The final event of this year’s British Cycling youth circuit series was run at the Scarborough Festival on Sunday on a very tough hilly circuit.
Wheelers Lauren Higham won the under 16 girls race with her best performance of the year. The hilly circuit resulted in riders being detached from the field of 36 riders on each lap. Lauren was on good form and attacked on Quarry hill and was quickly joined by two top riders Kate Wooton (Lea Valley) and Amelia Sharpe , who went on to win the series. Two more riders got across to join them with 2 laps remaining. These five stayed away and contested the finish where Lauren was the clear winner in a tough race against top class riders.
In the under 14 boys race of 51 riders Joe Kiely was in attacking mode and he was joined by Max Poole (Bike box) and Finlay Pickering (Hull Thursday CC) – they formed a super strong breakaway trio who were never caught – Max Poole attacked in the finishing straight and won by 4 seconds from Joe Kiely.
Euan Woodliffe finished in a creditable 18th position at around 50 seconds as the riders finished. The under 16 boys race had a massive field of 95 riders – Wheelers Archie Peet finished in a group of riders for 17th place while Joe Bennett was 36th.
In the Junior girls race of 15 riders – a breakaway group got away and although the bunch tried to reel them in they never caught them – Elspeth Grace was disappointed to finish in 4th place.
Also on Sunday Wheelers Rachel Dunne took second place in the Masters criterium Championship on the motor race circuit at Corby.
Eight Welwyn Wheelers youth riders plus two of the clubs senior coaches Francis Gallagher and Richard Maynard were in the Netherlands for the week long European Junior Youth Tour is Assen. Over 750 riders had entered for this prestigious event with riders from 23 countries, including Australia, South Africa and the whole of Europe, taking part. A significant number of top class national champions were there for six days of racing with massive fields on closed roads for the various age groups.
Star rider for the Wheelers was Joe Kiely who was in impressive form throughout the 6 days of racing in a field of 70 riders.
He was always up with the leaders in each race but his best race of the week was the famous Classica. He was in the breakaway group as they approached the finish where he attacked with 500m to the line and held on to win the race. In the final overall classification Joe was second place – a suprb performance in a top class field of riders
Oli Stockwell, Joe Bennett and Archie Peet were in the 140 strong Nieulingen category – they worked well together and were in the top quarter of the results in the various events. In the final clasification Oli was 12th, Joe 37th and Archie 79th having lost a large amount of time in one race where the strong breeze split the race into a number of groups.
Euan Woodliffe was on good from in his age band taking two well earned second places in sprint finishes in the category 6 event of 80 riders–a mechanical gear problem in one race as they approached the finish cost him a number of places but he finished in 7th place overall which was a great result.
The Wheelers ‘team’ of riders, parents , coaches and helpers were delighted with the weeks activities and the racing results. Francis and Richard put in a tremendous amount of work as team managers dealing with pre-race briefings on courses and tactics plus motivating the riders to have a successful week.
Josie Griffin (U16 & ODA) took part in the National Youth track champs at Newport last week. She was 5th in the Scratch race, 8th in the Points and around mid-field in the Individual Pursuit. Her highlight though was a silver in the Madison while being partnered with CC Ashwells Sophie Lewis (also ODA) behind the pairing of Elynor (Team Backstedt-Hotchillee) and Zoe Backstedt (Maindy Flyers Youth CC).
A very busy Sunday for the Wheelers riders and officials as the host club for the 2017 Welwyn Petit Tour run in the centre of the town on closed roads. Lots of helpers were needed all day in setting up the course, marshalling the crossing points, judging and organising the racing.
Ten races were run during the day starting with the under 10’s and finishing with the senior 2/3 category race. 120 youth riders plus 130 senior riders competed in the various races and in addition there were a number of ‘fun events’ – a 10 minute scootathon plus a one hour junior ‘sportive’ where riders rode around the course to compete as many laps as they wished.
Racing got under way at 10.35 and finished at 6-00pm – the course then had to be cleared up, the barriers removed and the roads re-opened by 8-00pm.
In the racing events the Wheelers had some good results – Xavier Knott 2nd in the under 8’s, Fin Woodliffe 2nd and Dillon Knott 3rd in the under 10’s boys and Elise Whitaker was 2nd in the under 10 girls. Dylan Starkey 3rd and Beth Bennett top girl in the under 12’s.
The under 14 race was a Wheelers bonus – National Champion Joe Kiely broke away and lapped the field, Tom Sharples and Euan Woodliffe were 2nd and third for a 1,2,3 result. Lauren Higham won the under 16 girls race.
The under 16 boys race was a bit of a minor disaster when Oli Stockwell and clubmate Joe Bennett crashed into each other and had to leave the race. Jamie Dene finished a creditable third.
Prizes for the youth events were donated by local companies and there were lots of stalls in the central area run by various clubs plus a number of food stalls
In the senior events Rachel Dunne was 8th in the Womens race and Steve Dunne 8th in the Masters race.
A great days racing, a well run event and special thanks to Susi Sharples for her sterling efforts on the day and during the past few weeks in making sure it all went well.
Fantastic win for Joe Kiely – the new BC Circuit race under 14 National Champion.
The Championships were held in Milton Keynes Town Centre on Sunday with large fields on a great course. There were 70 riders in the under 14 event and Joe Kiely was clearly in an attacking mode right from the start – an early breakaway group was reeled then Joe went again and was joined by Fin Pickering and Josh Charlton ‘making a magic medal winning trio’. They worked together and soon built and held a lead of 20 seconds. The bunch did not react to chase them down and the gap opened up slowly to build up a winning lead. As they approached the long uphill finish one of the trio attacked and Joe was straight onto his wheel. As they neared the line Joe attacked and crossed the line in first place by one second to win the National Championship. A magnificent result for Joe, who has been on sparkling form this year in road, MTB and cyclo-crosss events. A well deserved victory for a tough hard working committed Welwyn Wheelers rider.
Tom Sharples was in the main field mid way through the race but lost contact when he hit the kerb on a bend. Euan Woodliffe had a mechanical in lap one and retired The under 16 race had almost 100 riders and was run at a frantic pace shedding riders every lap. Oli Stockwell finished in the main bunch in around 25th place. Josie Griffin and Lauren Higham finished in the bunch in the under 16 girls race.
Also on Sunday a number of Wheelers riders were at Redbourn Common for the Fete du Velo races run by Verulam CC from St Albans.
Xavier Knott won the opening Under 8 category race by a good margin with Harry Hayter 6th. In the Under 10 race Rupert Cavill wa second followed in by Dillon Knott and Jeremy Landon in third and fourth places. Beth Bennett and Henry Landon were third girl and boy in the under 12 event. Joe Bennett attacked with two laps to go in the under 16 race and won by 10 seconds with Archie Peet taking second place in the sprint finish.
After a short break Joe Bennett and Nathan Blackmore lined up for the Senior 2/3/4 category 45 minute race – Joe rode well to finish in the main bunch in an extremely fast race.
In the Womens race Leslie Courtney finished in 5th place and Rachel Dunne 7th. Steve Dunn was 8th in the Masters category.
Well done to our four Welwyn Wheelers and Kenetic Welwyn riders that took part in the national northwest youth tour this weekend which was cut short and finished in some awful weather.
In the GC Youth A boys Oli Stockwell came 12th. Youth A girls Lauren Higham came 8th. Youth B boys Joe Keily came 5th and Euan Woodliffe came 14th. And Elspeth Grace in juniors women who came 14th.