Photos courtesy of Welsh Cycling and:
Championship Criterium racing once again returned to the streets of Cardigan on the tight and twisty town centre circuit. The technical circuit is regarded by many who have ridden it as the best criterium circuit in Wales. Tight corners combined with a sharp little climb and a fast finish are the perfect recipe for exciting racing action. Large crowds were seen enjoying the glorious sunshine and a fantastic day of racing action. The event promoted by Velo Teifi Cycling Club is in its 2nd year and it's popularity was evident with large fields in all of the categories.
The 2nd running of the Cardigan street races was kicked off by the under 8's race.
Up to 30 riders took to line all keen put on a good show for ever increasing crowds. As the mayor and mayoress dropped the start flag they were off at frantic pace. Liam Edwards of Towy riders and Aled Trott of Abergavenny RC set the early pace in the race set for 10mins plus 2 laps. They were closely followed by Daniel Wylie-Morris of Abergavenny RC who was getting faster as the race went on.
Edwards kept applying the pressure throughout the race slowly easing out a comfortable lead over the chasers Trott and Wylie-Morrie. By the finish Edwards had enough time to soak up the applause and atmosphere of a large crowd. Trott battled with his team mate for 2nd, Wylie Morris in 3rd.
In the under 8 girls race Heledd Hunt (Towy) made light work of the tough circuit to finish in 1st place ahead of Rosie Finucane (Towy) and Shannon Haird (Towy).
The Under 8's making their way down the finish straight
Liam Edwards pursued by Aled Trott
Next up was the Under 10s and Under 12s combined race. After another, from the gun start, a group of 5 riders had already eased their way off the front headed by the fast cornering Lowri Thomas of Abergavenny RC. The group was closely followed by an already strung out pack.
The lead group included team mates Ieuan Best, Joe Beckingsale, Megan James, Lowri Thomas, Logan de Monchaux-Irons and Owain Roberts. The tough circuit soon started to whittle down the lead group to Megan James and Ieuan Best who were working well together along with Monchaux-Irons to establish a comfortable lead over the a hard chasing Beckingsale. Going into the final lap, James, Best and de Monchaux-Irons were still together but it was James who emerged at the brow of the hill in the lead and pushing hard for the line. de Monchaux-Irons and Best followed about 50mtrs behind for 2nd and 3rd. 4th place was taken by Joe Beckingsale. This was an impressive showing from the young riders which was well appreciated by the Cardigan crowd.
Lowri Thomas leads into the sharp right hand corner at the bottom of the decent
Megan James leads team Ieuan Best, Logan de Monchaux-Irons and Owain Roberts
Megan James sprints for the overall win
The under 10s race was won by an impressively strong Owain Roberts (Towy) who hung onto the older riders for most of the race. He won Kieran Morris (Mid Shrop Wheelers) who pushed hard all the way. 3rd place was taken by Hugh Higgins Worrall (Aber RC). Under 10s Girls was dominated once again by the Towy riders, with Emma Finucane taking the win from team mates Mali Jones and Eva Edwards.
The final youth event of the day was the under 14s and under 16s combined. Towy riders were fielding a strong looking line up and you would not be forgiven if you had mistaken them for a junior rider. At the end of the first lap it was clear to see what Twoy Racings intentions were. Go from the gun and blow the field to bits early on. Lap two and a group of six lead by Towys Scott Davies, Daniel Colman and Nicholas Jones along with Under 14 Welsh Champion Joe Holt and team Kieran Rees of Bynea.
It wasn't long before the pace proved too much for some of the lead group with Scott Davies and Joe Holt breaking away from a chase group of 4.
Davies kept applying the pressure throughout the race, never taking his foot off the gas. This eventually was too much for Holt and he slipped back to be joined by his team mate Kieren Rees who had broken away from the chase group. The two riders regrouped and attempted to close the gap to Davies. Davies managed to hold onto his lead to take a fine win ahead Kieran Rees followed by his fellow team mate Holt who did not contest the sprint for 2nd. Holt finishing in 3rd he claimed the u14 boys race win from Nicholas Jones of Towy who never stopped trying to close the gaps on his own, followed by Sam Rees. Ffion James spent most the race on her own to take the u14 girls event from team mates Mererid Hunt of Towy riders and Tanwen Jones.
