Velocity RT’s Fabio Close won a closely fought contest in the Solihull CC Bob Maitland National Youth Races, coming home just 0.44 of a second ahead of team-mate Christian Braybrooke.
The open nature of the course meant that breaks were difficult and the lead changed hands countless times before the riders were caught and swallowed up by the pack.
Twenty laps down, Stuart Balfour, John Didsbury and Fabian Brennan managed to get away, putting ten seconds between them and the bunch.
Many other riders chose different points of the race to attack although gaps never opened out to any more than 10 seconds until Joseph Fry got 16 seconds in front with 16 to go.
However, as with the previous escape attempts, Fry was brought back into the fold and it looked like it was going to be a bunch sprint until Gabriel Cullaigh and teammate Joey Walker launched a dazzling attack, which lit up the final stages of the race (and the imagination of the spectators).
Cullaigh and Walker's last gasp move forced a concerted chase effort from Close, Tanfield, Moody, Shaw, Gibson and Evans, who eventually reeled-in the audacious pair.
As the race reached its conclusion, it came down to a bunch sprint with Fabio Close living up to his name to take the win by the narrowest of margins.
Fabio said after the race: “I didn't expect to win from a sprint, I really wanted to get in a break away later on in the race but I missed all the breaks so I really had to time my sprint right.
“It’s a difficult course to race on because you can see most of it, so if anyone gets away you know where they are and it’s been quite windy today which has made it a bit easier on the breaks because no one really wanted to chase.
“It’s been a good day the team got first, second and fourth so we're happy with that.”
In the under 16 girls race, it was Grace Garner of RST Racing who emerged the winner, again by the smallest of margins.
After having a 20 second gap closed down, Garner had to fight her way back to the front after Kimberly English and Elizabeth Holden managed to pull away by a couple of seconds after 10 minutes of racing.
But after an extremely tight race with nothing in it at all, Garner did finally manage to push to the front and cross the line first with Emily Nelson (Halesowen A&CC) just 0.209 behind.
Under 16 boys:
1 Fabio Close (Velocity RT)
2 Christian Braybrooke (Velocity RT)
3 Leon Gledhill (BBM Revelation CC)
4 Joe Evans (Velocity RT)
5 Joseph Haddock (Team Royal London 360)
6 Jack Escritt (Fred Williams)
7 Lewis Magnani (Prestige Velo Club)
8 Charlie Tanfield (Velo29 CC)
9 Jacob Kelly (Lichfield City CC)
10 Ryan Phillips (Wolverhampton Wheelers)
Under 16 girls:
1 Grace Garner (RST RT)
2 Emily Nelson (Halesowen A&CC)
3 Lucy Shaw (Solihull CC)
4 Paige Millward (Lyme RC)
5 Abbie Dentus (Welwyn Wheelers)
6 Natalie Clements (Solihull CC)
7 Melissa Lowther (Ayr Valley RT)
8 Loren O’Brien (RST Racing)
9 Megan Barker (Cardiff Ajax)
10 Emily Haycox (Cardiff Ajax)
Charlotte Broughton took the win in the Youth B girls’ race. Fresh from her victory in the previous day’s race at Curborough, the Leicester Offroad youngster rode a fine race to cross the line first but didn't get it all her own way.
The Beacon Wheelers pair of Eleanor Dickinson and Henrietta Colburn were prominent throughout the race and with a strong looking Jessica Roberts (Towy Riders) the National Champion had to work hard for the victory.
As expected, the stronger riders turned the screw fairly early on in the day and a break of seven made the escape which was never brought back. With the work shared between the riders, the group remained intact until the final lap when Broughton turned on the power with Broughton taking a slender win from Roberts on the line.
YOUTH B GIRLS
1 Charlotte Broughton - Leicestershire Offroad club
2 Jessica Roberts - Towy Riders
3 Sophie Capewell - Lichfield City CC
4 Eleanor Dickinson - Beacon Wheelers
5 Henrietta Colburn - Beacon Wheelers
6 Lauren Murphy - Team Milton Keynes
7 Eleanor Davies - Team Royal London 360 IOM
8 Georgia Hilleard - Wolverhampton Wheelers
9 Medelaine Gammon - Bourne Wheelers CC
10 Sophie Taylor - Bristol Cycling Development Squad.
Hargroves Cycles’ Dan Tullet made amends for his second place the previous day with a fine sprint win from Reece Wood (Aire Valley Racing Team).
