Great results this weekend in the 2nd National event, where Welwyn showed their form in the U16 (Youth A) and U14 (Youth B) categories.
This weekend was a 3 day stage event on the Isle of Man, fabulous sunny conditions. Commenced with a prologue 1.3K TT along the promenade on Friday evening – Oli Stockwell took a convincing 2nd place 0.2 second off winning position, Euan Woodliffe took 4th giving the Welwyn hopefuls a great start. Day 2 of racing was a flat circuit race with some challenging corners and a long final sprint finish. In the U14s race after a collision at the final corner, 5 riders got a slight gap and Woodliffe had to chase to bridge back to the group, he continued his sprint and gained a well-deserved 2nd place, team mate Caelen Miller finishing 8th and Callum Moir lead a determined ride to chase back on to the main bunch giving him the same overall finish time. In the U16 race Stockwell was on the front for most of the race, but a mechanical caused him to lose ground in the final sprint leaving him mid pack, team mates Joe Kiely came in 10th and Archie Peet 14th. In the U12s race Finlay Woodliffe worked his way up through the field and with a fast final sprint earned himself a fantastic 7th place. After stage 2 Oli Stockwell was sitting 5th on U16 GC and Euan Woodliffe 2nd in the U14 GC. Both strong climbers they had everything to play for in the final stage.
Stage 3 was the hilly stage, a gruelling 7km course with 4.5 km of climbing and a fast descent where riders were reaching speeds of approx. 70km an hour. The U14 boys team were looking strong and after the 1st lap all 3 Welwyn riders were in the main bunch being led out by Euan Woodliffe. After 4 laps and 5 times up the steepest ascent – Euan Woodliffe came into view looking very comfortable. He was 2 seconds down on the yellow jersey, a win with time bonuses would give him the overall event win. He switched on a convincing sprint and had a 25M gap on the next rider, his teammate Caelen Miller. Welwyn took 1st and 2nd in the final stage with Callum Moir working hard to stay in the front bunch – this secured them the overall team win for the U14s. Giving Euan Woodliffe the win in the GC with team mate Caelen Miller taking 4th.
The U16s boys race was dominated by Oli Stockwell, he was a mark of consistency throughout his victory and it was a dramatic finish to the boys’ race. The top ten were separated by five seconds with the top five only pulling away as the hill kicked up for the final time. Oli Stockwell was in the top three every lap – winning the first and, crucially, the last sprints to secure the stage win and the overall general classification win . Team mate Joe Kiely worked hard throughout the race and came in a very respectable 7th place. Oli Stockwell’s points tally also secured him second place in the Green Jersey competition. British cycling have a write up in their news section with some great headlines of ‘Stockwell Seizes the day’ and ‘Woodliffe the one to beat’
Congratulations to all of the Welwyn riders that took place – Finlay Woodliffe, Callum Moir, Caelen Miller, Euan Woodliffe, Iona Moir, Archie Peet, Joe Kiely and Oli Stockwell.