Day two of the road cycling at the UK School Games started with another innovative event which saw the riders compete in an Alpine match sprint – dubbed the street sprint.
As in track sprinting, the riders were seeded for the heats through a 200m qualifying session but unlike in track sprinting, the riders had gravity working against them. The started up hill and faced two hairpin bends – one sharply uphill – before the drag to the finish line.
The heats were then four-up, based on a ladder system, to ensure that those whose strength is in bike handling and getting in amongst it had a chance to redeem themselves.
Hannah Blount of the East Midlands clocked 24.68 to go quickest of the girls with Lucy Shaw of the West Midlands – just over a tenth of a second back - separating her from her team mate Charlotte Broughton. It wasn’t all good news for the East Midlands riders, though, with Grace Garner’s awful run of luck continuing as she clipped out on the uphill start and qualified last.
Despite the ladder, the heats went pretty much as qualifying had with only Kimberley English of the South East and Wales’ Megan Barker improving on their qualifying spots – moving up from fifth and sixth respectively to join Blount and Shaw in the final.
Shaw came out of the Final corner comfortably ahead of Blount and held the East Midlands rider off to take the gold. The real drama, though, happened on the exit of the first corner with Barker and English coming down.
After several attempts to get their bikes going again – and with the crowd urging them on – they set off on foot for the finish – Barker carrying her bike and English dragging hers along with a jammed rear wheel.
They were neck and neck coming out of the final turn but Barker pulled ahead on the home straight to take the bronze.
Girls street sprint
1. Hannah Blount East Midlands 24.68
2. Lucy Shaw West Midlands 24.83
3. Charlotte Broughton East Midlands 25.08
4. Emily Haycox Wales 25.52
5. Kimberley English South East 25.61
6. Megan Barker Wales 25.61
7. Ffion James Wales 25.68
8. Amy Gornall North West 25.71
9. Ellie Coster Wales 25.74
10. Shannon Buller Ulster 26.05
Gold Lucy Shaw West Midlands
Silver Hannah Blount East Midlands
Bronze Megan Barker Wales
4. Kimberley English South East
The top six boys all went under 24 seconds with the first two – James Ireson of the West Midlands and Dylan Kerfoot-Robson of Wales – separated by just three hundredths of a second – Ireson the fastest with a 23.58.
Like the girls, the heats went largely to form with all of the A finalists coming from the top top qualifiers. Ireson and Kerfoot-Robson were joined by Leon Gledhill and Levi Moody of Yorkshire who’d qualified fourth and seventh.
One of the closest finishes of the day saw Gledhill hold off Kerfoot-Robson take the win with Levy Moody tucked in behind Gledhill and Ireson coming in fourth.
Boys street sprint
1. James Ireson West Midlands 23.58
2. Dylan Kerfoot-Robson Wales 23.61
3. Matthew Teggart Ulster 23.65
4. Leon Gledhill Yorkshire 23.83
5. Joe Holt Wales 23.99
6. Matthew Mildon South 23.99
7. Levi Moody Yorkshire 24.05
8. Matthew Gibson North West 24.08
9. Declan Mulholland Ulster 24.24
10. Joe Fry Eastern 24.30
Gold Leon Gledhill Yorkshire
Silver Dylan Kerfoot-Robson Wales
Bronze Levi Moody Yorkshire
4. James Ireson West Midlands
The tandems also took part in the street sprint with Joe Widdowson and Ryan Whatmough, for once, not having it all their own way. Luke White and Oliver Maxwell of East Midlands set the fastest time at 26.90 seconds with the North West boys Widdowson and Whatmough just over half a second back on 27.46.
Normal service was resumed in the final, though, with Widdowson and Whatmough sandwiched between White and Maxwell and Jack Garner and Matthew Waters as the tandems came down the home straight three abreast. Widdowson and Whatmough held the other two outfits off to take the gold with Garner and Waters pipping White and Maxwell for the silver.
