The Oliver’s Mount circuit in Scarborough was the venue for the final round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series with the under 8s, under 10s and under 12s spared the pain of the gruelling climb on the ‘long’ circuit.
Series leader James Brown of Palmer Park Velo continued his season long battle with Finlay Tarling of West Wales Cycle Racing Team and even without the full climb, the drag up to the finish line was enough to break the race up – with the two main contenders in a group of seven at the end of the first lap.
It was Tarling who looked the stronger early in the race, pushing on at the front along with Joel Hurt of Stockton Wheelers. A lap later the lead group was down to four with only Drystan Sewell of Team RL360 Isle of Man able to stay with Brown, Tarling and Hurt. Their nearest challengers – Joshua Jackson of Lyme RC and Millie Coleman of Hillingdon Slipstreamers were 15 seconds adrift.
That situation was unchanged at the bell – although the gap to Coleman and Jackson had doubled – but as the leading quartet head up the hill for the last time it was Brown who pulled clear to put a second into Tarling in the last 100 metres to clinch the race win and Series title with Hurt taking third and Sewell fourth. Coleman followed Jackson home to take sixth and win the Girls’ race.
Tarling’s older brother Joshua led the Under 10 series going in to the final round and he was determined to be there or thereabouts at the end – always on the front of the bunch, taking charge of proceedings.
First time up the finishing climb it was Tarling and Zachary Walker of Team RL360 Isle of Man on the front – as it would be for much of the race – with Lewis Dolan of Marton Race Team – second in the series - not far behind.
A lap later and the same pair were at the head of the race – but now with a healthy lead over five chasing riders – Dolan, Jed Smithson of Hillingdon Slipstreamers, Benjamin Partridge of Hetton Hawks, Jamie Gostick of Palmer Park Velo and James Higham of Eastlands Velo.
With Tarling and Walker long gone, Smithson attacked but was pulled back. A lap later, Tarling had more success, riding away from Walker to pull out a 22 second lead by the flag. Dolan lost touch with the chase group on the last lap with Partridge leading the quartet home 27 seconds behind Walker – Gostick taking fourth, Higham fifth and Smithson sixth. Ella Maclean-Howell was first girl.
Robert Donaldson of Mossley CRT held an unassailable lead in the Under 12s Series going in to the final round – and was also sporting his (relatively) new National Champion’s jersey and for the first few laps he was on or near the front of the race.
It can be hard to motivate yourself when there’s little at stake – and his 132-point lead meant that there hasn’t been for some time - but Donaldson didn’t look short of motivation.
The large lead group stayed together for most of the race and Donaldson was always there – as was Matti Egglestone of Beacon Wheelers whose second place in the series was also pretty secure. With leading girl Becky Surridge of VC Londres not riding, it was left to Ava-May Oxley to mop up the U12 Girls points which she duly did with a fantastic win within the Girls race.
In the final lap the group did finally break apart and it was Max Poole of Bike Box Alan-Whiston Velo that took the win – ahead of Southby, Hamish Armitt of Glasgow Riderz, Billy Lazenby of Clifton CC and Donaldson. So Donaldson’s lead was down from massive to very big indeed, but the series title was his.
Under 14 Girls
Like Donaldson in the Under 12s, Anna Docherty of Clifton CC could not be caught in the Under 14 Girls series and the fact that the race spent most of its opening half hour or so with the bunch together meant that it was unlikely that Lorna Bowler of Hillingdon Slipstreamers was going to lose second place overall to Pfeifer Georgi of Giant Cycling Club-Halo Films – although the 10 point gap and 40 available points meant it wasn’t impossible.
And a couple of dips down on to the long circuit meant that the bunch wouldn’t stay together forever. At the bell the race was led by Bowler, Georgi and Ellie Russell of Sportcity Velo with Kim Baptista of Mid Lancs BMX and Elizabeth Catlow of VC Lincoln eight seconds back and Nicole Clarke of Birkenhead North End CC and April Tacey of Leicestershire Road Club a few seconds behind them.
On the final lap, Russell led home the lead trio – two seconds ahead of Georgi with Bowler a further four seconds back. Baptists just held off Tacey for fourth with Clarke taking sixth.
Poppy Wildman – who had a very impressive North West Youth Tour and was at the head of the bunch for much of the race – suffered a mechanical problem in the closing stages and ended up walking across the line.
Under 14 Boys
The first couple of laps of the Under 14 Boys race passed off without incident with series leader Alistair Leivers of Blackpool Youth Cycle Association out of reach of Jim Brown of Holmfirth Cycling Club, while series runner-up Matthew Burke of Newport Olympic CC was not riding.
With the race altogether three laps in, a crash towards the middle of the bunch broke the race up with a large number of riders being delayed – many for quite some time.
Craig Rogers of Birkenhead North End CC led next time round with Max Cheatle of VC Londres on his wheel but the race was now over three minutes from front to back. Cory Edmondson of Cycle Sport Pendle, Oscar Mingay of Cardiff JIF and Sean Flynn of Edinburgh RC took their turn on the front, with National Champion Jack Ford of Holmfirth CC not far behind and Leivers safe in the middle of the still sizeable bunch.
They moved to the relative safety of the front of the bunch as they headed down the tree-lined back straight of the top circuit for the last time before they would head down on to brutal additional loop of the full circuit.
It was Euan Cameron of East Bradford CC who led the charge down into the loop for the first time with Flynn, Leivers and Ben Healy of Solihull CC at the head of the peloton a couple of bike lengths back.
