A quartet of new national champions were crowned as this year’s HSBC UK | National Youth Circuit Championships were part of the Scarborough Festival of Cycling at the Oliver’s Mount Circuit, high above the town.
Zoe Backstedt, Alex Barker, Eluned King and Oliver Stockwell all produced sterling performances to take age-group titles on a sweltering day in Yorkshire
Each race started with four or five laps of the fast, 2.1km top circuit before diverting on to the 3.9km full circuit – with its brutal climb back up to the summit truly testing the riders.
Under 14 Girls
The bunch stayed together for the four laps of the top circuit but as it moved on to the full circuit, Zoe Backstedt of Maindy Flyers Youth eased off the front. By the end of the first lap she was 30 seconds clear and after two more ascents of the hill she had trebled that advantage.
If the winner of the championship jersey was never in doubt, silver was hotly contested – with Imani Pereira-James of East Kilbride Road Club, team-mate Morven Yeoman and Wolverhampton Wheelers’ Grace Lister fighting for podium places.
It was Lister who took the bunch sprint and the silver medal, with Pereira-James taking bronze. Yeoman finished sixth behind Anoushka Minale of CC Hackney and Ella Maclean-Howell of Cardiff JIF.
Backstedt, though, was in a class of her own – having secured the championship jersey a minute and 41 seconds before the bunch hit the line. In a day of breakaways, this was the breakaway of the day.
GOLD Zoe Backstedt – Maindy Flyers Youth CC @ 37:21:00
SILVER Grace Lister – Wolverhampton Whls @ 1:41
BRONZE Imani Pereira-James – East Kilbride Road Club @ same time
4. Anoushka Minale – Cycling Club Hackney @ 1:42
5. Ella Maclean-Howell – Cardiff JIF @ 1:43
6. Morven Yeoman – East Kilbride Road Club @ same time
7. Amy Pullen – Taw Velo @ 1:44
8. Evelina Black – Sportcity Velo @ 1:47
9. Lucy Dalgleish – Salt Ayre Cog Set @ 2:11
10. Grace Castle – Mountain Goat Coaching @ 2:13
Under 14 Boys
In contrast to the girls’ race, the Under 14 boys largely stayed together for the bulk of the race – and it was the only race of the day to end in a bunch finish, albeit a small one.
Although the transition to the full circuit did string the field out, it didn’t completely break it apart and it was only in the final laps that Nathan Hardy of Cycle Club Ashwell made a break.
He was pursued by Alex Barker of Halesowen A & CC, Joshua Tarling of Team Backstedt/Hotchillee, Noah Hobbs of Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club, Ifan Roberts-Jones of Maindy Flyers, Jamie Gostick of Palmer Park Velo and Oliver Mangham of VC Londres.
At the bell, Hardy was back in the group and with a sizeable gap to the chasers, a bunch sprint looked the likely outcome.
And so it turned out to be – Barker taking the win, and the stripy jumper, ahead of Roberts-Jones and Hardy with Hobbs in fourth place.
GOLD Alex Barker – Halesowen A & CC @ 01:04:18
SILVER Ifan Roberts-Jones – Maindy Flyers Youth CC @ same time
BRONZE Nathan Hardy – Cycle Club Ashwell (CCA) @ st
4. Noah Hobbs – Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club @ st
5. Joshua Tarling – Team Backstedt/Hotchillee @ st
6. Jamie Gostick – Palmer Park Velo RT @ st
7. Olivier Mangham – VC Londres @ st
8. Finley Douglas – Rhyl Cycling Club @ 0:08
9. Sebastien Cuming – East Bradford CC@ 0:11
10. Archie Ellen – Edinburgh RC @ 0:44
Under 16 Girls
There was a two-hour break between the Under 14 and Under 16 races and, although the weather remained hot and humid, the clouds rolled in and at least took the edge off the direct heat.
The field remained largely intact for the laps of the top circuit and it took two laps of the full circuit for the decisive move of the race to come – Anna Flynn of Edinburgh RC, Millie Couzens of PH-MAS/Paul Milnes Cycles and Eluned King of Towy Riders getting the jump on the rest of the field.
The trio stayed together until the bell, with Flynn just losing contact on the final climb. That left King and Couzens to battle it out for the red-white-and-blue jersey and it was King who got just enough of a gap to raise her arms in celebration as she took the gold.
