Finlay Pickering and Zoe Backstedt took the honours as the British Cycling Youth Circuit Series rolled into the East Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough in an enthralling day of racing on top of Olivers Mount.
The pair both prevailed in their youth A categories, with Pickering producing a determined performance to finally take his first National Championship.
In the other races of the day Max Greensill and Awen Roberts put in scintillating performances to take their respective Youth B equivalent races.
Determined Pickering is king of the Mount
Finlay Pickering of Vive Le Velo finally got the monkey off his back by winning his first National title after finishing runner-up on several occasions.
It took a determined effort with three laps remaining around the hilly Olivers Mount circuit to chase down and eventually pip William Smith (Verulam - reallymoving.com) on the line to take the National Jersey.
The race started dramatically with the field firstly wiped out and then split after a crash heading in to the second lap, with the leading group managing to get away. Sensing an opportunity, Smith made an early solo break.
Smith stayed out ahead increasing his lead to close on the peloton to a minute at one point. Pickering, sitting at the head of the chasing bunch, was unfazed by the break, thinking the group would soon chase him down but with three laps to go he realised he would have to give chase.
Worried he’d left it a little late, Pickering found an extra gear and with one lap remaining the gap had closed to less than 20 seconds.
As both riders rounded into the final straight it was Pickering who had more left taking Smith in the last 200 metres to take the win.
“It’s the National Championships so I knew it was do or die, I had no choice but to chase after him,” said Pickering.
Backstedt delivers another masterclass
Zoe Backstedt (Storey Racing) again dominated the Youth A race from start to finish with an impressive break away and solo ride which saw her win the race and take the National Champions Jersey.
Nervous before the race, Backstedt used the first two laps on the upper part of the circuit to calm herself and warm her legs ready for her pre-planned ‘double attack’ on the climb back up the mount.
Backstedt made her first move as the race climbed the steep section of the circuit for the second time, with only Millie Couzens (PH-MAS/Paul Milnes Cycles) going with her as the 12% climb took its toll on the field.
The two girls worked together for a further lap putting a good gap between them and the chasing peloton, but it was as the two climbed for the third time that Backstedt attacked again, taking Couzens by surprise as she sprinted away up the hill.
With clear road in front and no one chasing her down, Backstedt rode away from the field eventually crossing the line one minute ahead of Couzens and 2:28 ahead of third-placed Eva Callinan who put in a fantastic performance after returning from injury.
Backstedt said: “It’s a great feeling to be National Champion.”
Greensill adds circuit title to growing list of honours
In only his first ever circuit road race, Max Greensill (KTM UK Factory MTB Team) blew the rest of the field away to take the National Jersey by nearly two minutes form his nearest rival.
Coming into the race without plan, Greensill took some of his attacking abilities from MTB and CX and applied it with great effect in the Youth B under 14s race.
The race started cagily but when the roads started to level at the top of the second climb, Greensill saw his chance as a small gap opened behind him.
He powered off the front with no fear, soon putting a big gap behind him. He put in three consistent lap times and eventually crossed the line 1:55 ahead of Raphael John Tabiner (North Cheshire Clarion) and 2:43 ahead of Tomos Pattinson (Halesowen A&CC).
Roberts sprints to first National title
In the Youth B under 14 girls it was Awen Roberts (Towy Riders) that took the title in dramatic fashion after a solo break from the top of the final climb.
Roberts was part of a five-girl breakaway after four laps of the circuit as the field started to break up with riders falling off the back of the peloton on every climb of hill from the motorcycle start/finish.
Along with Libby Bell (Leicester Forest CC), Ella Jamieson (Clifton CC), Amy Pullen (Propello) and Niamh Murphy (Cotswold Veldrijden), the five girls worked together to distance themselves from the chasing group and the race seemed to be heading for a sprint finish between them.
But it was Roberts who ultimately took the initiative with only a few hundred metres remaining, holding on to take the line by 15 seconds from Bell, Jamieson and Pullen.
“Winning is amazing, I can’t believe it,” said Roberts.
Ahead of the race Roberts said she just wanted to give it her best, which proved good enough to crown her National Under 14 Champion.