TRCC riders Daniel Colman and Scott Davies forced the pace early on
Scott Davies solod to victory
Kieran Rees takes 2nd ahead of Joe Holt
Ffion James and Mererid Hunt
Next up was the first big Championship race of the day, the Veteran mens and Womens race. Defending champion Gerry Bowditch of Abergavenny CC would be the man to beat at the start and it was clear after a few laps he was up for the challenge.
The experienced riders in the race were setting an early fast pace around the tight corners lead by Bowditch, John Holt, Steve Thomas, Steve Edwards and John Wiley.
Their pace soon strung the field out and after numerous attempts to get away by a number of riders it was a group of 4 including Gerry Bowditch, John Holt (Bynea), John Sheppard (Forza) and John Lindsay (Willis Cycles) who moved off the front of the bunch.
The front group seemed to be working well together, chased hard by the main group which included Steve Edwards (JIF) Steve Thomas (Aber RC) John Wiley (Aber RC) Neal Craig (Forza), David Finn (Cwmcarn) and leading women Hannah Rich (Horizon Fitness) followed by another smaller group which included 2nd lady Ruby Miller (Horizon Fitness).
The Aber RC boys were keen to pull the lead group back and the gap held for a while before Bowditch and Holt really started to apply the pressure. 30minutes in and the pressure is beginning to show on some of the lead group riders faces.
By the 40minute mark Bowditch was away on his own and going for it chased by John Holt and John Lindsay. John Sheppard was dropping back and was eventaully caught by the chase group. Bowditch managed to maintain his lead to the end, defending his title and enjoying the applause of the crowd.
John Holt won the sprint for 2nd ahead of John Lindsay. Steve Thomas used his fast finish to good effect to win the sprint for 4th from the rest of the chase group. Hannah Rich finished comfortably in the main group to win the womens title.
Both Bowditch and Rich will wear the coveted Champion System backed Champions jerseys until the events take place again in 2012.
Gerry Bowditch drives hard on the breakaway group of 4
The chasing group
Bowditch starts to turn on the pace
Bowditch splits the lead group taking John Holt with him
Holt dropped back leaving Bowditch to solo to victory
Steve Thomas wins the sprint for 4th place from David Finn
Hannah Rich won the womens race
The blue ribbon Senior Mens and Junior race saw an impressive line up of riders take to the line for and hour of suffering in the hot evening sun.
Defending champion Rhys Lloyd would have his work cut for him against the likes of Gruff Lewis (UK Youth and Welsh Road Race Champion) Perry Bowater, Richy Harris (Cwmcarn), James ‘Tank' Lewis (Port Talbot Wheelers), Anthony O'Boyle and Ben Simmons (Wiggle) to name a few of the riders who would be looking to strip him of his title.
In the Junior mens race Matt Haase (JIF), Will Worral (Towy), Luke Cornish (Cwmcarn), Dan Pearson (PTW), Adam Holt (Bynea) and James Purkiss (Ystwyth) would battle it out for the Juniors winners jersey.
As soon as the start flag was dropped it was clear that the race was going to be fast with the early pace being set by Rhys Lloyd and Gruff Lewis hammering down the finish straight, with the group nicely strung out behind them. After the 2nd lap there were already casualties as a result of the fast start.
Lap 6 and James ‘Tank' Lewis has a dig on his own, pulling out a small gap which was soon closed down by the pack. The 20 minute mark saw the first prime of the race take place. Boucing down the bumpy finish straight, Gruff Lewis won the sprint giving the rest of the riders something to think about ahead of the finish, Lewis was followed by Anthony O'boyle. Just over 1/3 distance a group of 4 riders including Perry Bowater, James Lewis, Richy Harris and Rhys Howells pull out a small gap chased hard by the main group lead by Ben Simmons, O'boyle and Gruff Lewis. The lead group held on for a few laps but the race came back together and the speed increased by a number of riders making it almost impossible for anyone to get away.
