Sam Allen had to dig deep to win round 13 of the Wessex Cyclocross League at Fairthorne Manor on Sunday.
The Pedal On star completed seven laps of a muddy course in 54min 08sec to beat runner-up Ryan Smith (58.10) in the latest Fareham Wheelers event.
Allen is clearly a fan of the Curdridge venue, having toasted success there last month when the Wheelers laid on round 11 of the competition.
And while he may have spent half of last Sunday’s battle with his bike over his shoulder, he was delighted to top the podium again.
Allen, who currently bosses the senior league standings, said: ‘It was pretty tough, pretty slippery out there.
‘But I enjoy doing this one and it is my fourth race win of the season, so can’t be bad.
It takes longer to clean the kit than it does to ride the race! But it is well worth itTony Parker
‘I won here in December, so it was nice to win again.
‘The conditions were tough – really slippery – and the course was reversed from the previous round.
‘It wasn’t quite as slippy as last time but I was running throughout the wooded section.
‘So I was half running and half riding because I just couldn’t ride in there.’
Allen’s team-mate Karl Norfolk (59.06) finished third in the senior race.
Portsmouth North End (PNE) rider Alan Collins finished 21st, having clocked 57.07 for six laps of the course.
Fareham Wheelers’ Chris Ewing, who is still an under-23, was 26th in a time of 1.00.43, while his club-mates Graham Hollidge (1.03.57) and Carl Adams (1.01.09) were 32nd and 41st respectively.
North Hants rider Tony Parker, who finished 13th after completing six laps in a time of 54.11, admitted the boggy ground added an extra dimension to the tactical battle.
He said: ‘We had to run quite a bit in the woods because it was just quicker than riding.
‘You had to weigh your options up – whether to ride or whether to run.
‘At the start of the season you always do plenty of riding and then by the end you are doing a lot of running.
‘I do better when the conditions are bad, so I prefer this type of racing.
‘It takes longer to clean the kit than it does to ride the race!
‘But it is well worth it.’
Frozen ground had concerned organisers before the event but those fears were long gone when Palmer Park’s Jamie Gostick won the opening race – the under-12’s contest. Eden Veranda duo Madeline Cooper and Melissa Cooper were the first girls home at under-12 and under-10 level.
James Brown completed a double for Palmer Park with under-10 glory in the boys’ section.
PNE were celebrating success at under-14 level when Freya Richardson was the top girl, with Charlotteville’s Sam Bishop taking the boys’ race.
Cotswold Veldrijden enjoyed a double at under-16 level with Archie Scott beating i-Team’s Will Cooper into second in the boys’ race and Katie Scott getting the better of Solent Pirates starlet Amy Perryman in the girls’ category.
The Pirates were cheering when Kara Perryman was the first of the junior women to cross the line.
Sarah Barber continued her domination of the senior women’s event, while there were victories in the veteran ranks for Graham Rogerson (Cotswold Veldrijden), Ellie Sherwell (Blazing Saddles), Tim Costello (GS Vecchi) and world champion Dave McMullen (Cotswold Veldrijden).