Sunday saw the Colchester Rovers’ Mistley cyclocross event take place – the 50th year that Rovers have raced on the Furze Hill site.

This year’s meet was named the Neil Pears Memorial Cross after the Rovers’ stalwart who was involved in helping organise the event for many years, and who passed away last year.

More than 350 riders gathered for the event, which was treated to a beautiful autumnal day, albeit one that was heavily dewed for the younger riders who kicked off the morning with the U8-U10 race.

From a Rovers’ perspective, it was a day for youth with plenty of young blood giving it their all on a crisp morning, and a few notable performances that have put young Rovers into contention in a few categories.

James Clarke delivered a gritty performance in the hotly contested U10 race, a result that pushes him up to fifth overall with plenty of racing still to come. Meanwhile, Rovers’ Elizabeth Whall was first girl home in the U8s, and is the top girl in her age category. Alex Derrick, and Jacob and Noah Wilson also kept the Rovers’ flag flying.

In the U12 race, Will Smith and George Collins were 3rd and 4th placed boys, leaving them 2nd and 3rd in the overall standings. Matilda Challinor dug in for the Rovers’ girls and is now 3rd in her league.

Max Avery is now 4th placed Youth after a battling 11th finish in a flying race. There was plenty of Rovers’ Red on display in this category with Nate Gordon, Jack Letch, George Davies, Zoe Swainston, Jamie Derrick and Reece Steadman doing the club proud.

Letch senior (John) was up next and came a creditable 26th in the Vets 50+ race to sit 18th in his league. Mike Pears, Simon Wilson and Jonathan Whall represented the club in the 40+ race, with Sarah Thomas putting in her first performance of the season in the Women’s V50 category.

The final race of the day saw Dan Hall landing 4th position in the Junior category, placing him 2nd in the league with the promise of more to come as the season unfolds.

A hat tip is also due to all those who helped prepare and run this key event for the club. Everything seemed to go like clockwork, but we know that this doesn’t just happen. Well done all!