After a period of extremely fast and intense racing, Richy Harris eventually managed to break the elastic and go on his own. 4 laps remaining he still held a slender lead.
Harris was eventually closed down by Lewis, and Lloyd with the remainder of the group all fighting to close the gap before the bell lap.
Bell lap and the lead group still had a small gap with Harris, Lewis, Lloyd heading the race now joined by Matt Haase who crossed the gap.
In the sprint for the line it was Gruff Lewis who kicked hard down the final dip in the road before crossing the line to hold on for victory over Lloyd and Harris. Matt Hasse finished in 4th to take the Junior title and claim the champions jersey from Worall and Cornish.
After the finish Gruff Lewis said he was really pleased to add the Cirterium title to his road race title and pull another Champion System backed Champions jersey. Ride of the day would certainly have to go to Richy Harris for his attacking style which almost paid off for him. Harris still managed to finish in 3rd after his late attack.
Riders line up for the start of the blue ribbon main event
Gruff Lewis leads the main group in the early stages
Anthony O'boyle keeps the pace high down the finish straight
Defending champion Rhys Lloyd was pushing hard to defend his title
The short and sharp climb was a good place to gain or loose time
Richy Harris goes on his own late in the race
Harris is joined by Lewis and Lloyd
Final stages and Matt Haase joins the lead 3
Gruff Lewis sprints to victory ahead of Lloyd and Harris
Job done for Lewis and the 2nd title is in the bag
Matt Haase claimed the Junior mens title with 4th Overall
Final race of the day was the 3rd and 4th cat event. A large field assembled to tackle the tight circuit and the race set off at a blistering pace with successful attacks being few and far between. Over half distance and the pace soon started whittle the field down and it was Jonathan Munns (North Road CC) and Carwyn Henson (Ystwyth) who broke the back of the main pack to establish a lead of around 15 seconds. The two riders managed to hold onto the lead with Munns doing a lot of work on the front. Last lap and it was clear the two would battle it out for win and it was Munns who sprinted to victory over Ystwyth rider Henson. Junior rider James Purkiss won the bunch sprint for 3rd place.
Welsh Cycling would like to thank the club of Velo Teifi and its members, marshals event sponsors and everyone involved with the organization of this event. A big thank you also goes out to the riders and parents who supported this event and all of the event officials. More photos to come
Youth A Boys
1st Scott Davies
2nd Kieren Rees
3rd Charlie Solomon
Youth B Boys
1st Joe Holt
2nd Nicholas Jones
3rd Sam Rees
Youth C Boys
1st Logan de Monchaux-Irons
2nd Ieuan Best
3rd Joe Beckingsale
Youth D Boys
1st Owain Roberts
2nd Kieran Morris
3rd Huw Higgins-Worrall
Youth E Boys
1st Liam Edwards
2nd Aled Trott
3rd Daniel Wylie-Morris
Youth A Girls
1st Manon Lloyd
2nd Olivia Griffiths
3rd Sophie Adams
Youth B Girls
1st Ffion James
2nd Mererid Hunt
3rd Tanwen Jones
Youth C Girls
1st Megan James
2nd Elizabeth Bennett
3rd Lowri Thomas
Youth D Girls
1st Emma Finucane
2nd Mali Jones
3rd Eva Edwards
Youth E Girls
1st Heledd Hunt
2nd Rosie Finucane
3rd Shannon Haird
1st Gruff Lewis
2nd Rhys Lloyd
3rd Richie Harris
1st Gery Bowditch
2nd John Holt
3rd John Lindsay
1st Matt Haase
2nd Will Worall
3rd Luke Cornish
1st Hannah Rich
2nd Ruby Miller
3rd Hannke Van Der Wers
1st Jonathan Munns
2nd Carwyn Henson
3rd James Purkiss