Millie Gage and Imogen Chastell took podium positions at the final round of the Lea Valley Winter Series on Saturday at The Redbridge Cycling Centre. In chilly conditions the Welwyn Wheelers pair both showed purposeful intent to help break up a 25 strong combined field of Youth U16 and U14 girls. The leading bunch thinned as the race entered the final stages and in a sprint up the Hoggenberg it was Millie Gage who took 1st place in the U16 category just ahead of Imogen Chastell who took 3rd in the U14’s. In the 3rd category open event Michael Parry was 5th while Ben Webster punctured and failed to finish. Caia Casciello and Ellie Cadzow riding for the new Welwyn Kinetic Womens team finished 7th and 8th in the Womens senior race at Redbridge.
Will Raymond won the under 16 boys race at Milton Keynes on Saturday and Ollie Stockwell won the under 14 race. The under 10 event had no less then 30 riders and Rupert Cavill was a creditable 8th in his first road circuit event.
Lauren Higham and Elspeth Grace took the top two places in the Mud Sweat and Gears Mountain bike event near Ipswich in the under 16 series on a tough course which required good bike handling skills and negotiating the muddy sections of the course. Joe Kiely and Imogen Chastell were 3rd boy and 3rd girl in the youth age related mountain bike race. Stuart Higham riding in his first competitive MTB race finished in 29th position in a large filed of 70 riders
Another good weekends racing results for the Wheelers youth riders
Ickworth House in Suffolk played host to the Eastern Region Mud Sweat & Gears Mountain Bike series on Sunday. The recent hot and dry weather suggested a fast and dry course however the morning races started in torrential rain and the nature of the course changed dramatically.
The closest race of the day was the Juvenile girls with the leading riders battling out for series points. Race lead changed hand numerous times with three separate riders holding an advantage, behind the challengers were never far away and the race entered its last lap with all to play for.
In ever muddier conditions the final decent through the woodland saw three riders emerge together and it was Welwyn’s Lauren Higham who pulled away down the final decent and took victory, closely followed by teammate Imogen Chastell with Harley Pell (CC Ashwell) a further seven seconds back in 3rd.
Some fantastic racing and bike handling in ever-changing conditions.
Mentions also for Joe Kiely who took the win in the U12 race, with Oscar Wade was 21st and Archie Bracewell in 36th. Charles Wade was 15th in the Sport Male Category. Toby Wade 7th in the U9.
Report by John Chastell
A number of the Wheelers youth riders raced in the well attended British Cycling Youth circuit event at Hillingdon on Saturday. The age related races all had large field and most of the races came down to a massive bunch sprint for the top places.
In the under 12 boys event Joe Kiely was in a the leading group early in the race but the group was reeled in and he finished in the main field.
Sam Asker and Ollie Stockwell rode strongly in the under 14 boys race and the final result went down to a massive bunch sprint in which they outside the top six. Best result of the day was Josie Griifin who was sixth in the Under 14 girls race with a strong finish in a tough field.
The under 16 boys race was also decided in a bunch sprint for the main field as the high pace throughout the race made it difficult for any breakaway groups to be successful – Will Raymond and Michael Parry finished in the main bunch. Lauren Murphy was 10th in the under 16 girls event after the event was restarted following a crash with nine laps remaining.
On Sunday three of the Wheelers youth riders travelled to Essex for the Mud Sweat and Gears Mountain bike race – Ollie Stockwell was 4th while Lauren Higham and Imogen Chastell were second and third placed girls in the youth event.
Tom Sharples won the under 12 race in the ‘Herts Tour’ circuit race at Watford on Sunday on a small but tricky course at the Building Research Centre.