Sunday saw the opening round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series at Redbridge Cycling Centre with a number of impressive performances across all the age groups.
Lewis Askey (RST RT) was one of those to shine as he put in an impressive solo performance to come through the field and take the win.
After starting at the back of the grid, Askey worked his way past his rivals before making his move off the front with only 15 minutes gone.
It took a while for the field to respond before a four-strong chasing group comprising of Dylan Westley (Pedalsport CC), Sam Watson (Chevin Cycles.Com), Max Walker(Team RL360 IOM) and Oli Stockwell(Welwyn Wheelers) started to chase Askey down.
But they had no answer to Askey’s pace as he took a much deserved solo win while a sprint finish between the chasers saw Westley come home second ahead of Watson, Walker and Stockwell.
So happy to come away with the win at first national road soloing for an hour nearly lapping the 100 strong field @CycleDivision— Lewis Askey (@LewisAskey) March 26, 2017
There were celebrations for Harriet Harnden (T-Mo Racing) as she took victory in the under-16 girls race in what was her first National road race.
The powerful Malvern rider had tried to go during the early part of the race but her attacks were always checked by the field and the nullified before she was able to make a vital move with two laps remaining.
It was actually Ella Barnwell (Team Backstedt-Hotchillee) who made the first big move of the race on the second lap but she was soon back in the bunch as the race settled again.
Alderney Baker(Team Corley) was active throughout the day, attacking on the climb back to the finish on numerous times but her efforts caught up with her on the closing few laps.
The final podium places were taken by Emma Finucane (Towy Riders) and Kate Wootton (Lee Valley Youth CC), the pair leading the field up the climb to the chequered flag for second and third respectively.
In the under-14 boys race, Max Poole (Bike Box Alan) played the waiting game to take the win in the opening race of the series.
The race was split apart in the opening laps by the quick pace of the strong riders. Josh Giddings (MI Racing Academy) tried to split the bunch throughout but his effort arguably took its toll on the finish straight and had to be content with second on the day as Poole popped his wheel across the finish line a couple of inches in front.
Attacks throughout the race were plentiful but none amounted to anything serious, the bunch looking happy to take the race to the line as one.
Eastlands Velo’s Dan Vincent made an early move but was left out to dry for a handful of laps before rejoining the field, Halesowen’s Alex Barker mid race effort went unrewarded as did a late attack by Hull Thursday’s Finlay Pickering.
As the board showed three laps to go it was obvious the result would come from a sprint with Poole having the legs on Giddings and VC Londres’ Billy Gilbey.
Zoe Backstedt (Maindy Flyers Youth) secured the win in the under-14 girls race, outsprinting Pedal Power’s Eva Young after the pair had escaped the field with some 30 minutes gone.
Backstedt had tried earlier in the race to split the field along with Wolverhampton Wheeler’s Grace Lister and VC Londres’ Isabella Escalera but the bunch worked to bring every early attack back.
Lister and Backstedt had another dig a few laps later but again to no avail although when Young joined Backstedt, no one could respond and the pair rode away to the finish
Mille Couzens (PH-MAS/Paul Milnes/Oldfields), Escalera and Laura Curle (BCDS) worked to chase the leaders down but couldn’t bridge the gap and the race came down to sprints for the win and for third, with Couzens taking the final spot.
1. Lewis Askey RST RT 1.28.06
2. Dylan Westley Pedalsport CC
3. Sam Watson Chevin Cycles.com
4. Max Walker Team RL360 IOM
5. Oli Stockwell Welwyn Wheelers CC
1. Harriet Harnden T-Mo Racing 58.53
2. Emma Finucane Towy Riders
3. Kate Wootton Lee Valley Youth
4. Danielle Parker Cycle Specific
5. Alderney Baker Corley Cycles
1. Max Poole Bike Box Alan 1.04.57
2. Josh Giddings MI Racing Academy
3. Billy Gilbey VC Londres
4. Rahul Fortescue Preston Park Youth
5. Tom Sharples Welwyn Wheelers
1. Zoe Backstedt Maindy Flyers Youth 43.52
2. Eva Young Pedal Power RT
3. Millie Couzens PH-MAS/Milnes/Oldfield
4. Isabella Escalera VC Londres
5. Laura Curle BCDS