Verulam Cycling Club delighted at fabulous finale to Muddy Monsters series
PUBLISHED: 11:24 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 16 February 2020
Judith Parry Photography
Verulam Cycling Club held the final round of the ever-popular Muddy Monsters series for the first time and the riders didn’t disappoint on what was an excellent day.
The series aims to attract first-time racers to just have a go at cycle-cross racing and the final round at the Marlborough Club in St Albans was the culmination of four months of racing across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
It again attracted a large number of young riders from clubs across the area, from U16s down to the youngster competitor aged just three-year-old, and the finale had added excitement as the series winners are also announced.
The Marlborough Club, just off Cottonmill Road, has been home to the cycling club's Saturday cyclo-cross sessions for children and a new and technical course was designed for the series decider.
Davinder Bhatia, part of Verulam's youth development programme, said: "We wanted to do something different that would attract as many kids to have a go at cycle racing. We know kids love racing and competing against each other and Muddy Monsters is a fantastic opportunity to have a go."
And the home riders were certainly at the forefront with Nabeel Akhtar taking the win in the U16 race, Alarik Knox and Samuel Stacey claiming first and second in the U12 category and a great second place, and third overall, for U10 Emma Knox in the handicap race.
Verulam chairman Doug Driscoll was full of praise for the series as a whole and the opportunities it affords.
He said: "A number of Verulam Cycling Club youths started out racing at Muddy Monsters and they have progressed to our very successful Verulam Reallymoving racing team and onto British Cycling development programmes.
"Verulam Cycling Club wants to provide as many opportunities for kids to get into cycling and have fun."
The more senior riders were also in great form too elsewhere.
Verulam Reallymoving's Luke Houghton scored his first win of the season at the Full Gas Winter Circuit Series at the Lee Valley Velopark, benefitting from excellent work from team-mates Alastair Roberts and Alfie Aldridge to control the race.