A warm and windy track greeted 56 riders for the second Celtic Crits, a fantastic turnout after the rain put off some the week before. Quality fields in each category with 19 Under 12's being the largest single group and many more Under 14's. It was good to welcome some Cardiff Ajax riders and Cwmcarn Paragons along with the other Welsh clubs Newport Velo, Maindy Flyers, Abergavenny RC, Towy Riders. Riders from VC St Raphael, BCDS, Chippenham Wheelers and Mid Devon CC provided the challenge from across the Severn.
The track was slightly tighter than the previous week, partly because it was dry and partly because 10 portacabins and 2 articulated lorries appeared in the circuit the night before! This is all part of the build up to the Ryder Cup Golf tournament and I am grateful to Richard Davies and the Celtic Manor for allowing us to use this facility when they are clearly focussed on the Golf.
The Under 8's and 10's went off together and had to push really hard into the wind on the main straight. Ryan Phillips of Maindy Flyers proving the winner of the Under 8 ahead of last weeks winner Torin Graham, also of Maindy. Ellie Shaw won the girls race in her first outing. The Under 10 pair of Owain Roberts of Towy Riders and Megan James of Abergavenny RC fought hard all the way with Owain just crossing the line first by the thickness of a tyre for the boys win and Megan claiming the girls win.
Under 12's field of 19 saw Etienne Georgi sprint from the line as he did last week, pursued strongly by Sam and James Tillett of Newport Velo working with Peter Kibble of Abergavenny RC to keep him in sight. Unfortunately James succumbed to a knee injury and had to pull off and leave it to Sam and Peter to try and catch Etienne. They finished Etienne, Peter and Sam for the boys. The girls race saw Mali Meek of Maindy Flyers pulling steadily away from Emily Tillett of Newport Velo who also pulled away from her team mate Nicole Pollock and these 3 took the podiums.
A strong field of 11 Under 14 riders set off 20 seconds after the Under 16's and Max Nethell, Cardiff Ajax, and Tristan Robbins of Newport Velo were never more than a bike length from each other for the whole race with Max eventually successful in the final sprint with Tristan second and Ashley Hutchison 3rd. The girls race saw Emily Haycox and Ffion James neck and neck all the way with Emily taking the win by a tyre from Ffion and Ellie Coster of Newport Velo claiming 3rd. Two near misses for the James sisters tonight!
The Under 16 pair of Rob Westwood, Cwmcarn Paragon, and Dan McKimm, BCDS, pulled away from the rest early on and proved the class of the field lapping all riders including 3rd placed Charley Bradley-V of BCDS who gained valuable experience riding their wheels a lap down. Rob Westwood timed his final sprint perfectly and crossed the line at very high speed with Dan claiming a well deserved second. The two Newport Olympic riders of Ieuan Frowen and Craig May continued their season long rivalry in all racing by playing nip and tuck for the whole race with Ieuan coming out tops today taking 4th. In the girls race Amy Hill of Newport Velo managed to put some distance on Sarah Crowley of Cardiff Ajax and they finished 1 and 2.
Once again I would like to thank all the riders for exciting, high speed racing providing great entertainment for the watching parents and fans. I remain indebted to the sign on ladies, marshalls, gear checker, and scorers without whom this event would be impossible to stage. The Ryder Cup now takes over but we will be able to resume racing afterwards and I would be pleased to hear from anyone with ideas on how we can use this facility from November onwards.
Celtic Crits 1 of 2
Riders brave Monsoon conditions at Celtic Manor opening crit
The first Celtic Crits on 20th July saw 40 riders braving monsoon conditions for an exciting evening of racing. It was great to see representatives from all the South Wales Clubs; Newport Velo, Newport Olympic, Maindy Flyers, Abergavenny RC, Towy Riders and Port Talbot along with racers from further afield from Wye Valley CC, VC St Raphael, BCDS, Chippenham Wheelers, Dream Zero G, and Mid Devon CC. It was also pleasing to see a mix of riders new to racing as well as the more experienced racers.
The Under 8's and 10's started together and soon found good lines around the wet and tight course with the short climb into the wind at the top of the course providing quite a challenge and then a fast sweeping turn at the bottom proving a test of nerve. All riders completed the race safely with Torin Graham of Maindy Flyers taking the Under 8 win and Owain Roberts of Towy Riders taking the Under 10 win from a stiff challenge all the way from Pfeiffer Georgi of Mid Devon CC.
Next up the Under 12's with 14 riders proving to be the largest field of the evening. Etienne Georgi was clearly inspired by his sister's effort and he sprinted from the start and quickly built a lead which was to remain unchallenged despite the efforts of Sam and James Tillett from Newport Velo who eventually came in 2nd and 3rd. Bethany Maunders taking the win for the girls, followed closely by Emily Tillett in 2nd and then Nicole Pollock in 3rd making it a clean sweep for Newport Velo. Great skills shown by all riders as the rain was at its worst for this race.
The under 14's and 16's set off together with the trio of Mat Cross, Luke Cowley and Dan Pearson quickly forming a breakaway despite valiant efforts from the rest of the pack to bridge the gap. The under 14's played nip and tuck all the way with Harry Lock of Maindy Flyers taking the win from Ashley Hutchison of VC St Raphael, and Emily Haycox of Maindy Flyers taking the win for the girls ahead of Molly Maunders of Newport Velo.
Speeds were very high and great bike handling skills in evidence on the bottom corner with some sliding of wheels making for a few hearts in mouths. In the under 16's Luke Cowley of Dream Zero CC timed a break from Mat and Dan as they lapped the Under 14 group towards the end of the race and he kept it to the line for an excellent win from Mat Cross of Newport Velo with Dan Pearson of Port Talbot taking 3rd. Steph Higgs took the sprint of the second group to take the first girl position.
I would like to thank all of the riders for an exciting spectacle of racing and their parents for bringing them on a miserable evening. I would also like to thank the volunteers who helped with signing on, commissaire, scoring and marshalling without which these events would not take place. I hope to see you all next week and I promise you can see Abergavenny and beyond up the Usk Valley!
Newport Olympic will be running a series of two races at the Celtic Manor resort for youth riders only. Using one of the newly built parking areas the technical circuit will test the young riders skill, strength and speed.
Each event is entry on the line only and the first race will get underway at 6.45pm.
Entry information can be found by using the links below:
Celtic Crit 1: more>>>
Celtic Crit 2: more>>>