Anna Kay celebrated her switch to a new team in style by taking her first win of the HSBC UK | Cyclo-Cross National Trophy Series with victory in Crawley.

This month saw Kay switch from Storey Racing to Experza Footlogix and, after registering second and third places already this season, finally took top spot on the podium at the South of England Event Centre. She was joined by familiar company too, with Storey Racing’s Beth Crumpton and Fion James rounding off the top three as the team’s remarkable cyclo-cross campaign continued.

Familiar faces hit the front

The two previous races this season had seen the same three riders occupy top spots, with Kay, Crumpton and James making it a hat-trick in Crawley. This time it was Kay who revelled in her first victory, hitting the front from the start alongside former teammate Crumpton, with the two of them setting an early pace. Both riders stayed out ahead of the chasing group until Crumpton suffered a slight blip midway through giving Kay the advantage. Although pushed all the way by Crumpton and finishing strong, Kay held on to take victory by 18 seconds from Crumpton with Ffion James also of Storey Racing taking third place.

Conditions on the course

Storms in the south across the weekend had led some riders, notably Kay, dreading the mud and slippery conditions, but the wind and sunshine had made the conditions a lot dryer and less challenging than expected.

What they said

Kay was as shocked as anyone to find herself on top spot: “I wasn’t expecting to win and it’s a huge surprise, but a really nice one,” she said. While Crumpton added: “The race lines changed on every lap as the mud dried out, I felt good towards the end but just couldn’t close the gap on Anna.” (Bron: Britisch Cycling)