AS the summer cycling season draws to a close, with road, time trial and circuit races across the South West region almost finished with, there’s now a chance to look ahead to the exciting cyclocross and hill climb season at Chard Wheelers.

Cyclocross, as the name suggests, is cycling on off-road circuits, which are a mixture of tracks and tarmac, mixed in with descents, ascents, jumps and periods of the race where you may have to dismount your bike and carry it over obstacles.

Hill climb events are events where you get from the bottom of a hill to the top on your bike as fast (and as painlessly) as you can.

Events are run on hills all over the region, from Porlock Toll Road to the club's own event at Yarcombe Hill later this month.

Chard's annual cyclocross event held at Cricket St Thomas in September was judged to be another success, as riders of all ages flocked to the demanding course for one of a series of races in the SW League.

It’s a classic event and the lap takes on the off-road terrain that surrounds Cricket St Thomas itself.

Molly Caswell placed fourth in the Under-10 girls race, while in the Under-10 boys section Jacob Smith was on the podium in third and Freddie Hunt came home in sixth.

Maisie Noyce came sixth in the Under-12 girls event and, in the Under-12 boys race, William Hunt placed in fifth and Ollie Bartlett ninth.

In the Under-14 girls section, Eva Ellis just missed out on the podium in fourth, while Chard Wheelers dominated the top 10 of the Under-14 boys event, with William Salter second, Fran Caswell seventh, Oscar Farthing eighth and Jack Noyce 10th.

Rowan Ellis was the only Chard rider in the senior male category, and he came home seventh in a strong field.

Club cyclocross stalwart Tristan Ellis was 16th in the vets category, in the novice race Scott Davies – in his first race – came home to win the category, while Steve Noyce just missed the podium in fourth.

The hill climb season also got off to a great start, with Sid Valley's annual Peak Hill climb in Sidmouth.

This event saw Ollie Pennington complete it in 6.12, earning him third place, and Mike Egan posting another great time of 8.12 in wet conditions.

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