CLANFIELD and Emsworth-based youth cycling club, the Solent Pirates, have hosted their first weekend of international cycling on private land at Clanfield.

The club, founded after the 2012 London Olympics, attracted a world-class field of cyclocross riders to the demanding event.

Cyclocross sees cyclists ride on grass and are then expected to run with their bikes when necessary.

And Clanfield’s own world masters’ champion, Helen Pattinson, romped home in the Wessex League women’s race last Sunday.

More than 100 riders, some from Belgium and the Netherlands, raced in four events on Saturday.

The best local rider was Amy Perryman, 19, from Southsea, who won lunch for four at Harting’s Sky Park Farm, the elite women’s race sponsor.

Her dedication has seen her progress into the semi-professional Team Montezuma’s development squad, regularly competing on the tough Belgium circuit.

She has already won a silver medal at the national championships and has set her sights on a professional racing career on the continent.

The winner of the elite women’s race was Josie Nelson, who rides for the weekend’s sponsors Vitus Bikes of Portsmouth.

The Lichfield youngster proved strongest after a race-long battle with Bicester’s Millie Couzens and Leeds University student Amira Mellor.

Great Britain squad member Cameron Mason was a runaway winner in the elite men’s race.

There were also wins for Ella Maclean-Howell and Nathan Smith in the junior women and junior men’s categories.

On Sunday, more than 500 local riders aged from eight to 60 took the opportunity to ride the course.

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