Hetton Lyons Country Park played host to the opening round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series, the Kudos Wealth Management Youth Circuit Races.
With the wintery weather clearing from the previous couple of days, the 1.5-kilometre track was fast and dry which caused a few incidents throughout the day and resulted in the last three races being shortened.
It was Solihull CC’s Matt Shaw who took the honours in the under 16 boys race, beating Will Draper (Team RL360) in the sprint.
The race was cut to 30 laps and incident-packed from the gun with crashes littering the course throughout the distance, such was the tight circuit and the speed.
It was Shaw and Lewis Askey (RST RT) who were the first to instigate any sort of movement in the race, Askey breaking away on lap five and getting a useful gap from the main field. Shaw was quick to respond and soon got on the leader’s wheel. The pair should have stayed away longer but were reeled back in within a couple of laps.
The race was obviously going to go to the final few laps before any real attack would have the strength to stay away. With some 13 laps remaining Euan Cameron (VCUK PH-MAS), Wolverhampton’s Matty Lewis and Struan Pryde (Deeside Thistle) were joined by Ben Moody (Backstedt Cycling) and Oscar Mingay (Cardiff JIF) and the quintet looked to have the strength in depth to steal a lead over the bunch but again the break couldn’t stay away.
With 10 laps remaining a big crash on the bottom part of the course saw the dynamics of the race change. A large number of riders were caught up and having to limp back to the pits for repairs. Askey again took the chance to attack the race but it was short-lived, with more crashes causing havoc around the course it took a few laps for things to settle down.
Cavan Walker (Acre RT) made a bid for freedom, and with Will Tidball (1st Chard Wheelers) and Edinburgh’s Sean Flynn joining the break the gap caused the main field to respond.
Will Draper (Team RL360) popped off the front to join the trio, and with a handful of laps remaining it looked as though the quartet would go the distance. However, the bunch would increase their pace on the final lap and bring the final few metres to a sprint.
1. Matt Shaw Solihull CC 1.24.52
2. Will Draper Team RL360 same
3. Sam Watson Chevin Cycles same
4. Will Tidball 1st Chard Wheelers 1.24.56
5. Ethan Vernon Team Corley Cycles 1.25.02
Pfeiffer Georgi (Liv CC) took the sprint in the under 16 girls race after another reduced distance race.
Georgi, who was prominent all race, timed her win to perfection to take her first national circuit victory of the year, beating Ellie Russell (Sportcity Velo) and Elynor Backstedt (Backstedt Cycling) in the final gallop.
A steady opening 10 laps saw no one make any move to try and dictate the race. It was Lorna Bowler (Hillingdon Slipstreamers) who made the first move as the race approached the midway point, getting a gap on the bunch and with Elspeth Grace (Welwyn Wheelers) bridging the gap, the race began to liven up.
Alana Prior (Manilla Cycling) and Zoe Brookes (Hillingdon) joined the leaders but were pulled back to the fold. It was Georgi who took the final prime of the race and knew it was time to attack. She didn’t ease off over the top of the climb, and the Liv CC rider upped the speed and strung the race out.
The main field quickly gathered and regrouped, Freya Thatcher (Giant CC-HALO Films) countering and jumping away. But with two laps remaining the field was as one and coming up the climb to the finish it was Georgi who punched the air.
1. Pfeiffer Georgi Liv CC 1.19.10
2. Ellie Russell Sportcity Velo 1.19.11
3. Elynor Backstedt Backstedt Cycling 1.19.11
4. Gabriella Homer Wolverhampton Wh 1.19.11
5. Anna Docherty Clifton CC 1.19.11
Robert Donaldson (Mossley CRT) took the plaudits in the under 14 boys race from a bunch sprint, riding Evan Richards (Towy Riders) and Billy Lazenby (Chevin Cycles) into second and third respectively.
It was an early attack from Oscar Nilsson-Julien (VC Londres) that sparked the race into action, holding the big field at bay for the opening five laps. Junior Jackson (Mossley RT), Hugo Lutz-Atkinson (Speedflex RT) and Guto Dayfydd (Towy Riders) tried to jump across but the main field was too quick and the four were easily swallowed up.
Lichfield’s Emile Alexander instigated the attack with six laps remaining but was allowed to get any kind of gap. A counter attack from Jackson again wasn’t allowed to gather any gap, Alexander hanging on his every move and jumping over the Mossley rider on the penultimate lap. But as the bell rang out the field was back together to ready themselves for the big sprint, Donaldson having the legs to take the win.
1. Robert Donaldson Mossley RT 49.01
2. Evan Richards Towy Riders same
3. Billy Lazenby Chevin Cycles same
4. Guto Dafydd Towy Riders same
5. William Corkill Team RL360 same
Anna Flynn (Edinburgh RC) took the win in the Under 14 girls race after a long drawn out affair that really didn’t do anything until some 30 minutes had passed.
The field deciding to stick together until the final few metres of the race. Small attacks went during the race, Ava Oxley-Szilagyi (VCUK PH-MAS) went for an early break but was soon brought back to the main field.
Salt Ayre Cog Set’s Eve Barrow tried her luck but again ending the same way.
It wasn’t until the final lap that the field looked to wake up. Georgia Ferry (Glasgow Riders) and Anna Flynn went for broke and although the bunch brought the pair back Flynn held on for the win, beating Beck Surridge (VC Londres) and Emma Finucane (Towy Riders) into second and third.
1. Anna Flynn Edinburgh RC 1.19.52
2. Becky Sunridge VC Londres 1.19.53
3. Emma Finucane Towy Riders same
4. Maisy Vasic Sportcity Velo same
5. Eve Barrow Salt Ayre Cog Set same