Mingay now moved to the front, with Draper and Healy just ahead of Brown and Ieuan Woods of Charlotteville CC as they entered the loop for the penultimate time. At the bell it was the group of Draper, Leivers, Cameron, Mingay and Healy that led.
It was Draper who had the legs at the end – breaking the group apart on the final climb to take the win from Mingay with Healey leading home Woods and Flynn. Leivers took sixth – and the series – 11 seconds off the winning time.
Under 16 Girls
It was a familiar story at the top of the Under 16 Girls Series with National Champion Eleanor Dickinson not quite mathematically clear at the top of the series, but with nearest rival – and team mate – Jessica Roberts not riding.
Henrietta Colborne of Beacon Wheelers, in third place, was present but couldn’t catch Dickinson. She should still take the win in the last race of the series, though, and the two were never far from the front of the action. Early on it was Alice Law of Wolverhampton Wheelers, Lauren Dolan of Mid Devon Wheelers and Emily Attfield of 1st Chard Wheelers who were on the front of the bunch and just before half distance it was Law who attacked.
At first it was just a second or two, but after a lap away the Midlander had pulled it out to six seconds. She was hauled back by Rosa Martin of Ribble Valley Juniors who took her turn off the front by a similar margin for a couple of laps before it all came back together.
Lowri Thomas of M and D Cycles led Dickinson, Colborne and the leaders down in to the long loop for the second time but by the time they came to the bell a breakaway had formed with Dickinson, Colborne, Dolan, Sophia Chastell of Welwyn Wheelers and Sophie Wright of Iceni Velo.
Dickinson took a comfortable win in the final sprint with Colborne second and Wright third. Chastell, who had been in the hunt on the final lap dropped her chain and her chance of a podium. Jenny Holl of Stirling Bike Club led home the second group – 11 seconds behind with winner – with Attfield taking fifth and Dolan sixth.
Under 16 Boys
As ever, the Under 16 Boys race was fast, furious and fractious.
Oliver Peckover of Sherwood Pines Cycles SRAM RT had sewn the series up and sat this one out. Second-placed Matthew Walls of Velocity WD-40, Thomas Pidcock of ChevinCycles.com Trek – third in the series - and Harry Hardcastle of Kirklees Cycling Academy were present, though and were determined to make a race of it – as was National Champion Matthias Barnet of Edinburgh RC.
David Barnes of Sports Traider Race Team and Robert Scott of PH-MAS Cycling led the bunch back to the finish at the end of lap one with most of the 96 starters still together, but the pace was already shedding riders of the back.
Next time round Pidcock made his presence felt with an attack off the front but it came to nothing, and it was Joshua Waters of Sherwood Pines Cycles SRAM who led the field up the hill next time around.
Walls and Owen Dudley of Team RL360 Isle of Man put pressure on too, lap after lap, as the four circuits of the long lap approached, but the bunch was strong and maintained its shape. Ethan Hayter of VC Londres and Robert Gray of Clifton CC were also making their presence felt at the front of the race and as they came to the bell Pidcock and Hayter were away.
They never pulled out a massive gap, but they were in control of their own destiny and approached the line together for the final time with a 15-second cushion. It was Pidcock who took the win with Scott following the two leaders home – having pulled out a gap on Dudley and Gray, who led home Waters and Hardcastle.
1 James Brown Palmer Park Velo RT
2 Finlay Tarling West Wales Cycle Racing Team
3 Joel Hurt Stockton Wheelers CC
4 Drystan Sewell Team RL360 Isle of Man
5 Joshua Jackson Lyme RC
6 Millie Coleman Hillingdon Slipstreamers
1 Joshua Tarling West Wales Cycle Racing Team
2 Zachary Walker Team RL360 Isle of Man
3 Benjamin Partridge Hetton Hawks Cycling Club
4 Jamie Gostick Palmer Park Velo RT
5 James Higham Eastlands Velo
6 Jet Smithson Hillingdon Slipstreamers
1 Max Poole Bike Box Alan/Whiston Velo
2 George Southby East Bradford CC
3 Hamish Armitage Glasgow Riderz
4 Billy Lazenby Clinton CC
5 Robert Donaldson Mossley CRT
6 Matt Egglestone Beacon Wheelers
Under 14 Girls
1 Ellie Russell Sport City Velo
2 Pfeiffer Georgi Giant Cycling Club-Hall Films
3 Lorna Bowler Hillingdon Slipstreamers
4 Kim Baptist Mid Lancs BMX
5 April Tracey Leicestershire Road Club
6 Nicole Clarke Birkenhead North End CC
Under 14 Boys
1 William Draper Team RL360 Isle of Man
2 Oscar Mingay Cardiff JIF
3 Ben Healy Solihull CC
4 Ieuan Woods Charlotte villa CC
5 Sean Flying Edinburgh RC
6 Alistair Leivers Blackpool Youth Cycling Association
Under 16 Girls
1 Eleanor Dickenson RST Racing Team
2 Henrietta Colbourne Beacon Wheelers
3 Sophie Wright Iceni Velo
4 Jenny Holl Stirling Bike Club
5 Emily Attfield 1st Chard Wheelers
6 Lauren Dylan Mid Devon CC
Under 16 Boys
1 Thomas Pidcock Chevin Cycles-Trek
2 Ethan Hayter VC Londres
3 Robert Scott PH-MAS Cycling
4 Owen Dudley Team RL360 Isle of Man
5 Robert Gray Clifton CC
6 Joshua Waters Sheraton Pines Cycles SRAM RT