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Barnwell and Watson finish strongly in Newport

Barnwell and Watson finish strongly in Newport

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Ella Barnwell’s hard work finally paid off after rounding out the HSBC UK | National Youth and Junior Track Championships in style on the final day in Newport.

The TRCC rider had enjoyed a number of impressive performances but the top step of the podium had thus far eluded her heading into the week’s final race, the keirin.

But she was not to be denied this time around while Samuel Watson backed up his points race victory with success in the scratch race in Wales.

The U16 competitions were to close in style too, with Jack Rootkin-Gray setting a new national record en route to pursuit victory while Eluned King took top spot in the girls’ curtain-closing points race.

No fewer than three podium places had already come Barnwell’s way this week, but she saved the best until last with a dominant performance in the keirin.

Finishing first in her heat, the youngster took that forward into the semi-final where she topped the standings once again, making her a favourite for the final.

And she duly delivered on her promise to take gold ahead of Lusia Steele (Glasgow CT) while bronze went to Ellie Russell (Team Backstedt-Hotchillee).

Meanwhile PH-Mas-Paul Milnes Cycles rider Watson secured his second victory in two days, the latter in a hotly-fought scratch race to round out his week.

Points race victory had already come his way, as had a third place in the Madison, this time joined on the podium by his teammate William Tidball in the final event. Ethan Vernon (Team KGF) finished second.

There was even more to celebrate in the U16 races as Jack Rootkin-Gray raced a national record in the pursuit, stopping the clock in 2:14.383 to complete a stirring performance and an excellent week bursting with victories.

That effort from the Solihull CC rider was narrowly ahead of Oscar Nilsson-Julien, of VC Londres, while Giant Halifax RT’s Robert Donaldson rounded off the top three.

Finally, a perfectly-timed final sprint made all the difference for Eluned King as she took the U16 girls’ points race with a total of 19, just two ahead of second-placed Sophie Lewis.