Tandem street sprint
1. Luke White & Oliver Maxwell 26.90
2. Joe Widdowson & Ryan Whatmough 27.46
3. Jack Garner & Matthew Waters 27.77
4. Sophie Thornhill & Megan Boyd 29.18
5. Lydia Haydon & Ana Gill 30.11
6. Alice Haydon & Emily Thoday 32.96
Gold Joe Widdowson & Ryan Whatmough
Silver Jack Garner & Matthew Waters
Bronze Luke White & Oliver Maxwell
It was the tandems that kicked off the time trials in the afternoon with each outfit doing one lap of the full 4.4km Hog Hill Circuit. White and Maxwell set a very respectable time of 3:33.17 to take the bronze – narrowly behind North West duo Sophie Thornhill and Megan Boyd who stormed round in 3:22.27.
Winners by a country mile, though, were Widdowson and Whatmough who completed their clean sweep with an apparently effortless 3:22.80. The tandems were an interesting addition to the UK School Games Road Race program and we can’t wait to see them on the track on day 3.
Tandem time trial
Gold Joe Widdowson & Ryan Whatmough 3:22.80
Silver Sophie Thornhill & Megan Boyd 3:32.27
Bronze Luke White & Oliver Maxwell 3:33.17
4. Jack Garner & Matthew Waters 3:39.61
5. Lydia Haydon & Ana Gill 4:03.77
6. Alice Haydon & Emily Thoday 4:16.08
In the girls team time trial it was the South East who set the Early pace with a 7:15.92 over two laps of the full course. Their time stood for quite some time before they were edged out by Wales. Megan Barker, Emily Haycox, Ellie Coster and Ffion James looked very slick as they knocked a massive 25 seconds off the South East time to go top with a 6:50.20.
They stayed at the head of the field until the East Midlands quartet of Charlotte Broughton, Grace Garner, Sian Botteley and Hannah Blount took the mark down to 6:48.55 with two teams left. The North West squad couldn’t quite match the pace of the leaders, clocking 6:54.67 to go fourth, briefly, before the Yorkshire team of Abby Mae Parkinson, Melissa Lowther, Lauren O’Brien and Amira Mellor clocked 6:50.23. That was only good enough for bronze - and just three hundredths off Wales’ time – but confirmed the East Midlands as the medallists.
Girls team time trial
Gold East Midlands 6:48.55
Silver Wales 6:50.20
Bronze Yorkshire 6:50.23
4. North West 6:54.67
5. West Midlands 7:07.92
6. South East 7:15.52
7. Eastern 7:19.67
8. Scotland 7:34.20
9. South West 7:34.30
10. Central 7:39.30
11. North East 7:55.42
12. Ulster 8:15.30
13. South 8:01.45
In the boys event the South East again set the pace and, again, it was Wales who knocked them off their perch. The margin was closer this time with Wales’ time of 6:04.08 just under six seconds faster.
And, again, it was the East Midlands quartet – Karl Baillie, Harry Crew, Jack King and James Shaw – who deposed Wales with a blistering time of 6:01.98. The fastest lap in yesterday’s Road Race was a 2:57 and it looked like that sort of pace – a sub six minutes for the two laps – would be needed to win.
The North West squad of Christian Braybrooke, Fabio Close, John Didsbury and Matthew Gibson – were ahead at the end of the first lap but faded on the run-in to clock 6:02.61. The Yorkshire squad of Gabriel Cullaigh, Leon Gledhill, Struan McInnes and Levi Moody were right on the pace, too – and slotted in between the East Midlands and the North West with a 6:02.61 to snatch the silver.
Boys team time trial
Gold East Midlands 6:01.98
Silver Yorkshire 6:02.61
Bronze North West 6:02.95
4. Wales 6:04.08
5. South East 6:09.70
6. West Midlands 6:11.05
7. Scotland 6:11.86
8. Central 6:13.30
9. South West 6:17.17
10. Eastern 6:17.36
11. Ulster 6:24.92
12. South 6:25.33
13. North East 6:27.11
That second place in time trial officially confirmed Yorkshire’s overall victory in the road cycling – although, in truth, it was wrapped up earlier in the day. They finished 63 points ahead of the North West who had a slender four point margin over the East Midlands.
The track cycling is a separate discipline in the UK School Games, so the slate is wiped clean for the final day of competition.
Gold Yorkshire 191
Silver North West 253
Bronze East Midlands 257
4. Wales 260
5. West Midlands 296
6. Central 399
7. Eastern 425
8. South East 514
9. Scotland 580
10. Ulster 615
11. South West 643
12. North East 650
13. South 673