West Wales Cycle Racing Team held a successful day of racing at a new venue in Aberporth on the Ceredigion Coast on Saturday. Set on old army camp roads on a headland overlooking the Irish Sea the race was blessed with blue skies and sunshine, a big change after the previous week was cancelled due to high winds.
The races gave local youth riders the opportunity to race locally and capitalised on the increasing numbers of youth cyclists in the major clubs in the area. Held over a 1km technical circuit the day started off with a race for kids aged 6 years and under and gave some of the entrants their first taste of competitive cycling. A good battle saw host club WWCRT’s Rhys Caygill take the win just ahead of Finn Davies of Cycletec in second. First girl was Fallon Haird , WWCRT, who pipped teammate Libby Carton into second. Special mention to Dylan Wright who fell in his first race but still finished with a little help from his teammates.
Under 8s were up next with Finlay Tarling and Alfie Davies continuing their rivalry from the cyclocross season. Finlay got the better of Alfie this time but the racing was fast and close throughout. First Under 8 girl was Alaw Lewis from WWCRT who pipped teammates Fallon Haird and Libby Carton into second and third.
A quality field of local riders lined up for the Under 10 race and after a brief flurry of attacks it was Josh Tarling from WWCRT who emerged as the lone leader. Teammate Griff Lewis chased solo for a couple of laps before being absorbed into a chasing group. Josh took the win comfortably before Griff unleashed a great sprint finish to take second place just ahead of Iolo Dafydd from Towy Riders. Zoe Backstedt from Maindy Flyers was in the same chasing group to take first girl followed home by Awen Roberts and Heledd Hunt from Towy Riders.
The Under 12 race was dominated by strong riders from Towy Riders with Guto Dafydd riding to a fine solo win ahead of teammates Iwan Evans and first girl Emma Finucane. Ivan Phillips and Jack Ramsbottom followed these riders home for WWCRT followed by teammate Shannon Haird who took second girl just ahead of Rosie Finucane from Towy Riders.
As the wind started to pick up the Under 14s took to the line for a rapid race that saw a group of three emerge by the end of the first lap. The group worked well together before Owain Roberts clipped off for the win followed home by Towy Riders teammate Ella Barnwell in second and first girl. The third of the leading trio was Ellie Shaw from Maindy Flyers who was second girl. Ifan Phillips from WWCRT came home in fourth just ahead of teammate Rachel Davies who was third girl.
A small field of five U16s rounded off the youth races with Will Roberts from County Cycles taking a commanding win ahead of Marcus Williams-Dean, Ben Cook and Daniel Ramsbottom from WWCRT. Alys Masters was first girl making the long trip from Cardiff worthwhile.
A new venture this year, the ladies only race proved to be a hit with a field of riders made up of local clubs and some from further afield enjoying the opportunity of not having to race alongside the men. After a rapid few laps it was Meg Backstedt from Maindy Flyers that emerged as the lone leader being chased by local triathlon star Sharon Lewis from Ystwyth CC. With Meg looking very strong Sharon was absorbed into a chasing group. With Meg taking the win the other podium places came down to a sprint finish with Sharon lewis just holding of Leah Brewer from Ystwyth CC on the line.
Last race of the day saw ten 4th category men take to the line as the wind really began to whip up making the run down the back straight tough. A leading group of three riders quickly emerged containing three members from Ystwyth CC who worked well together throughout the race. On the penultimate lap it was Gareth Hodgson who attacked first quickly followed by Jeff Saycell in a desperate chase. As Hodgson soloed away to the win Jeff was caught by Gareth Jones who just pipped him for second place. Louis machine followed this group home for fourth place just a head of Gareth Lewis from Team Conti.
Organiser Michael Tarling would like to thank all the volunteers and helpers from WWCRT that helped before and on the day as well as Qinetiq, Aeron Waste Services and Cambrian Driver Training without whom the events could not have taken place. The third round of the series takes place at the same venue on Saturday 22 March 2014.