Tullet was instrumental throughout the 30 laps, attacking virtually from the gun and keeping the pace high. The attacks were thick and fast throughout with no breaks allowed to escape for too long.
Pace increased with 12 laps remaining and the field was split into two main groups but with the last third of the race in sight, the chasers worked hard.
With six laps remaining the front group eased just enough for the chasing second group to catch up. The group remained as one, taking the bell lap together but it was Tullet who had the strength left in his legs, taking a close victory from Wood.
YOUTH B BOYS
1 Dan Tulett - Hargroves Cycles-Specialized-Trant-Next-Elliott's
2 Reece Wood - Aire Valley Racing Team
3 Matthew Walls - Velocity Race Team
4 Peter Kibble - Cycology Bikes
5 Matthew Draper - Team Royal London 360 IOM
6 Oliver Peckover - Nottingham Clarion CC
7 Tomos Owens - Brooks Cycles
8 David Barnes - Condor Cycles
9 Michael Moss - Team Royal London 360 Isle Of Man
10 Jack Plumley - Welwyn Whls CC
In the other Categories, Nathan Hawthorn (Cyclesport Pendle) took the win from Harry Tadman (Hillingdon Slipstreamers) in the Youth C boys while Pfeiffer Gorgi (Giant Cycling Clum-Halo Bikes) crossed the line ahead of Abergavenny Road Club's Megan James in the Youth C girls’ race.
In the Youth D boys Aaron Freeman (Chelmer CC) was first across the line ahead of Tyler Koch (Bolton Hot Wheels CC) and Ava May Oxley Szila (Wakefield Tri) took the Youth D girls’ race. In the Youth E Josh Tarling(West Wales CyclesRT) took the win from Zac Walker(Team Royal London 360 IOM)
1 Josh Tarling - West Wales Cycle Racing Team
2 Zac Walker - Team Royal London 360 IOM
3 Thomas Davies - Welwyn Wheelers
4 Iolo Dafydd - Towy Riders
5 Harvey Tadman - Hillindon Slipstreamers
6 Alex Galpin - Bourne Wheelers
7 Nathan Fortune - Kirklees Cycling Academy
8 Daniel Wylie-Morris - Abergavenny RC
9 Joe Cooper - Lichfield CC
10 Dan Galpin - Bourne Wheelers
YOUTH D BOYS
1 Aaron Freeman - Chelmer CC
2 Tyler Koch - Bolton Hot Wheels CC
3 Billy Lazenby - Eastlands Velo
4 Charlie Gibson - Team Royal London 360 IOM
5 Addam Hathaway - Bolton Hot Wheels CC
6 George Southby - East Bradford CC
7 Jack Rootkin-Gray - Solihull CC
8 William Davies - Welwyn Wheelers
9 Harry Towning - Welwyn Wheelers
10 Ryan Philips - Maindy Flyers Youth CC
YOUTH D GIRLS
1 Ava May Oxley Szila - Wakefield Junior Tri club
2 Anna Flynn - Edinburgh RC
3 Charlie Moss - Team Royal London 360 IOM
4 Abigail Old - Hillingdon Slipstreamers
YOUTH C BOYS
1 Nathan Hawthorn - Cycle Sport Pendle
2 Harry Tadman - Hillingdon Slipstreamers
3 Euan Cameron - East Bradford CC
4 William Draper - Team Royal London 360 IOM
5 Matthew Lewis - Wolverhampton Wheelers
6 Ben Tulett - Hargroves Cycles-Specialized-Trant-Next-Elliott's
7 Adam Kelly - Team Royal London 360 IOM
8 Lewis Hartley - Eastlands Velo
9 Toby Tanfield - Cleveland Wheelers
10 Joseph Beckinsale - Abergavenny Road Club
YOUTH C GIRLS
1 Pfeiffer Gorgi - Giant Cycling Club - Halo Films
2 Megan James - Abergavenny Road Club
3 Corinne Side - Bolton Hot Wheels CC
4 Anna Armstrong - Bolton City Wheelers CC
5 Ella Lazenby - Eastlands Velo
6 Eva Barnet - Edinburgh RC
7 Emma Forsyth - Edinburgh RC MCRT
8 Eloise Stevens
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.