Torrential rain and numerous crashes throughout the morning defined day three of the North West Youth Tour, from the first youth race of the day, the rain was relentless, making the tight Salt Ayre circuit a challenge to race.
The morning session was postponed during the Under 14s girls race because of a serious crash which saw the Air ambulance being called. The afternoon session was ultimately cancelled by the commissaries because of the treacherous conditions.
Youth A Boys
In the Under 16s Boys race there was a fine win for Chevin Cycles’ Sam Watson who made a late charge for the line on the final lap, leaving the main field having to contest for the bunch sprint which was won by Alfie George (Discovery Junior RT) just a tyres width ahead of Lewis Askey (RST RT).
The nature of the circuit would dictate the field would pretty much stay together for the race, which it all but did except for the numerous crashes on the wet surface.
Overnight leader Oli Rees (Albion Cycling) finished safely in the bunch to take the overall win, just three seconds to the good of Adam Scarf (Team RL 360 IOM) and four seconds ahead of third place Dylan Wesley (Pedalsport CC).
Youth A Girls
In the Under 16s Girls race Ella Barnwell (Backstedt/Hotchillie) took the stage win to snatch the overall victory from Amelia Sharpe (Team RL360 IOM).
The race which was run in heavy rain meant the field stayed together for their 15 laps and came down to a bunch sprint, again the race was strewn with numerous crashes splitting the field into small groups.
A group of some 28 riders appeared out of the gloom on the final bend, Barnwell taking the sprint and a 10 second win bonus to overturn Sharpe’s previous days advantage and take the overall victory.
Emma Funicane (Towy Riders) pipped team mate Eluned King to take second on the stage.
Youth B Boys
The under 14 boys race was run flat out, the field seemingly oblivious to the slippery circuit and finishing with a 54 man sprint for the line which was won by Innes Harvey (VC Londres).
Tour leader Finlay Pickering (Hull Thursday RC) consolidated his overall lead sitting in the bunch tracking any move by second place Max Poole (Bike Box Alan) and third place Josh Charlton (Hetton Hawks CC).
It was an early attack by Charlton that triggered the quick pace which would continue throughout the 13 laps, the field having to react to every attack that was thrown at them throughout.
Any useful looking attack didn’t succeed for very long and the race remained together until the penultimate lap when a big number of riders came down on the finish straight which split the field.
All the riders got back up and the main protagonists were safe at the head of the race all able to contest the sprint for the finish.
Youth B Girls
A serious crash in the Under 14 girls race saw a halt to the morning session and the cancellation of the afternoon races.
A touch of wheels on the third lap saw Lucy Dalgleish hit the floor hard which resulted in the air ambulance being called. The news later in the day did filter through the Salt Ayre Cog Set rider had no significant injuries.
The restart of the race saw the field stay together for much of the race, riders seemingly still mindful of the morning’s crashes.
Eva Young (Pedal Power RT) made the first serious dig off the front of the race with 3 laps remaining but with only a handful of seconds behind tour leader Imani Pereira- James (East Kilbride RC) her attack was always going to be chased down.
The field were back together for the final two laps but it was Young who had the legs to outsprint Pereira-James into second and VC Londres’ Natalie Bloomer into third. Pereira-James retaining the overall victory.