TEENAGE rider Hattie Harnden clinched her first women’s victory of the British Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Trophy series in dramatic style.
The 16-year-old Malvern Cycle Sport member travelled to Shrewsbury for round three where she took on the daunting task of competing against the elite women as well as her own junior category.
Harnden had been trailing Ffion James coming into the last muddy off-camber section on the last lap.
However, after running past her rival on the steps, James then slid on a banking which allowed Harnden to take victory.
After finishing second in the first round Harnden led from the front and was initially joined by Hannah Payton (Team Kinesis UK) whose challenge then fell away, while series leader Bethany Crumpton suffered an early crash and had to ride through the field to finish in the top ten and keep her yellow jersey.
Eventually James was the only challenger and with just over a lap to go she snatched the lead which grew to a handful of seconds coming into the final half-a-lap.
However, Harnden responded and road back up to James before snatching the victory in the final moments.
“It was mad and I didn’t realise Ffion (James) had fallen off until right at the end,” said Harnden.
“Ffion got away a bit but I knew I could ride the woods quite well so I slowly picked it back up and it just unravelled.
“The win is more than I could have ever expected after moving up from under-16.
“It was my first muddy race of the year and I liked it and gave it my all.”
Meanwhile, in the elite men’s race, Malvern star Liam Killeen improved on his fourth placed finish at round two in Abergavenny by crossing the line in third.