Sunday 22nd September saw the final stage of the Tour of Britain arrive in central London. Before the world’s best riders took to the streets however, almost 200 U12 riders from 13 of London’s 32 Go-Ride clubs competed alongside the main course.
All riders competed in heats and finals using British Cycling’s fleet of Pina mountainbikes. The heats saw a range of abilities. For some riders, this was their first ever race, for others, this was one of many events on their palmares – though the prestige of the location wasn’t lost on anyone.
Managing 200 riders, all borrowing bikes in a confined area of central London was no easy task, but it was heartening to see parents, coaches and young volunteers happy to help out the Go-Ride team. It’s this proactive attitude that makes Go-Ride clubs the success they are.
As riders progressed through to the finals based on their positions in the heats, the action got closer and faster. Winner of the earlier Johnson Health Tech Westminster Grand Prix, and national champion, Hannah Barnes was a great role-model and ambassador of the sport presenting the prizes to our future stars.
The 3 girls finals were first. Hillingdon Slipstreamer teammates Isabella Escalera and Jemma Bowler took first and second from Andrea Ezekiel-Meade from one of London’s newest Go-Ride clubs, Barking and Dagenham CC, in third.
The boys had seven finals, with the action getting closer and more frantic as racing progressed towards the A final. Tom Gloag of VC Londres got a good start, and led by a few meters for the whole of the race to take the win. Morgan Evans of Hillingdon Slipstreamers came a close second with Louis Bilyard of Lea Valley Youth CC in third.
As well as racing for their own prestige, riders were also scoring points towards the team classification. Points at the top of the rankings were very close, with just a few positions separating each club. VC Londres took third place overall, with the previous years winners Hillingdon Slipstreamers coming in second. Lea Valley Youth CC took the honours this year – a illustrious distinction considering the quality of bike racers present.
After the racing and prize giving, riders joined the throngs of people lining the streets to cheer home another fast London rider as Sir Brad took home the Tour of Britain’s Gold Jersey. Seeing young riders scattered around the course cheering in their club jerseys for the rest of the day was a great sight.
1st LVYCC 854 points
2nd Hillingdon Slipstreamers 849 points
3rd VC Londres 847 points
4th Herne Hill Youth CC 737 points
5th Kingston Junior Cycle Club 708 points
6th Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club 618 points
7th Cycle Club Hackney 561 points
8th Penge Cycle Club 388 points
9th Malorees 360 points
10th Sutton Cycling Club/De Ver Cycles 292 points
11th Bigfoot Go Ride 261 points
12th Woolwich CC 205 points
13th Limited Edition Cycling 142 points