The Scarborough Festival of Cycling at Oliver's Mount motor racing circuit was the venue for the final round of the British Cycling Youth Circuit Series on Sunday.
This closed circuit with beautifully smooth tarmac is perfect for circuit racing, but the sting in the tail for the older youth riders was the inclusion of a vicious climb at the back end of the course.
Abby-Mae Parkinson and Jack Mattock won the youth A races with well timed attacks, and the other races were all exciting affairs with plenty of aggressive and tactical riding from the competitors.
The day started with the Youth D and E riders lining up on the starting grid. Max Poole (Bike Box Alan) was the dominant rider in his class controlling the race from start to finish. The Isle of Man duo of Percy Hampton and Matthew Cooil joined Max at the front but into the finish young Max had enough energy left to take a great win.
There was confusion for the riders when some parents shouted to the riders they were on the last lap, the bell hadn't been rung and the lap scorers were adamant they had two to go. The riders got the benefit of two sprint finishes, the second of which formed the final result.
The combined boys and girls race for youth C riders was a fast and furious affair. In her national champions jersey Poppy Wildman was more than capable of staying with the boys together with Birkenhead rider Nicole Clarke, the girls sensibly stayed tucked in the wheels. The boys controlled the race with Zach Bridges and Alfred George leading the field for most of the race. Into the finish it was Alfred who won a perfectly timed sprint from Dylan Westley and Matti Egglestone. Nicole Clarke maintained her position in the lead group to take the prize for first girl.
The category B boys race was the first of the day to take in the notorious Oliver's Mount climb. The main field stuck together in a big bunch for the first half until they tackled the climb which split the race apart. At the bell Tom Humphrey (Sportcity Velo) led the whittled down group from Tom Pidcock (Aire Valley RT) and a group of sprinters followed hoping to save something for the final climb.
Into the final 200 metres and Tom Pidcock produced a powerful sprint to take his first big National Series win ahead of Tom Humphrey and Harry Yates (Lichfield City CC).
The category A girls had 15 seconds start on the cat B Girls, but with the youth A's slowly rolling away the B's immediately chased and jumped on the back to form one big group. This large group stayed together until the first ascent of the climb. Switching from big to the small ring caused lots of problems for some of the girls and with unshipped chains many found themselves losing contact with the bunch.
The climb also gave Abby-Mae Parkinson (RST Trigon) the perfect opportunity to show her class and she soon broke clear together with Henrietta Colborne (Beacon Wheelers). These two worked together to open up a lead and at the bell they had a gap of 15 seconds on what remained of the main field.
At the finish Abby-Mae easily took the win with her team mate Grace Garner closing in at the finish to snatch second place from Henrietta Colborne.
The youth A boys group lining up at the start with 60 riders resembled a large road race field. The tight circuit, descent and particularly the motor racing chicane would require some good bike handling skills to keep everyone upright.
The opening laps had the whole group together with only Max Williamson (Lincs Squad) attempting a solo effort. Max gained an advantage of 30 seconds lead before the race exploded apart on the first ascent of the climb.
With two laps to go the vicious climb had taken its toll on the riders, Joshua Waters (Sherwood Pines) and Jack Mattock (One and All Racing) had prised themselves off the front. The late afternoon wind had now picked up and the chasers were battling into a headwind to get back to Jack and Joshua.
On the final lap Jack and Joshua had a slender gap, Max Spedding (Birkenhead North End) and Alexander Foster (Motivo RT) were closing in, but at the finish Jack Mattock had the strength to hold his position and won by five seconds from Joshua Waters. Max Spedding and Daniel Tulett (Hargroves Cycles) claimed third and fourth a few seconds further back.
Scarborough was a great finale to the 2013 Youth Circuit Series. The final calculations for series leaders had not been done on Sunday evening, but will appear on this website when completed.