Alfie George posted the quickest time of the day in the Youth A time trial to take the leader’s jersey, as the third round of the British Cycling Youth Circuit Series got underway in Morecambe.
The Discovery Junior CC racer stopped the clock at three minutes exactly on the 2.4km course alongside the promenade, the ideal way to open up his weekend in the North West Youth Tour.
Chevin Cycles’ Sam Watson crossed the line one second adrift of George’s effort, while series leader Lewis Askey (RST RT) was a further second off as the top five were separated by just four seconds.
It wasn’t to be as tight in the Youth A girls race however, as Ella Barnwell – representing Backstedt/Hotchillee – made her intentions clear from the outset.
She crossed the line in 3:25, some eight seconds to the good of the series contender Amelia Sharpe (Team RL360 IOM) and teammate Elynor Backstedt.
It was Barnwell’s second prologue victory in as many tours and the time difference could prove important. Series leader Kate Wooton (Lee Valley Youth) finished 14 seconds off the top and has work to do over the weekend to retain her overall lead.
Meanwhile there was another prologue victory for Hetton Hawks’ Josh Charlton in the Youth B event, showing the form he had shown last time out in the Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Youth Tour exactly a month ago.
He held off series leader Max Poole (Bike Box Alan) by a slender two seconds after the leader finished in 3:16.
Dan Kain (Ythan CC) and Finlay Pickering (Hull Thursday RC) were three seconds adrift of Charlton, with VC Londres’ Innes Harvey a further second back.
The girls’ Youth B leader’s jersey headed the way of Pedal Power RT racer Eva Young after the prologue in Morecambe, with a brisk time of 3:32 aiding her cause.
That was six seconds ahead of Isabella Escalera (VC Londres) who sits as the closest challenger, while the returning Millie Couzens (PH-MAS/Paul Milnes/Oldfield) was third, a further second back.
Young was second to Zoe Backstedt in the opening round and with a climb on stage two, it will be up to the rest of the field to attack the tour leader every lap.
Imani Pereira-James (East Kilbride RC), Ella Coleman (Hillingdon Slipstreamers) and Flora Perkins (VC Londres) were all eight seconds off the leader’s time and, with the former sitting second in the series, Young’s time could prove crucial.