOUR St Ives Cycling Club members took on the elements in the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross Race in the Yorkshire Dales.

Steve Halsall, Greg Simcock, John Batchelor and Gavin Symonds pushed themselves to the limit in the annual event which combines road cycling with punishing off-road ascents.

After a neutralised start and picturesque road ride through the villages of the Dales, the riders went off-road for the first climb, the energy-sapping 723m ascent of Ingleborough. The incline was so steep that riders had to resort to carrying their bikes on their backs and scrambling up through the peat and heather with their hands.

The climbs up Whernside (736m) and Pen-Y-Gent (690m) threatened to punish any loss of concentration from the riders, as did the equally treacherous rocky descents which carried the risk of punctures.

St Ives' top rider was Steve Halsall, who shaved nine minutes from his 2008 time in finishing in 3hrs 27mins for an impressive 27th place from 500 riders.

Following Halsall home was Greg Simcock, a rider with years of experience of the Three Peaks, finishing in a time of 3hrs 55mins for 88th place.

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John Batchelor, tackling the hills for the third year, finished in 236th place in a time of 4hrs 29mins, beating his previous best by 15mins. Gavin Symonds clocked a time of 4hrs 13mins to take an admirable 165th place in his first Three Peaks race.