The fourth round of the Youth Circuit Series showed off some incredible talent at the Loughborough Cycling Festival, with Youth A wins for Cat Ferguson and Sebastian Grindley, and Youth B victories for Melanie Rowe and Albie Jones.
Supporting men’s and women’s races kicked off the day, with Toby Barnes (Wiv SunGod) taking the men’s elite win and Daniel Piercy (Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA) taking the men’s 3/4 victory, while Isabel Darvill (Pro-Noctis – Roto – Redchilli Bikes) won the women’s Josie Gilbert Memorial Race around Loughborough University’s campus.
The Youth A girls race had a very fast start from the gun, with lots of attacking on the climb each lap. Cat Ferguson (Storey Racing), Carys Lloyd (VC Londres) and Izzy Mayes (JRC-INTERFLON Race Team) all attempted solo attacks as the leading group shrunk to just a dozen riders, while the main bunch behind struggled to catch up. Ferguson put in massive attacks on the final few laps in a last gasp effort to get away but was unable to shake the bunch. A final kick from the group in the sprint finish saw Ferguson live up to her Youth National title as she took the win by a comfortable margin, as Lloyd took second and Mayes finished third.
The Youth A boys race also had a quick start, with a brave solo move from William Gilbank (Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club) early on causing the bunch to chase hard for the opening few laps. As soon as Gilbank was caught, Sebastian Grindley (North Cheshire Clarion) attacked immediately, and showed off his impressive speed as the peloton drove the pace in an attempt to catch him. But the bunch couldn’t match Grindley’s speed and it was a solo victory for the young rider, while Finlay Tarling (FlandersColor Galloo) and Rory Gravelle (Velo Myrddin CC) took second and third in the bunch sprint.
The Youth B girls race saw plenty of attacking from the start, with Melanie Rowe (Deeside Thistle CC) and Mabli Phillips (Maindy Flyers CC) forming a two-up breakaway. The two managed to stay away and it came down to a sprint finish with Rowe putting in an incredible surge to win two bike lengths ahead of Phillips – an impressive feat for the first year Youth B rider. Anna Lloyd (VC Londres) completed the podium in third.
Albie Jones (North Cheshire Clarion) claimed the Youth B boys win, while Harry Speak (Clifton CC) took second and Alex Coles (Evolution Racing Academy) finished in third.