Joe Kiely and Oli Stockwell competed in the 4th race of the National MTB Cross country series at Dalby Forest, Yorkshire. The race was run on the World Cup course with lots of very technically demanding terrain. Each lap was about 3.7 miles with 540ft of climbing. The ground was muddy in places following heavy rain on Saturday making the going even harder.
Oli had his best race yet finishing 6th overall in the youth category event which was run over 3 laps with a race distance of just over 10 miles. He was in around 11th place initially in what was a very fast start. During the 1st lap he managed to work his way up to 6 th place while some of his competitors dropped back or crashed in the difficult terrain. Oli consolidated his position during the race though he had to work all the way with 7th placed rider Thomas Timberlake of Banjo Cycling chasing him to the line just 2 seconds behind.
Joe Kiely finished 3rd overall in the juvenile category run over 2 laps. He started very fast and led initially before being caught by eventual winner Freddie Birchill of Southfork racing. Joe had a race long battle with Corran Anderson of Peebles CC which came down to a sprint for the line in which Joe was narrowly beaten and took 3rd place. Two excellent results.
The Welwyn Track League meeting on Friday evening at Gosling Sports Park had 32 riders in the 3 Youth age group events and 26 senior riders. Good competitive racing on a fine warm sunny evening. There were race wins for the Wheelers youth riders – Jamie Dene, Joe Bennett, Finlay Woodliffe and Rupert Cavill.
A reminder that the club track championships for Under 10,12 and 14 riders will be run at Gosling Sports Park on Wednesday June 28th and for under 16, Juniors, Vets and Seniors on Wednesday July 5th.
The club mountain bikers were out in force on Sunday for the Regional Mountain Bike Championship at Carver Barracks, Essex on Sunday. First place for Oli Stockwell – youth boys, Joe Kiely – juvenile boys, Lauren Higham – youth girls, and Joe Kiely – juvenile boys.
Oli and Joe started together in the youth/juvenile race over 4 laps in
around 70 mins. Oli was challenged in the early part of the race but broke clear after 2 laps finishing over 2 mins ahead of the next rider
Joe had a close fought battle throughout but at the 2 lap point appeared to be losing ground to rival Alex Dale of Lee Valley CC. Joe some how managed to catch up with Alex in the 3rd lap and they had a ding dong battle to the end where they emerged from the woods onto a long stretch of concrete road. Such was their gap to 3rd place they slowed almost to a stand challenging each other to break for the final 400m sprint. Alex took up the sprint and Joe chased in his wake to come through for the win less than 50m from the
line. A very good exciting finish to a good race.
Also racing in the under 12 category were Dylan Starkey, Rupert Cavill and Fin Woodliffe who all raced well and finished. (places to come) Nathan Blackmore rode the Junior race and Garry Blackmore the Vets race.
On Saturday Oli and Keith Stockwell rode the Easter Counties 10 mile Time trial event near Cambridge – Keith recorded a time of 21-12 but was beaten by his son – Oli who finished in 21-04 which beat the Wheelers under 16 -10 mile record in 21-04 (previously held by Pete Bissell) some years ago.
Also on Sunday Team Kinetic/Welwyn had three riders in the 80 strong field in the Banbury Star road race. A tough course with a steep hill each lap which soon split the field apart. Elspeth Grace was in the leading group of 15 as they approached the finish at the top of the hill and finished in 5th spot behind the winner Nicki Juniper. Rachel Haltenstall finished the race but Lesley Courtney was brought down in a crash and was a non finisher.
Archie Peet travelled to Winchester for the Park and Ride Town Centre Crits and finished in second place in the youth event.
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.