The first round of the British Cycling Youth Circuit Series was staged at Hetton Lyons Country Park near Sunderland on Sunday – and there was a healthy entry of riders throughout the categories.
The event kicked off with a large field of under 12s-49 boys and 16 girls. It was a competitive field, too, with the bulk of the Under 10 boys race staying together almost to the end. Second to 24th place were separated by just six seconds at the end with Billy Gilbey of VC Londres putting half a second in to Joshua Giddings of Heanor Clarion who was just a fraction ahead of Ben Askey of Lichfield City CC.
There might have been 24 riders in contention for second, but there was only ever going to be one winner, with Finlay Pickering of Clifton CC breaking away and opening up a 33-second lead on the rest of the field.
In the Girls’ race Niamh Albones of Liverpool Century and Isabella Escalaera of VC Londres broke away from the field and took two-thirds of a lap on the rest of the field. Albones took the sprint with Tilly Percy of Salt Ayre Cog Set and Libby Smith of Fossa Racing the only other riders on the same lap –Percy being 2-17 behind and Smith a further 15 seconds back.
The breakaways continued in the under 14 Girls where Elena Smith of Fossa Racing and Amelia Sharpe of Team RL360 Isle of Man were a minute up on the bunch.
Having worked well together, Smith rode away on the final lap to open out a three and a half second margin at the line. Almost a minute behind them, Eve Martin of Ribble Valley Juniors took the bunch sprint from Becky Surridge of VC Londres.
73 riders took to the start for the under 14 boys’ race, and almost 50 of them were still in contention in the closing stages. A fast-paced but cagey race always looked likely to finish in a tight bunch sprint and so it was with Alfred George of Discovery Juniors and Lewis Askey of Lichfield City at the head of affairs.
Just under three hundredths of a second separated them at the finish with George taking it on the line. Jack Cruden of Glasgow Riderz was less than a tenth of a second up on James Codd of Maindy Flyers in third.
Another impressive field of 47 riders assembled for the under 8s and under 10s – and stayed together for much of the race. By the end, though, young legs were starting to tire and Jed Smithson of Hillingdon Slipstreamers led home team-mate Joseph O’Brien by over 11 seconds with Oliver Akers of Holmfirth CC third.
Ryan Oldfield of Redditch Road and Path was first of the Under 8s, just ahead of Matthew White of Stockton Wheelers.
Hillingdon Slipstreamers took a 1-2-3 in the girls race, albeit spread right around the circuit with Millie Coleman first just over a minute ahead of Bobbie O’Brien and Caitlin Loveless a lap down. Ella Harris of Halesowen was the first Under 8 home, a lap up on team-mate Danielle Barker.
In the Under 16 Girls race Pfeiffer Georgi of Giant Cycling-Halo Firms slipped off the front with Jessica Roberts of RST Racing Team. The two girls worked well together and never looked like they would be caught – the only question was who would win the final sprint.
Roberts took no chances, attacking at the bottom of the final climb and putting two seconds into her long-time companion. Georgi had no need to look over her shoulder, though, with team-mate Lauren Dolan nicking the bunch sprint rom Ellie Russell of Sportcity Velo a minute and 40 seconds after she clinched second place.
Speaking to British Cycling after the race, Roberts said: “There were a few attacks at the start but none of them really stayed, so I was in the bunch – and then a few went with the girl away and I just went with them – and we caught her – and then Pfeifer was with me and we just started working together.
“I didn’t think it would stick but we just got the gap and it stayed. We worked well together, so it was good.” And when did she start the sprint? “More or less from the bottom, really. I just thought I’d go for it see what happened.”
The Under 16 Boys race provided a fitting finale with a number of riders trying to get away, but nobody quite having enough to make it stick until the closing stages. Jake Wright of Sportcity Velo, Theo Hartley of Speedflex Race Team and Joseph Nally of hardiebikes.com slipped away with a dozen laps to go but never looked entirely comfortable.
In the closing stages Louis Rose-Davies of Hillingdon Slipstreamers managed to bridge across and when the sprint opened up it was Rose-Davies and Nally at the front – the latter taking the win by a narrow margin with Hartley taking third and Wright fourth.
Nally was delighted with the win and told British Cycling: “I was stuck in the bunch for most of the race – taking it easy – and there was a breakaway and nobody was really chasing them down.
“With about six laps to go I attacked off the front of the bunch and made my way up to the front of the race and from there we worked together for four laps and then on the last lap – with half a lap to go – we were caught by another rider, so I just sat in from the sprint and took him at the end.”
Under 16 Boys
1 Joseph Nally Www.Hardiebikes.Com
2 Louis Rose-Davies Hillingdon Slipstreamers
3 Theo Hartley Speedflex Race Team
4 Jake Wright Sportcity Velo
5 Richie Allen Achieve Northside Skinnergate
6 Georg Mew Jensen Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club
Under 16 Girls
1 Jessica Roberts RST Racing Team
2 Pfeiffer Georgi Giant Cycling-Halo Films
3 Lauren Dolan Giant Cycling Club-Halo Films
4 Ellie Russell Sportcity Velo
5 Lusia Steele Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club
6 Jayati Hine RST Racing Team
Under 14 Boys
1 Alfred George Discovery Junior Cycling Club
2 Lewis Askey Lichfield City CC
3 Jack Cruden Glasgow Riderz
4 James Codd Maindy Flyers Youth CC
5 Tosh Teare Team RL360 Isle Of Man
6 Benjamin Lewis Marsh Tracks Race Team
Under 14 Girls
1 Elena Smith Fossa Racing
2 Amelia Sharpe Team RL360 Isle Of Man
3 Eve Martin Ribble Valley Juniors
4 Becky Surridge VC Londres
5 Anna Armstrong Border City Wheelers
6 Ava Oxley-Szilagy PH-MAS VCUK Women’s Cycling Team
Under 12 Boys
1 Finlay Pickering Clifton CC
2 Billy Gilbey VC Londres
3 Joshua Giddings Heanor Clarion CC
4 Ben Askey Lichfield City CC
5 Zachary Walker Team Rl360 Isle Of Man
6 Owen Lightfoot Rutland Rouleur
Under 12 Girls
1 Niamh Albones Liverpool Century RC
2 Isabella Escalera VC Londres
3 Tilly Percy Salt Ayre Cog Set
4 Libby Smith Fossa Racing
5 Adele Taylor Clifton CC
6 Max Lutz-Atkinson Speedflex Race Team
Under 10 Boys
1 Jed Smithson Hillingdon Slipstreamers
2 Joseph O’Brien Hillingdon Slipstreamers
3 Oliver Akers Holmfirth Cycling Club
4 Benjamin Bisson Hillingdon Slipstreamers
5 Eddie McHugh Team Terminator
6 Luke Harris Halesowen A&CC
Under 10 Girls
1 Mille Coleman Hillingdon Slipstreamers
2 Bobbie O’Brien Hillingdon Slipstreamers
3 Caitlin Loveless Hillingdon Slipstreamers
4 Esther Wong Salt Ayre Cog Set
5 Willow Morris Hetton Hawks
6 Sophie Heighton Stockton Wheelers CC
Under 8 Boys
1 Ryan Oldfield Redditch Road & Path CC
2 Matthew White Stockton Wheelers CC
3 Orry Lund Team RL360 Isle Of Man
4 Oran Kinghorn Speedflex RT
5 Ben Scott Newcastle Phoenix
6 Michael Postlethwaite Mossley CRT
Under 8 Girls
1 Ella Harris Halesowen A&CC
2 Danielle Barker Halesowen A&CC