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Backstedt Bike Performance’s Hicks and Woodliffe take 1-2 at Men’s Junior CiCLE Classic

Backstedt Bike Performance’s Hicks and Woodliffe take 1-2 at Men’s Junior CiCLE Classic

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Dylan Hicks won the men’s Junior CiCLE Classic on Sunday ahead of his teammate Euan Woodliffe, spearheading a 1-2 for the Backstedt Bike Performance.

Over 100 riders took to the start for the eighth edition of the Junior CiCLE Classic – round six of the 2022 National Junior Men's Road Series. One of the most important junior races in the UK, it is renowned for its challenging combination of punchy bergs and technical off-road sectors.

The action was chaotic from the start, with two small crashes in the first five kilometres. The pace was high on the stretch from Burton Lazars to Owston, which was where the group started to thin out and some riders were put into difficulty.

After the first passage of Owston, Will Smith of Z Junior Race Team and Brandon Baldacci of Lee Valley Juniors escaped the peloton, and quickly established a 30 second gap. Meanwhile, a flurry of attacks from behind - the main protagonists being Josh Tarling (Wales Racing Academy) and Junior National Road Series leader Zachary Walker (Utmost IOM Junior Cycling Team) – had whittled the chasing bunch down to around 50 riders.

junior men's cicle classic

As they hit the fearsome Somerberg sector for the first time, the leading duo had stretched out their advantage to 1:15, while further accelerations in the peloton meant that there were now just 25-30 riders in the bunch behind.  

Smith and Baldacci were brought back with around 45 kilometres to go, just before the second passage of the Somerberg. At this point, pre-race favourite Tarling picked up an untimely puncture, with his rivals hoping to take advantage, driving hard across the Somerberg.

The pace relaxed on the road section up to Melton, however, and Tarling managed to chase back on just before the final sector of Sawgate Lane. As the reduced bunch headed toward the finish line in Melton, the pace was high. 

A late attack from Nathan Hardy (Tofauti Everyone Active) with five kilometres left saw him open up a 10 second gap, but he was caught with just over a kilometre to spare.

junior men's cicle classic podium shot

Coming into Melton, Hicks and Woodliffe made their move together around the outside coming onto the finish straight, hitting the front together, and no-one could get near them as they sprinted to take a fine 1-2. The irrepressible Tarling finished third, with Walker in fourth.

The next round is the Spokes Cycles Junior Kingdom Classic in Fife, Scotland, on 2nd and 3rd July.