Youth Circuit Series: Bradford
Story posted July 19, 2010; by Guy Swarbrick
White Rose Youth Circuits | National Youth Circuit Series | 17th July 2010
The British obsession with the weather may cause much amusement overseas, but with July days like Saturday’s, it really shouldn’t come as any great surprise. The White Rose Circuits – Bradford’s round of the National Youth Circuit Series – saw every kind of weather you’d expect in England in July – grey, overcast skies, pouring rain and beautiful sunshine – although the last of those only appeared briefly during the last race of a busy racing schedule. The one constant, though, was the strong, gusting wind which affected tactics and performances all day.
The entry list had a very Northern feel for a National Event with only a handful of riders present from South of Walsall, let alone Watford. Reasonably healthy contingents from Wales and the Isle of Man – and a couple from Leicestershire - prevented it from being a pure War of the Roses, but Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs dominated the entries. Would they dominate the races?
In the opening Under 8s and Under 10s race, Matthew Shaw of Solihull CC, Mason Hollyman of Sowerby Bros CRT and William Draper of Team Royal London 360 of the Isle of Man broke away early on and stayed there. Shaw and Draper shared most of the work on the front, but it was the diminutive Hollyman that lead out the sprint on the last lap and took the Under 10 win comfortably from Shaw with Draper third and Kim Baptista of Sportcity Velo first girl home.
Photo album from the day's racing
Addam Hathaway took the Under 8 victory for Bolton Hotwheels, with Jack Rootkin-Gray of Solihull second and Matt Baptista of Sportcity Velo rounding out the podium and completing the first ‘family double’ of the day. Felicity Gledhill of Holme Valley Wheelers was the first Under 8 girl home.
The Under 12 event was more controlled, with Charlotte Broughton of Leicestershire Road Club, Reece Wood of Aire Valley RT, Thomas Mein of Hetton Hawks and Matt Walls and Leighton Sharman of Sportcity Velo organising the bunch from the front. By the halfway mark, it was raining hard but Broughton, Wood and Sharmon were still sprinting hard for the Primes. It was Wood that made the most of his local knowledge and the drying track to power out of the final right-left flick to power his way to victory. Broughton took the bunch sprint from Walls, with Sharmon following close behind.
With over 40 entries received by the closing date, the Under 16 race was originally scheduled for two heats mid-way through the programme and a final at the end. In the end, the poor weather deterred enough of the entrants to allow a straight final to be run. Given the way the race turned out, most of the riders will have been glad not to have had a hectic 15 lap ‘warm up’. A combination of a damp track early on, a frantic pace, several minor spills at the tight hairpin and that howling gale that blew the race apart early on and reduced the field to less than half its original size.
Despite the compact bunch, attacks kept coming – most of them involving at least one of the Sportcity Velo riders. The Manchester club’s first year Under 16 Jacob Ragan and Holme Valley Wheelers’ Jacob Scott put in an effort that looked, briefly, as though it might come to something, but the group brought back the respectable lead they’d built in under a lap.
If this had been a Course des Primes, James Newey of Lichfield CC would have taken it, crossing the line on the front lap after lap, but his efforts were only rewarded with fifth place. Josh Penrice was well positioned to join his team mates in the sprint, but punctured inside the final five laps and was unable to take a lap out. In the end, though, it was Harry Tanfield of Velo 29 that gatecrashed the Sportcity Velo, outsprinting Chris Latham – who had fallen at the hairpin earlier in the race, Chris Lawless and Jake Ragan to take the win.
Lucy Garner was on the front of the combined Under 14 and Under 16 girls event for most of the race, taking long turns on the front and quickly finding her way back to the head of the field when she did peel off. That changed with 10 to go – when she opened up a gap and never looked back. The group made no attempt to chase her down and by the end she was over half a lap up. Despite a slightly wobbly celebration, it was a utterly dominant performance. Emily Kay of Halesowen A&CC won the bunch sprint to take second in the Under 16 race, with Hannah Leyland of VC St Raphael taking third..
Garner’s younger sister Grace was third across the line, winning the Under 14 race and the second family double of the day. Melissa Lowther of Wakefield Tri and Claire Gore of Sportcity Velo rounded out the bunch sprint, taking the other two Under 14 podium slots. The final race of the day was the least eventful. A modest-sized Under 14 Boys field largely stayed together for the duration. There were a few half-hearted attempts to get away – Louis Magnani of Hillingdon Slipstreamers, on his own and with Seb Marsh of Paul Milne Cycles got a bit of daylight between himself and the pack, as did Charlie Tanfield of Velo 29 and Leon Gledhill of Holme Valley Wheelers.
But, by the last lap they were all together again and the race was effectively settled in the charge down the back straight. Tanfield picked his way through the back markers on the finishing straight to the win and the third and final family double of the day. Gledhill held on for second, ahead of Marsh and team mate Billy Harding.
So, as the entry list had suggested, the honours stayed mostly in the North and it was, fittingly, a White Rose day, with Yorkshire clubs taking five of the ten wins, with Leicestershire taking three for the Midlands and Lancashire (or, at least Greater Manchester) clubs the remainder. That must have pleased Yorkshire Regional coach Mark Barry, whose shouts of encouragement for his riders – among others – was the only thing you could hear over the wind.
Under 16 Boys
1 Harry TANFIELD Velo 29
2 Chris LATHAM Sportcity Velo
3 Chris LAWLESS Sportcity Velo
Under 16 Girls
1 Lucy GARNER Leicestershire Road Club
2 Emily KAY Halesowen A&CC
3 Hannah LEYLAND VC St Raphael
Under 14 Boys
1 Charlie TANFIELD Velo 29
2 Leon GLEDHILL Holme Valley Wheelers
3 Seb MARSH Paul Milne Cycles/Bradford Olympic
Under 14 Girls
1 Grace GARNER Leicestershire Road Club
2 Melissa LOWTHER Wakefield Junior Tri
3 Claire GORE Sportcity Velo
1 Reece WOOD Aire Valley RT
2 Matt WALLS Sportcity Velo
3 Leighton SHARMAN Sportcity Velo
1 Charlotte BROUGHTON Leicestershire Road Club
1 Mason HOLLYMAN Sowerby Bros CRT
2 Matthew SHAW Solihull CC
3 William DRAPER Team Royal London 360 IoM
1 Kim BAPTISTA Sportcity Velo
1 Addam HATHAWAY Bolton Hotwheels
2 Jack ROOTKIN-Gray Solihull CC
3 Matt BAPTISTA Sportcity Velo
1 Darcy Cain of Team Royal London 360 IOM