The British Cycling Youth Circuit Series headed to the Milton Keynes Bowl for round five with the flat, fast circuit offering a tricky surface after an overnight deluge and intermittent showers throughout the day.
The Under 14s girls got the racing underway with a win for Emma Finucane. The Towy rider bided her time on the wet roads before jumping away out of the final bend to take her to victory. The slippery roads proved to be the deciding factor of the way the race evolved.
Ava Oxley-Szilagyi (PH-MAS VCUK) made the first move of the race trying to encourage the bunch to split. Szilagyi would prove to be animated during the race but to no avail, the field content to take the race to the line.
Amy Cole (Towy Riders) rode away at the mid point of the race but again the effort was chased down by the bunch, the race all but nullified by the field. Although there was a crash on the final lap, the main field remained together until the final bend when Finucane proved to have the legs to carry her to the line to take the win. Becky Surridge (VC Londres) took second to retain her commanding lead in the series whilst Amy Cole took third a bike length behind.
It was a Mossley RT one-two that took the honours in the under 14s race with Rob Donaldson taking the sprint from Junior Jackson after a lively 45 minutes around the Bowl.
A brisk start by the full field of some 80 riders would always prove exciting and the youth riders never fail to deliver hard, hands-over-eyes racing.
From the flag there was activity at the head of the race, the riders starting to string out around the small circuit, the back half of the race starting to lose their grip on the quick pace at the front.
Junior Jackson and Speedflex’s Hugo Lutz-Atkinson made the first useful attack, the pair upping the pace and causing the bunch to react to chase the pair down, again splitting the race into two definite groups.
A crash mid race coming out of the stage area saw the race split slightly but it soon regained its form. As the lap numbers decreased the speed increased, and any break that tried to attack was soon brought back.
VC Londres’ Innes Harvey went for glory with three laps to go but it would be a big ask to stay away and the big front group took the bell as one, riders looking around to see who would make the move but the move wouldn’t happen until the final few metres when Donaldson took the sprint and his second win of the series.
Ellie Russell (Sportcity Velo) took the win in the Under 16 girls race from Pfeiffer Georgi (Liv CC-Epic Coaching) and India Gloag (VC Londres) respectively after a tough hammer around the damp circuit.
The race was never really allowed to settle in with constant attacks going from the start. Georgi and Russell made for an early break but, sensing the pair had the strength to go the distance, the race had to respond to bring them back to the fold and the break was short-lived.
By the mid way point of the race a deciding front group of some 19 riders took to the front, the series leaders all safely in the break. A chase of seven organised themselves and with nine laps remaining they had tagged on the back of the lead group.
As the chase was caught there was group of four that responded, Georgi, Anna Docherty (Clifton CC), Isabel Ellis and Elynor Backstedt (Backstedt Cycling) moved off the front of the bunch but a break of that quality wasn’t going to be allowed to go and were soon back in the bunch.
Charlotte Dalton (Team Jadan-Weldtite) tried for a lone victory as the bell rang but the race had other ideas and it was going to come down to a sprint, Russell getting the wheel on the series leader, Pfeiffer Gorgi to take the win.
Ethan Vernon (Team Corley Cycles) took the sprint and his first win in the Under 16s boys race. Vernon held his nerve in the final couple of bends to get the better of Jack Ford (Albion Cycling), Lewis Askey (RST RT) and some 40 plus riders on the tight roads to claim the win.
As expected, the race would ignite on the opening few laps and a trio of riders, Josh Price (Ride 24/7), Max Rushby (Pedalsport CC) and Vernon going on the attack.
As in previous races, the break wasn’t allowed to get any useful time and would soon be in the main field. Theo Modell (Team Corley Cycles) would try to animate the race throughout and with some 15 minutes gone went on his first attack of the day. His attack only lasted just over a lap - but it was enough to mix up the race.
Askey and Max Walker (Team RL360 IoM) took to the head of the race and the pair looked as though they could stay away for a while but soon had to surrender. Again Modell jumped but again, he was unable to stay away.
As the race settled it was the turn of Josh Greenwood (Pedalsport CC) and Chevin Cycles’ Will Orwell-Turner who took their chances but again the break was unable to stick.
It would be the last quarter of the race that would ignite. A break of four, including Josh Price (Ride 24/7) and Max Walker looked to have the legs to go until the finish and the group working well, whilst the main field were looking at each other waiting for someone to organise the chase.
It would be left to Modell, again, and Askey to organise a chase and with only a handful of laps remaining the break was caught.
The pace slowed for the penultimate lap with no one looking to go for a long attack, and it would be the final lap that saw the speed increase somewhat. The big bunch hit the final two bends at full gas, a crash taking a few out, but it was Vernon who held his nerve to take the front and the sprint.
1. Emma Finucane Towy Riders
2. Becky Surridge VC Londres
3. Amy Cole Towy Riders
4. Emily Conn Palmer Park Velo RT
5. Ava Oxley-Szilagyi PH-MAS VCUK RT
1. Rob Donaldson Mossley RT
2. Junior Jackson Mossley RT
3. George Southby East Bradford CC
4. Billy Lazenby Chevin Cycles.com Trek
5. Edward Woodward MI Racing Academy
1. Ellie Russell Sportcity Velo
2. Pfeiffer Georgi LIV Cycling Club - Epic Coaching
3. India Gloag VC Londres
4. Elynor Backstedt Backstedt Cycling
5. Esme Niblett Mid Shrops Wheelers
1. Ethan Vernon Team Corley Cycles
2. Jack Ford Albion Cycling Co
3. Lewis Askey RST Racing Team
4. Jim Brown VCUK PH-MAS
5. Will Orrell-Turner Chevin Cycles.com Trek