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).
The Welwyn Youth Omnium Sunday May 7th
A long and busy day at Gosling Sports Park as the organisers of Round 2 of the South East Youth Omnium. Over 100 riders had pre-entered for the event.
Parts of the race team were there at 8.30am to start preparations for the day – organising the refreshment stock, setting up the signing on desk and the gear check system.
Riders started arriving soon after 9.00am, gazebos erected and the officials and helpers were all in place and ready for the first race at 12 noon
Highlight of the day was the fast and top quality racing in the 29 strong under 16 boys events. VC Londres riders filled the top three positions led by Oscar Nilson–Julian – Oli Stockwell was the top placed Welwyn rider in 9th position with Archie Peet 15th,and Joe Bennett 16th.
Sophie Lewis (CC Ashwell) was the dominant rider in the Under 16 girls event winning all 5 events. Josie Griffin was third and Imogen Chastell (VCL) 4th.
Joe Kiely and Euan Woodliffe finished 3rd and 4th and Tom Sharples 6th in the Under 14 boys group of 25 riders while Ellen Bennett was 7th in the girls series.
Six Wheelers rode in the 25 rider group in the under 12 boys series – Thomas Dixon and Mark Lightfoot (CC Ashwell) finished on equal points in 3rd (but Mark Lightbook had better result in Points race so Thomas Dixon moved to 4th) , Dylan Starkey was 5th with Cormac Nisbet and Thomas Oliver 10th and 12th respectively.
The days racing and the prize presentations were finally completed by 6-15pm and by the time everything was dismantled and packed away it was around 7-00pm. It was a tough and tiring day for both the riders and the ‘race team’ but well worth the effort. One major relief was a day of ‘crash-free’ racing, no ambulances !
Congratulations to Susi Sharples (Race organiser) and the large team of club officials and helpers. A job well done.
The third and final Round of the local Omnium series is at Stratford Olympic Park next Sunday. The top 4 riders in the Under 16 and Under 14 categories based on the results of all three rounds will qualify for the National Final at Herne Hill.
The Winter Indoor Track season continues to see good form shown by our Youth riders.
Icebreaker Round 2
Josie Griffin and Imogen Chastell represented the club at the second Round of the Icebreaker Series in Newport on Saturday.
The Icebreaker Omnium events attract large entries from around the country and with 41 Youth U16 Female riders on the start list competition is fierce and the standard very high.
Amongst the highlights of the day were Josie and Imogen finishing 3rd and 5th respectively in the qualifying Scratch Race and then in the Scratch final Josie securing an excellent 4th place, with Imogen 12th.
Both riders qualified comfortably for the Points final and in the Points race final it was Imogen impressing to take 6th with Josie securing 8th.
In the overall Omnium standings Josie finished 7th and Imogen 11th both outstanding efforts in a high quality National class field.
London Youth Track League Round 9
The penultimate round of the London Winter Youth Track League produced some great results for Welwyn riders.
In Group 3 Euan Woodliffe picked up a brace of second places in the 1km Dash and Points and was 3rd in the Elimination.
In Group 2 Archie Peet had a fine evening winning both the Elimination and Points race. Tom Sharples impressed as he took 7th in the 1km Dash
In the Youth/Junior Female Group Imogen Chastell picked up third in both the 1km Dash and Points.
The Club Track Championships for the under 16, Junior and Senior riders was run on Wednesday evening at GSP.
Six riders competed in the four event Omnium format in under 16 group – Will Raymond won all four events to retain his trophy. Nathan Blackmore took second place followed by Gwill Park, Joe Bennett, Freya Butler and Jamie Deane.
Michael Parry and Ben Webster had a close battle in the Junior category. Michael won the 4 lap Time trial while Ben won the Elimination race and the 2 lap Sprint. The winner of the final 6 lap scratch race would determine the overall result. Michael won the scratch race resulting in a tie on 6 points each. In the event of a tie the result of the last race determines the winner so Michael Parry is the Club junior track champion.
The only Senior/Veteran to ride was Ian Hayter