Cononley’s Ian Taylor defied the thick mud to produce two fine performances in the Dirtwheels Cross in Otley on Sunday.

The Craven Energy rider showed all of his experience to win the veterans race.

Then, after a break of just 30 minutes, he finished fifth in the senior race In the veterans race, Chris Taylor (Pedalsport) made a good start and was quickly at the front of the field.

He, along with Ian Taylor and Matt Denby (Jewson), left everyone behind. After falling off, Ian Taylor decided to change bikes and opted to take his mountain bike out for the remainder of the race. And the decision paid off.

He never had it easy though with Chris Taylor breathing down his neck all the way and finishing just three seconds behind.

Despite the strength-sapping conditions, Ian Taylor worked his way through the field to take fifth place in the senior event.

James Sharp, from the Barnoldswick-based Hope Factory team, continued his rich vein of form to win.

Junior Benny Pygott (Paul Milnes) took the early lead but Sharp soon stamped his authority on the race, moving ahead of him by the time the riders dropped into the woods for the first time.

By the second lap, Sharp and four other riders had opened up a good gap on the rest of the field and it was getting bigger all the time.

Pygott started to drop down the order as the race wore on – the mud was a big problem for all of the riders and having a spare bike and someone to clean the bike down was a big advantage. But Pygott didn’t have this luxury and it cost him dear.

With Sharp still leading, Rob Watson (Endura Racing) in second had managed to forge a ten second gap over Rob Partridge (Dirtwheels Cycles).

But Watson suffered a mechanical breakdown on his bike and had to run back to the start lto get his other bike – costing him 40 seconds.

Sharp won by some distance while Guiseley’s Partridge came second just ten seconds ahead of the battling Watson.