Diss rider Steve James celebrates launch of team with Eastern Cyclo-Cross League Team Championships win

Stephen James (Renvale RT) the Diss rider who scored his first cyclo-cross win at Mistley. Picture:

Stephen James (Renvale RT) the Diss rider who scored his first cyclo-cross win at Mistley. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

Diss rider Steve James celebrated the formal launch of his Renvale RT team by leading his riders to the win in the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League Team Championships at Mistley, in north Essex, and taking the individual senior win to boot.

James is commercial director of Renvale a north Suffolk business making electrical and electronic parts for Formula One racing cars. He himself is a leading rider on the regional MTB scene, but has recently moved into cyclo-cross – Mistley was his first cyclo-cross win. He did not get his shoe clipped in his pedal cleanly in the hurly-burley of the start and was down to around 10th as the field charged into the woods, but was second by the end of the first lap and then soon overhauled fast-starting junior James Madgwick.

After that the Renvale rider concentrated on maintaining uneventful progress to the chequered flag, where he had 32 seconds in hand over David Vaughan.

The Furze Hill course, largely on the side of a wooded ravine with lots of dead turns in challenging places, was described as 'loamy' – so long as you stayed on the racing line. Otherwise 'treacly' became the best description. James' team-mates Matt Dennis and Thetford rider Ian Mockett both had twigs tangling with their gears but nevertheless took third and 11th places respectively. Making a rare cyclo-cross appearance Peter Hargreaves (VC Norwich) took seventh place, showing how fit he is for the forthcoming road season.

Swainsthorpe rider Dougal Toms (Iceni Velo) completed his unbeaten record in the youth category, taking the individual win by more than a minute.

There is another chance to try entry-level MTB racing on the Taverham Hall School course on Sunday. All under-16 categories enter on the day and are sure of a ride. Women are also guaranteed a start but the senior men's race already has a full field.

Details can be found online at www.fivebythreemtb.com

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