Spokes Racing Team hosted an eggscellent round of the British Youth Circuit Series over the Easter Weekend with their two-day race taking place at Fife Cycle Park in Lochgelly.
The Scottish sunshine was beating down in the Central Fife town for two days of racing action featuring the best young riders from across Great Britain.
After the Youth C, D and E support races, Saturday saw two stages for both Boys and Girls. Stage 1 was a 2.2km time trial, composing of a lap and a half of the full circuit, while Stage 2 was 50-minute criterium on the 1km outer loop configuration of the Circuit, while Sunday saw the final stage – a 70-minute kermesse on the full 1.6km circuit, in reverse to the configuration ridden on Saturday’s time trial.
Youth A Girls
Erin Boothman (East Kilbride RC) won the prologue in Pembrey last time out and followed suit in Lochgelly, beating fellow Scot Arabella Blackburn (Deeside Thistle) by over a second in the stage one time trial, to take the leaders’ jersey.
Boothman’s strong time in the time trial would be important, as the Scot successfully held on to her jersey after the stage two criterium, despite finishing in second place behind Abigail Miller (Clifton CC), with a five second lead to defend heading into the final kermesse on Sunday.
However, Abi Miller had the jersey in her sights, and was able to claim victory in the final kermesse, to seal the overall general classification, as Boothman finished back in sixth on the stage, dropping to third on the general classification, with Phoebe Taylor (ESV Manchester) finishing second overall.
Youth A Boys
Luca Bednarek (Kirklees Cycling Academy) narrowly won the opening time trial from Max Hinds (Revolution Cycling Academy) with Harrison Dainty (Cystic Fibrosis RT) in third to take the leaders’ jersey.
Dainty however, produced an excellent solo attack on stage two to ride his way to victory in the final laps and overhaul the deficit. His four second advantage over the bunch, plus the eight bonus seconds for the stage win, leapfrogged the Cystic Fibrosis RT rider into the leaders’ jersey, with a healthy five second lead over Hinds to defend into the final stage.
After an eventful final stage, which saw a number of crashes and a breakaway build up an advantage before being hauled back, it was Max Hinds who powered his way to an excellent victory to take the overall and stage honours, with his ten second deficit over the field enough to usurp Dainty at the top of the standings.
James Sweeney (Edinburgh RC) won the bunch sprint for second, with Albie Jones (North Cheshire Clarion) in third. Dainty finished in fifth place, with Hinds gaining 17 seconds over him in the final stage to take the overall general classification by 12 seconds. While stage one winner Bednarek just edged out James Sweeney for third place.
Youth B Girls
In the Youth B girls, Katie Robertson (Clifton CC) won stage one from Melanie Rowe (Deeside Thistle) and Katie Lawson (Secret Training CC) in third, which gave Robertson control of the leaders jersey for the stage two criterium.
The criterium was a cagey affair with no attacks sticking before ending up in a bunch finish: Lawson was able to outsprint the rest of the field and take the eight second time bonification and the leaders' jersey with it. Rowe’s consistency showed with another second place finish, while Robertson was third, and dropped down the general classification.
While in the battle for fifth, there was an absolute deadheat with Oliva Poole (Deeside Thistle) and Lily-Ann Scott (RL 360 Isle of Man) remaining inseparable by both chip timing and video finish. See if you can tell them apart. Both riders were given a fifth-place finish and the one second time bonus.
Sunday’s kermesse was similar to Saturday’s criterium in style, with a defensive race taking place. Lawson replicated her result from the previous day, with Melanie Rowe following suit as the two confirmed the top two steps on the podium. Rose Lewis (Halesowen A & CC) finished in third place, but was unable to make the podium, finishing four seconds behind stage one winner Katie Robertson.
Youth B Boys
William Coles (Evolution Racing Academy) won the opening time trial with Noah White (Mid Shropshire Wheelers) following close behind. After a fourth place finish in the time trial, James Saunders (Wyre Forest CC) won the bunch sprint in Saturday’s criterium, with the time bonifications giving Saunders the overall lead, with White only four seconds further back and Coles one more adrift in third.
The kermesse stage saw lots of attacking but nothing was able to stick, and instead finished in a bunch sprint after over an hour of high pace in the peloton.
Coles was able to win the bunch sprint to the line, from White in second and Freddie Winkley (ESV Manchster in third. While Saunders finished fourth, which with time bonuses meant the fight for the overall classification went down to the wire. Coles would ultimately take the overall victory by a single second.
An excellent weekend of racing at Fife Cycle Park, with the tight finishes across the fields typifying the high standard of racing seen from these young riders.