The penultimate round of the British Cycling Youth Circuit Series on the streets of central Milton Keynes on a straightforward by challenging criterium circuit centred – appropriately on the longest day of the year – on Midsummer Boulevard.
The long, long finishing straight climbs towards the guildhall and, in combination with hairpin bends at either end of the u-shaped course ensured that most of the races fragmented long before the finish.
The under-8 girls race saw Ella Tandy of Solihull CC put seven seconds into her nearest rival – Tulsi Bakrania of Team Darenth – with Brakrania a healthy 26 seconds ahead of Series front runners Anna Lloyd of Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club and Megan Lloyd of Harry Middleton Cycling Club.
In the boys race, Henry Hobbs f Braking & Dagenham CC, Ryan Oldfield of Redditch Road & Path, Matthew White of Stockton Wheelers and Finn O’Brien of Hillingdon Slipstreamers distanced the rest of the field – O’Brien dropping away in the closing stages to take a distant fourth but Hobbs, Oldfield and White were separated by just three seconds, finishing in that order.
The under-10 girls have seen several close 1-2 finishes for Towy Riders duo Bethany Bennett and Awen Roberts, but on this occasion Bennett gave Roberts the slip and finished six seconds down the road – with Bobbie O’Brien of Hillingdon 3 seconds further back.
And, ironically, O’Brien’s team mate Jed Smithson – who has won several rounds by a country mile – just couldn’t get away from the rest of the field and in a rare – relatively - close finish, held off another of the Hillingdon O’Briens – Joseph – by couple of seconds, the pair having dropped William Bancroft of VC Londres on the run in.
A contender for the ride of the day came in the under-12 boys where Finlay Pickering of Clifton CC returned to form and rode away from the under-12 boys pack – finishing on his own a minute and eight seconds ahead of the three chasers – Joshua Giddings of Heanor Clarion CC, Max Poole pf Bike Box Alan/Envelopemaster and Owen Lightfoot of Rutland Rouleur – who were thirteen seconds clear of the rest.
Isabella Escalera of VC Londres had a comfortable win the under-12 girls – finishing 12 seconds up on Zoe Backstedt of Maindy Flyers – with third place Rosie Dias a minute and twenty three behind.
The closest to a bunch finish on the day saw a group of six riders break away in the under-14 girls race and stay together to the end. Becky Surridge of VC Londres edged out Amelia Sharpe of RL360 Isle of Man in the final sprint with Emily Bridson of JCAYA in third.
At the last round in Cardiff, Zach Bridges of Cardiff JIF dominated, taking a fine solo win and he was away again this week – but he had company.
Working with Lewis Askey of Lichfield City CC for pretty much the whole race, the pair pulled out a 30 second led over the chasing bunch but this time it was Askey who took the win on the line – Samuel Watson of Chevin Cycles.com Trek just losing out to Alfred George of Discovery Juniors on the line.
The other dominant ride of the day came in the under-16 girls. After an early attempt at a breakaway by Sophie-Jo Wylie-Morris of M&D Cycles was pulled back in and it was Pfeiffer Georgi of Giant Cycling Club-Halo Films took her place ahead of the race and rode away from the bunch.
Last week, Georgi worked hard to control the pace of the chasing bunch to allow her team mate Lauren Dolan to take the solo win and this week Dolan returned the favour and managed the gap to 30 seconds – and still managed to bag third in the bunch sprint – behind RST Racing Team’s Jessica Roberts and just ahead Lorna Bowler of Hillingdon Slipstreamers.
The pace of the under-16 boys race tore it apart in the early stages with the front end eventually settling down to a lead group of three riders – Matthew Cox of British Cycling development squad, Joseph Nally of www.Hardie-Bikes.com and Fred Wright of VC Londres pulling out 30 seconds on a six rider chase group which included Harry Hardcastle, Theo Hartley and Jamie Ridehalgh of Marton Race Team, Thomas Pidcock of Chevin Cycles, William Draper of Team RL360 Isle of Man and Jake Stewart of Solihull CC.
In the latter stages the chase group thinned out with Hartley and Ridehalgh dropping back to the bunch – but the lead trio stayed together until the finish – Wrght and Nally dropping Cox on the final drag, with the VC Londres rider just holding off his rival on the line.
