ANNIE Simpson thinks that she may finally have broken her Bradford hoodoo.

The former Wilsden and East Morton resident did not stand on the top step of the podium in the women’s race at the North of England Cyclo-Cross Championships at Peel Park.

The Hope Factory rider, who now lives near Outlane, was beaten by her club-mate Rebecca Preece.

However, Simpson was delighted with her second place on a day when over a record 600-plus riders took to the start line at the iconic cyclo-cross venue.

“I don’t normally do well at Peel Park so I am delighted to finish second,” she explained, “and Becca rode superbly.”

Peel Park, which was relatively warm for the time of year, was the latest step on the road to recovery for Shipley’s Chris Young in the men’s 50-plus category.

“I didn’t ride from last November until September due to atrial fibrillation – an irregular heartbeat,” said multiple winner Young.

“I was wearing a heart-rate monitor here, trying to make sure that it didn’t go over 170.

“I was glad to finish but slightly disappointed to only be sixth.”

Young had previously tested himself out in two Yorkshire Points Winter Series races and a National Trophy race this autumn.

But if it was a notable achievement that you were after, look no further than the phenomenal Nick Craig (Scott Racing).

World Masters champion the previous day in Mold, Belgium, he hopped back on the Rotterdam-Hull ferry to win the men’s 40-49 years’ category.

He said: “It was a rough crossing on Thursday night from Hull, and the race finished at 4pm on Saturday and we had left by 4.10pm in order to get the overnight ferry back.

“We arrived at Hull at 8.30am on Sunday and were at Peel Park by 10am.”

Craig added: “It was quite a contrast between sand that is six inches deep at Mold and wet and slippery Peel Park with its off-camber slopes, and I am tired now.”

But Craig wasn’t the only world champion on view at Peel Park as over-60 Masters champion Nicola Davies, resplendent in her rainbow jersey, won the women’s over-60 category.

Joe Pidcock, younger brother of Tom, was second in the junior men’s, which proved a disappointment.

That event was run simultaneously with the senior men’s race, and Pidcock was second overall before fading to finish seventh (but second in his category) and explained: “I had back pain and could not power on.”

East Bradford Cycling Club are on the verge of forming their own racing team, and celebrated this notable achievement with bronze medals for Ethan Whiteside (junior men) and his sister Freya (under-14 girls) and Callum Watson (under-14 boys).

It was 16-year-old Ethan’s first race in East Bradford colours since his switch from Ilkley Cycling Club, and he said: “I got a second wind and was absolutely flying.”

Freya said: “I made up some ground by running with my bike and on the technical bits.”

Wibsey’s Euan Cameron (Shibden Cycles), who got a triple A-star distinction in his Btec sports science course at Huddersfield New College and will be riding for a Belgian team next year, was seventh in the junior men’s race.

Maddie Moorhouse-Smith (Bronte Tykes) won the under-12 girls’ race, while 17-year-old Poppy Cooke from Pontefract topped the podium for the Bradford-based Paul Milnes team in the junior women’s race.

Organiser Fred Rothwell explained the large entry by simply saying: “Peel Park is an iconic venue and riders love coming here.

“We might only have had 300 entries if it had been held anywhere else.”

As per usual the course was tweaked by Phil Ingham and Rothwell, with the main promenade being largely ignored, apart from it being criss-crossed.

Instead the finish line was above the start line on the tarmac heading out to Cliffe Road, and the under-eights, 10s and 12 races were held adjacent to the start and finish line, making them more a part of the overall day.

“They used to be held near the BMX track and may as well have been in Rotherham,” said Rothwell

Next winter Peel Park is set to stage a Yorkshire Points Winter Series as it bides its time before potentially hosting more national events.