CAT Ferguson (Hope Factory Racing) had an eventful time at the North of England Cyclo-Cross Championships but still managed to win the junior female category.

The 16-year-old from Glusburn had an early delay in the pits when her second bike wasn’t ready and later crashed into a photographer, but still coped with the cloying mud at York Cyclesport to finish on top of the podium.

South Craven School pupil Ferguson said: “I was leading into the pits on the first lap and my dad wasn’t ready in the pits with my bike.

“I had to wait about 20 seconds, which wasn’t awful, but it is not what you want at the start of a race.

“When I came out of the pits I was third but then came down on a technical banking section and crashed into a photographer.

“He was fine and I was fine, and then I just rode to finish third overall in the women’s race, about 10 seconds behind second but there was a big gap to fourth.”

Added Ferguson of a course that involved much pushing or carrying of bikes rather than riding them: “I like the mud but not as much as this!”

Ferguson, who is taking at A-Levels in sports science, business and psychology,, wants to become a full-time cyclist and was pleased to finish fourth in the European Championships in Namur, last month and had another good result in Belgium in the iconic Koppenberg race.

Part of the British Cycling Junior Academy, she has to pick and choose her domestic events due to GB training camps and overseas races.

However, she will be taking part in her local round of the National Trophy Series at Barnoldswick on the weekend of December 17-18.

Skipton’s Matilda McKibben (Shibden Cycling Club) came fourth overall in the women’s race and second behind Ferguson in the junior female category.

The 17-year-old sixth former at Settle College, who is taking A-Levels in PE, psychology and history, said of her race: “I missed my pedal at the start, which wasn’t great, but I managed to catch up pretty quick and started overtaking people.

“I found my legs halfway through and opened the gap to the people behind me.”

McKibben added: “My cyclo-cross results in Yorkshire have been pretty mixed as I had a long road season and took a while to find my cyclo-cross groove.

“I am there now and hope to find my consistency but I don’t know what my schedule is in the near future as I am getting in a lot of endurance work ready for next summer’s road season, which is going to be important for me.

“I want to go full-time as a cyclist eventually.”

It was not a good day, however, for Barnoldswick’s Vicky Peel (Hope Factory Racing), who finished ninth in the women’s race.

She explained: “My legs were empty and were not working properly but I managed to make the most of a bad situation.”