Posted: 20 March 2014
Article: Bryan Donnelly
After the two Ingliston Crits in Edinburgh that opened the Youth crit racing season in Scotland the focus moved to Glasgow Green and the Glasgow Riderz first ever road crit race. Interest in this event had been exceptional and a massive field of almost 200 entrants over all the age categories guaranteed it would be a fantastic day.
The location was new to the youth circuit and it didn't disappoint. Weaving its way through the south western end of the park, a course of 1.6km taking in the Nelson Monument and the People’s palace proved to be technical and challenging ensuring only the best would meet its demands. The circuit served up quite a few close finishes adding to the excitement and incredible racing being served up by the youths in all age categories.
The Youth E race was the first off with Isla McCutcheon of the Johnstone Jets continuing her fabulous early season form to take the win one lap ahead of her nearest contenders Corrie Gilroy of EKRC, and Melanie Rowe of Ythan. In the boys race Elliot Rowe of Ythan took the win by over a minute with Oliver Kelly of Ayr Roads and Geoff Vera of the host club Glasgow Riderz continuing his good run of podiums.
The Youth D race was the biggest field of all with 43 entrants. In the girls race the all dominant Glasgow Riderz trio of Skye Donnelly, Imani Perriera-James, and Kasha Butz continued their excellent recent form, claiming the podium again for the Riderz. It also proved to be one of the most exciting finishes of the day. As Imani rounded the final bend in the lead, Skye Donnelly made a final sprint and took the win on the line, winning by an incredible 0.3 of a second to follow up her win in Ingliston the week before. The boys race proved no less exciting with Sam Chisholm of the West Lothian Clarion taking the honours from Archie Elliot of ERC by under 2 seconds with Frederick Fuller again of ERC taking third comfortably.
The Youth C race had the rematch of Jamie Johnston of Team Thomson Cycles and Hamish Armitt of the Glasgow Riderz each with one win each from Ingliston. Hamish MacLaren and Callum Reid were not to be discounted either and for much of the race they toyed with each other trying to find a weakness. In the end it was Johnston that made the winning move and opened up a gap from the others. Hamish Armitt worked tirelessly to bring it down but in the end it proved too much with Johnston claiming the spoils on the day with Armitt second and MacLaren third. In the girls race Rhona Samphier of Stirling took a good win from the ever improving Georgia Ferry of Glasgow Riderz and Elena McGorum of Peebles in third.
The Youth B boys seen a very strong field take to the circuit with Sean Flynn of ERC and Alfie George of Discovery Juniors the favourites to take the win. It was a tight race until Flynn made the race winning move dropping the group. Behind him, Jonathan Hilbourne of Glasgow Riderz and Alfie George tried to bridge but to no avail and Flynn took the win with Hilbourne narrowly taking second by less than a second in a fantastic finish.
For the first time in quite some time the girls got their own race. The Youth A & B girls served up a gripping race with the three favourites Rhona Callander of Stirling, Amber King of Discovery Juniors and Sarah Bradford from the Johnstone Wheelers battling for the Glasgow Life trophy. It was King that made the first break but she was brought back by Callander and Bradford and the three worked together to open up a sizeable lead on the rest of the race. As the race progressed Callander attacked and successfully left the other two which ultimately was the race winning move. King then dropped Bradford to ensure second place. Behind the three leaders, Luisa Steele of the Johnstone Wheelers took a convincing win in the Youth B race with the Glasgow Riderz duo of Anna Shackley and Abby Stewart battling it out for second with Shackley winning by the narrowest of margins to beat her team mate by 0.2 seconds in what was another fantastic sprint finish by the two Riderz.
To bring the day to a close the Youth A boys took to the course. In Ingliston Matthias Barnet had dominated on a course which suited him perfectly. However, Glasgow Green was a tight technical course which meant the Glasgow Life trophy was wide open with Grant Martin of Spokes and Stephen Dent of Nevis Cycles RT keen to take the win. Also challenging and arriving at the race in great form from the track and recent success at Sprint Fest in Manchetser was Lewis Stewart of the Riderz. John MacLeod had also been showing some great form at the Ingliston crits and so surely fancied his chances. As it was the race remained fairly tight and none of the favourites managed to break away from the group. Finally on the last lap Dent attacked with a huge effort and managed to get enough of a gap on the rest of the group to stay away from the chasing group who were within 2 seconds of him at the end. Martin and Barnet took second and third in the sprint finish with Stewart, MacLeod, and Nally (Hardie Bikes) taking the minor placings to bring to an end an excellent day of racing.
Councillor Archie Graham was on hand at the end to award the inaugural Glasgow Life trophies to Callander and Dent and bring proceedings to an end. The focus now moves to Stirling for the ‘Crit on the Campus’. See you all next year for what will hopefully become an early season classic on the youth racing scene.
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