Albion Cycling rider Oli Rees took a fine win at Lancaster to move himself into the overall lead in the Under 16s boys race of the North West Youth Tour.
The Tour concludes tomorrow with Rees giving himself a great opportunity to move up from his current fifth place in the British Cycling Youth Circuit Series.
Amelia Sharpe of Team RL360 IOM took the win and moved into the overall lead in the Under 16s Girls race to set the tour up for a thrilling final day.
There was a superb lone win for Hull Thursday RC’s Finley Pickering in the Under 14 Boys race which moved him into the overall lead in general classification.
And Imani Pereira-James of East Kilbride RC took a fine victory in the Under 14 Girls race, sprinting away on the final kick up to the line.
Youth A Boys
Rees made his move towards the mid-race point to jump across to series leader Lewis Askey who had attacked on the Daisy Bank Climb a few laps previously.
The pair were joined by Adam Scarffe (Team RL360 IOM) and Tom Gloag (VC Londres).
Gloag had made an early move in the race and although he was caught, his attack triggered the high pace in the opening laps.
The quartet worked well together and soon began to distance themselves from the main field but just as the four began to establish themselves, Askey picked up a puncture and had to wait for a wheel, dropping the RST rider back down the field, his chance for the stage win all but over.
The remaining trio ploughed on but a big effort from Dylan Westley (Pedalsport CC) saw the leaders back to four-strong. Askey began to pull back time and was up to the chase group after three laps on the limit.
With 35 seconds to the good in the closing laps, the leaders looked as though they would hang on but the chasers began to rally, Joe Pidcock and Sam Watson (Chevin Cycles.com), Zach Bridges (Cardiff JIF) and Issac Peatfield (Green Jersey) looking most likely to chip away the time difference but it was to prove too big a gap to pull back.
Rees popped off the front of the lead group on the last lap to take the win, Scarf and Westley finishing second and third respectively, two seconds splitting the pair.
Rees was penalised 20 seconds for taking both hands off the bars as he celebrated his win.
Youth A Girls
Sharpe was part of a group that wore down the race as the miles ticked by.
Tour favourites, Kate Wootton (Lee Valley Youth), Eluned King (Towy Riders), Ella Barnwell (Backstedt/Hotchillie) and Sharpe moved away on the opening few laps with Megan Panton (Woolwich CC) heading up the group on the climb but the severity wouldn’t allow anyone to break away.
The leaders stayed as one as the laps counted down, no one rider able to make any move that would affect the overall outcome.
It was the last time up the climb that would prove the turning point though, Sharpe having the legs to get a gap and take the win, Wootton and King sprinted for second and third respectively while Barnwell took the sprint for fourth.
Youth B Boys
Pickering was part of a three-man break with Max Poole (Bike Box Alan) and Joe Kiely (Welwyn Wheelers CC) who attacked on the opening lap to get a handful of seconds on the main field.
An incident saw the race reduced by two laps but at the restart it was the same trio who saw the top of the climb before anyone else.
The gap to the now deteriorating main field was almost 30 seconds and it did seem like it would not reduce anytime soon but with three laps remaining Poole dropped off the pace and Pickering and Kiely pushed on.
The pair looked to have the race tied up but Josh Charlton (Hetton Hawks CC), Dan Vincent (Eastlands Velo) and Ben Bright (Marsh Tracks RT) began to work to try and bring the lead pair back.
Poole found his legs again but with two laps remaining Pickering attacked and no one could respond.
Bright and Charlton were beginning to nibble back some time on the front runners and on the final lap had picked off Kiely but the chase effort had taken its toll.
Pickering had too great a gap and crossed the line some 20 seconds ahead of Poole.
Charlton arguably had the best ride of the day to claim third and keep him in the running for the overall.
Youth B Girls
Scot Pereira-James was part of a group that smashed the field apart on the opening lap and included Grace Lister (WWCC) who took second and Millie Cousins (PH-MAS/Paul Milnes/ Oldfields) who took the sprint for third from Flora Perkins (VC Londres) and Ella Maclean-Howell (Cardiff JIF).
The difference of ability in the field proved itself early on as the climb favoured the strong riders and as the lead group formed on the first lap the race was all but over for many.
The group of some 15 riders which included amongst others Laura Curle (BCDS) and Eva Young (Pedalpower RT) were uncatchable and they all but neutralised proceedings until the chequered flag.