Britain’s brightest young track cycling talents will look to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Laura Kenny, Charlie Tanfield, Katie Archibald and Ethan Hayter at the British Cycling National Youth and Junior Track Championships in south Wales next week.
Newport’s Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales will play host to a full five days of competition during which the best under-18 riders in the country will seek national titles.
A full programme of endurance and sprint events will take place over the five days – beginning on Monday – affording riders the opportunity to catch the eye in one of Britain’s most successful sporting disciplines.
Youth titles are contested by those aged up to 16, while those aged under 18 compete for the junior crowns.
Among the riders competing are the Backstedt sisters – Elynor and Zoe (Storey Racing) – both of whom have enjoyed sensational recent success on the track and road, and will team up in the junior Madison here.
Elynor will also compete in the junior points race, junior pursuit , while Zoe – fresh from double gold on the road at the recent European Youth Olympic Festival – will be seeking titles in the under-16 pursuit, junior pursuit and under-16 Madison (partnering Millie Couzens, of PH-MAS-Paul Milnes).
Eluned King (Liv CC– Halo Cycles), who was crowned national junior road race champion just last weekend, will be looking to add track titles to that accolade in the shape of the junior scratch race, junior points race, junior time trial, junior pursuit and junior Madison (alongside Sophie Lewis – Cycle Team OnForm).
Lewis, Ella Barnwell and Amelia Sharpe (Liv CC – Halo Cycles), Max Rushby (HMT Hospitals Giant CT), Oscar Nilsson-Julien (VC Londres), Sam Watson (Fensham Howes-MAS Design), Leo Hayter (VC Londres), Alfie George (Discovery Junior CC), Emma Finucane (Cycle Team OnForm) and Charlotte Robinson (Sportcity Velo) – along with Elynor Backstedt and King – all brought home medals from the recent UEC Junior and Under-23 European Track Championships, and will be bidding to add national titles to their already-impressive palmares in Newport.
Lewis Askey (Backstedt Cycling) – 2018’s junior Paris-Roubaix winner – lines up in the junior points race, junior pursuit, junior time trial and junior scratch race, with the former and the latter seeing him come up against defending champion Watson.
Also defending titles next week are Zoe Backstedt (under-16 pursuit), Glasgow Cycling Team’s Jack Cruden (junior keirin) and Elynor Backstedt (junior Madison).