The series pauses for the summer now, reconvening one last time in Scraborough on the 24 August.
1 Ella TANDY Solihull CC 16:12.297
2 Tulsi BAKRANIA Team Darenth @ 7 secs
3 Anna LLOYD Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club @ 33
4 Megan LLOYD Harry Middleton Cycling Club @ 39
5 Ailsa WALTON Team Milton Keynes @ 1:37
6 Elise HAWKINS Palmer Park Velo RT @ 2:16
7 Ella HARRIS Halesowen A & CC @ 3:21
1 Henry HOBBS Barking & Dagenham CC 14:42.893
2 Ryan OLDFIELD Redditch Road & Path CC @ 1 secs
3 Matthew WHITE Stockton Wheelers CC @ 3
4 Finn O'BRIEN Hillingdon Slipstreamers @ 32
5 Charlie BECKETT Cardiff JIF@ 50
6 Tristan HARGREAVES Team Milton Keynes @ 1:02
1 Bethany BENNETT Towy Riders 20:14.147
2 Awen ROBERTS Towy Riders @ 6 seconds
3 Bobbie O'BRIEN Hillingdon Slipstreamers @ 9
4 Stephanie KINGSTON Lichfield City CC @ 25
5 Carys LLOYD Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club @ 25
6 Caitlin LOVELESS Hillingdon Slipstreamers @ 45
1 Jed SMITHSON Hillingdon Slipstreamers 19:51.717
2 Joseph O'BRIEN Hillingdon Slipstreamers @ 2 seconds
3 William BANCROFT VC Londres @ 6
4 Arlo CAREY Palmer Park Velo RT @ 15
5 Finlay HAWKER Hillingdon Slipstreamers @ 15
6 James BROWN Palmer Park Velo RT @ 16
1 Isabella ESCALERA VC Londres 27:34.437
2 Zoe BACKSTEDT Maindy Flyers Youth CC @ 12 seconds
3 Rosie DIAS @ 1:35
4 Maya TEUFEL Tarlton Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club @ 1:36
5 Libby SMITH Fossa Racing @ 1:37
6 Laura CURLE Velo Club Walcot @ 1:42
1 Finlay PICKERING Clifton CC 26:04.657
2 Joshua GIDDINGS Heanor Clarion CC @ 1:08
3 Max POOLE Bike Box Alan/Envelopemaster same time
4 Owen LIGHTFOOT Rutland Rouleur @ 1:09
5 Benjamin PEATFIELD Bolton Hot Wheels CC @ 1:22
6 Ben ASKEY Lichfield City CC @ 1:22
1 Becky SURRIDGE VC Londres 35:58.077
2 Amelia SHARPE Team RL360 Isle Of Man same time
3 Emily BRIDSON JCAYA @ 1 second
4 Ava OXLEY-SZILAGYI PH-MAS VCUK Women's Cycling Team same time
5 Elynor BACKSTEDT Maindy Flyers Youth CC st
6 Josie GRIFFIN Welwyn Wheelers CC st
1 Lewis ASKEY Lichfield City CC 45:32.563
2 Zach BRIDGES Cardiff JIF same time
3 Alfred GEORGE Discovery Junior Cycling Club @ 31 seconds
4 Samuel WATSON Chevin Cycles.com Trek same time
5 Oliver REES Holmfirth Cycling Club @ 32
6 Finlay COOPER-OLDROYD Paul Milnes - Bradford Olympic RC @ 33
1 Pfeiffer GEORGI Giant Cycling Club - Halo Films 46:59.317
2 Jessica ROBERTS RST Racing Team @ 30 seconds
3 Lauren DOLAN Giant Cycling Club - Halo Films @31 seconds
4 Lorna BOWLER Hillingdon Slipstreamers same time
5 Sophie WILLIAMS Cardiff JIF same time
6 Lauren MURPHY Welwyn Wheelers
1 Fred WRIGHT VC Londres 49:18.227
2 Joseph NALLY www.Hardie-Bikes.com 00:49:18.377 00:00:00
3 Matthew COX Bristol Cycling Development Squad @ 11 seconds
4 Thomas PIDCOCK Chevin Cycles.com Trek @ 38
5 Harry HARDCASTLE Marton Race Team same time
6 Jake STEWART Solihull CC @ 39