LONG Covid? What long Covid?

Eldwick’s Sophie Thackray continued her recovery from the illness with a remarkable victory in the fifth round of the Yorkshire Points Cyclo-Cross Series at Pontefract Racecourse.

Enjoying the long straights, the CAMS-Basso rider, 23, gradually hauled in leader Vicky Peel (Hope Factory Racing), passing her out of the final corner to win a thrilling women’s race by two seconds.

“It was more a case of my legs not quite being warmed up for the first few laps, when I struggled and then I started to feel good,” admitted Thackray, who, in racing parlance, came up on the rails.

“My stamina is coming back to me and I am getting used to having more races.”

As for the women’s race, Thackray said: “Freya Whiteside was in the leading duo but had a crash so she was out of it, but I could see that they (Freya and Vicky) were not getting away from me.

“I was quite a lot faster on the technical bits near the finish line but I was struggling on the flatter sections so I knew that if I could get behind someone I could sit in and recover while they were working hard.

“It worked out pretty well. I overtook Vicky on a technical section, which you can’t see from here, and there was a headwind up a straight where Vicky overtook me.

“But I knew that the penultimate corner was a little bit slippy so I took it a little bit slower and cut in a bit and we had a sprint to the last bend, where I knew that if I got in front there I would be all right.”

Thackray added: “This is quite an unusual setting for a course as there are not usually as many straights so it pretty unique.

“To win feels really good. It is not one of the bigger races but my grandad and grandma are here to watch, and they haven’t been able to get to all of my races for quite a long time so it makes it special, although there are normally a big gang of us.”

Thackray will ride the National Trophy races and the Yorkshire Points Series, providing there are no date clashes, and she will then go to races in Belgium in the New Year.”

A CAMS-Basso rider since August 2020, Thackray is hoping to get a road race contract for next season and should find out in the next few weeks whether she has achieved that, having had a Covid-interrupted schedule earlier this year.