Gascoyne hopes to call in a favour from fellow county riders Weeds and Green
WILL Gascoyne is gunning for glory when Derby hosts the final round of this season's cyclo-cross National Trophy series at Moorways Sports Centre tomorrow.
The 15-year-old Matlock CC rider, sitting second in the six-race series, needs to overturn an eight-point deficit on leader Tom Franklin if he is to claim the champion's jersey.
With 50 points for a race win, 44 points for second and 40 for third, Gascoyne's first target must be to win.
He can do nothing about it if he does so and Franklin manages second place.
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But that is where fellow Derbyshire riders Tom Weeds and Arthur Green may have a part to play.
Weeds, seventh overall after missing the previous round, has won one round of the series himself, while Green is fourth overall and could yet grab one of the medals.
It would be ideal if one or both of them could finish ahead of Gascoyne.
The Matlock rider was leading the series until the last round, when he had an off-day and came fourth, while Franklin was wrapping up his second win of the campaign.
But Gascoyne rode like his blip in form was behind him with an outstanding double victory last weekend.
On Saturday he renewed his battle with Weeds for the youth prize in the Notts & Derby Cyclo-cross League at Thornbridge Outdoor, near Bakewell.
Despite trailing by about 20 bike lengths going into the closing stages, he dug deep to get past his friend and rival at the line, the pair recording the same time.
After a remarkably close season, Weeds leads Gascoyne by only two points with one round of the league to go.
Gascoyne moved on to Cheshire the next day to win again in a good quality field at the Macclesfield Supercross.
Aside from the local interest in the youth category, spectators at the National Trophy event can see Derbyshire's mountain bike Olympian, Annie Last, in action in the women's race.
Derby has acquired a good reputation for its staging of national events in cyclo-cross and a record turnout is expected tomorrow, with 349 entries received in the various age categories.
"That's more than at any other round of the series and I think it's partly because it's the finale and partly because being in the Midlands makes it easier for people to get to," said promoter John Holmes, one of the organising committee for Cyclo-cross Derby, gleaned from several of the local clubs.
Holmes says the recent heavy rain is not looking like posing a problem.
"We've had a look at the course and we were pleasantly surprised that it isn't as wet and waterlogged as we thought it might be," he said.
"It's the usual course, starting and finishing on the tarmac near the athletics stand and going out beyond the athletics track.
"It should be an exciting weekend of racing because apart from the Trophy series, people are gearing up for the National Championships in Bradford next week."
Spectating is free at Moorways but there is a £1 charge for parking in the Rolls-Royce number one car park on Moor Lane, with the money going to the local Scouts.
Racing begins at 10.30am with a large field for the veteran event.
The juniors (under-19s) are off at 11.30 with the women starting a minute later.
Gascoyne and Weeds race in the youth event at 1.30pm and the seniors start at 2.30pm. There is also a race for under-12s which will be on a separate course on Osmaston Park, where Cycle Derby will also be organising races for younger children.