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Dave Haygarths Cyclocross Season

Team Carnac / Planet X veteran rider and general cyclocross aficionado Dave Haygarth has just completed a successful and very memorable 'cross season in fine style. His win on Sunday in the North West Cyclocross League at Beacon Park near St Helen's was his third victory of the season and crucially saw him take the overall veteran's league title - contested by 215 riders.

The racing has taken Dave to various races in Cumbria, Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire since September and with three victories along the way out of ten events, Dave enjoyed his season a great deal. "After shoulder surgery in both 2013 and 2014, it's a bit of an understatement to say I was revved up for racing 'cross again," says Dave. "It's been a season of two halves when it comes to conditions - the Indian Summer seemed to last forever and after a couple of the races you could clean the bike with a wet-wipe! " The rains and mud came, though, as we all now know, especially those in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. "...once the season got filthy and races got heavier, I seemed to pick up a bit, and got my first wins once that kicked in."

There are highs and lows in every season, as Dave recounts. "I was starting to build a good time in the Three Peaks back in September and was on for a PB in stunning, sunny conditions, but some badly timed punctures wrecked that and I just snuck inside the top 30 in the end. There was also a near-win thrown away in the Wirral when I got some tape caught in my rear cassette, but generally, there's been much more highs than lows this year. It's obviously nice to bag three wins, but I was also particularly pleased to get 13th in the National Trophy race in Bradford. It's my favourite course and was a real mud bath this year. I fought hard and had a really solid ride against the country's best".

But Dave's biggest satisfaction of the season has been the emergence of the next generation in his household. Like many seven-year-olds, Dave's youngest daughter Elsie doesn't mind a bit of mud, too, and Sunday was a double celebration for the Haygarth family as Elsie also won the North West Cyclocross league for under 8 girls too. Wearing her prized Carnac / Planet X kit, Elsie's category win in the Beacon Park event was a very satisfying and fitting way to end the cyclocross season for the Haygarths.

"It's only three months until the summer cross season starts in Yorkshire - that'll fly by. In the meantime, I'm really looking forward to the North of England Cross Country [running!] championships this weekend. I run a lot as training for 'cross and it'll make a lovely change to pound down some mud without a bike on my shoulder!"

27 January 2016