Flynn had dropped 18 seconds back – but was still 19 seconds clear of fourth-placed Josie Nelson of Lichfield City CC – with Flora Perkins of VC Londres leading home the rest of the field two-and-a-half minutes behind the winners.
GOLD Eluned King – Towy Riders @ 59:27:00
SILVER Millie Couzens – PH-MAS/Paul Milnes Cycles @ same time
BRONZE Anna Flynn – Edinburgh RC @ 0:18
4. Josie Nelson – Lichfield City CC @ 0:37
5. Flora Perkins – VC Londres @ 2:26
6. Amelie Wayte – The MI Racing Academy @ 2:34
7. Lucy Hart – Mid Shropshire Wheelers @ same time
8. Ellen Bennett – Welwyn Wheelers CC @ st
9. Chloe Hinchliffe – Holmfirth Cycling Club @ 2:41
10. Ellen Inglis – Kent Velo Race Team @ 2:52
Under 16 Boys
As Under 16 Boys races tend to do, the Lewis Barry Memorial Race set off at a blistering pace – the 113 riders a magnificent sight as they came up to the start-finish line for the first time.
Although the cloud cover persisted, it was still hot and humid and it was inevitable that, as soon as the race hit the full circuit, it would split apart.
And split apart it did – but only, initially, at the back. First time up the hill Oliver Stockwell of Welwyn Wheelers and Will Corkill of Team RL360 Isle Of Man led around half the field over the top.
A lap later and they were off the front, with Joe Pidcock of PH-MAS/Paul Milne Cycles pulling the chase group along.
In the closing stages, Pidcock and Emile Alexander broke away from the chase group and set off after the leaders – Alexander eventually faltering and leaving Pidcock to try to bridge across on his own.
That he did, briefly, but the effort had been too much and it was Stockwell and Corkhill who contested the final sprint – the Welwyn rider just taking the win to secure the championship jersey.
Exhausted, Pidcock collapsed into the barriers as he crossed the line, 12 seconds down on the leading duo but still ahead of the small ‘main’ group – led home by Jack Rootkin-Gray of Solihull CC – with tenth place Alexander’s reward for his earlier effort.
GOLD Oliver Stockwell – Welwyn Wheelers CC @ 1:00:57
SILVER Will Corkill – Team RL360 Isle Of Man @ same time
BRONZE Joseph Pidcock – PH-MAS/Paul Milnes Cycles @ 0:12
4. Jack Rootkin-Gray – Solihull CC @ 0:31
5. Max Bolton – Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club @ same time
6. Max Poole – Bike Box Alan @ st
7. Alec Gregory – Pedal Power Loughborough @ st
8. Joe Kiely – Welwyn Wheelers CC @ st
9. Sam Freeman – Solent Pirates @ st
10. Emile Alexander – Lichfield City CC @ st
Under 12 Girls
1. Isla McCutcheon – Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club @ 26:47:00
2. Molly Evans – Grampian Tigers @ 0:01
3. Florence Greenhalgh – East Bradford CC @ 0:02
4. Florence Barnett – Kings Lynn CC @ 0:24
5. Esther Wong – Salt Ayre Cog Set @ 0:52
6. Arabella Blackburn – Deeside Thistle CC @ 3:10
7. Zoe Parker – Stratford CC @ 4:52
8. Sarah Johnson – Edinburgh RC @ 6:13
9. Abigail Biggs – Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club @ 6:51
10. Kate Rudkin – Eastlands Velo @ 6:58
Under 12 Boys
1. Finlay Hawker – Hillingdon Slipstreamers @ 25:53:00
2. Joseph Cosgrove – Southport CC @ 0:01
3. Sebastian Grindley – North Cheshire Clarion @ 0:07
4. Joseph Turnbull – Ilkley Cycling Club @ 0:14
5. Joe Watkins-Wilson – Eastlands Velo @ 0:18
6. Henry Hobbs – Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club @ 0:21
7. Joshua Jackson – Mid Shropshire Wheelers @ 0:24
8. Patrick Casey – Cycle Sport Pendle @ 0:25
9. Elliot Rowe – Deeside Thistle CC @ 0:28
10. Seth Jackson – Kirklees Cycling Academy @ 0:31