Last weekend we had two of our boys competing in races across the UK. Up in Scotland we had Halley Woods in the National Championships in Paisley then we had Daniel Gibson at the Mid-Shropshire Wheelers weekend criterium.
National Championships (Paisley)
Clearly Halley had chosen the hardest contest which began with a four hour drive up to Scotland on Saturday in preparation for the Youth A (U16) race on Sunday afternoon.
This is a major event in the racing calendar and attracts the best youth riders from around the country. This year the races were held on a city centre circuit around the roads of Paisley, in Scotland, and is in support of the City’s application to become a future European City of Culture. 100 entries were accepted for the under 16 boys race with many other riders held on a reserve list.
Halley’s race was set at 75 minutes plus 3 laps, which is quite a long time for an under 16 race. However, with such a strong field of riders the pace of the race was very fast from the start and never really slowed up. This meant that groups of riders were continually being blown out of the back of the race, particularly where the road narrowed significantly in front of the town hall . After a while Halley found himself in a group of around 7 riders chasing on the road. This group worked well and they managed to stay together until around the 60 minute mark, before they were eventually swept up and pulled out of the race by a rather over zealous ‘broom wagon’. However, by this time the field had already reduced to around 50% of the starting line up, and Halley was eventually placed 49th.
Fred Wright went on to win the race and the coveted rainbow jersey as the new national champion. 32 riders completed the full race and 14 riders did not finish mostly due to crashes, with the rest being pulled out. The rules suggest that lapped riders should be pulled but in most cases riders were being taken out with well over a minute to spare and in no immediate danger of being lapped. However its down to the chief commissaire’s discretion to make these decisions.
Overall the race and placings were dominated by second year riders and Halley is looking forward to doing the race again next year as a second year himself.
The first significant break saw Anthony Andersen of Sigma Sport and Conor Davies of Team RL360 Isle of Man get a sizeable gap on the bunch, before two groups of riders bridged across and the race came back together.
The sharp end of the final sprint was crammed with riders who have had podiums in National Series races this season with Harry Hardcastle of Marton Race Team fifth behind team mate Theo Hartley. Thomas Pidcock took third with Jake Stewart of Solihull CC in second, leaving the top step of the podium to Fred Wright of VC Londres.
Halley described the race as brutal but still managed to get round, finishing 47th from over a field of 80 riders.
Considering his 1st year status, this was not a bad result and the just being “in the race” will have provided Halley with valuable experience going forward into his second year.
1 Fred WRIGHT VC Londres 1:21’54”
2 Jake STEWART Solihull CC same time
3 Thomas PIDCOCK Chevin Cycles.com Trek st
4 Theo HARTLEY Marton Race Team st
5 Harry HARDCASTLE Marton Race Team st
6 Jacob VAUGHAN VC Londres st
7 Alfie FRANKS Zappis Racing Team st
8 Carl JOLLY Hillingdon Slipstreamers st
9 Daniel TULETT Specialized Racing st
10 Joseph NALLY www.Hardie-Bikes.com st
As for Daniel, here is a short blog about his race in Shropshire:
The race started off fast with various second year riders attacking from the gun, I kept myself quiet and sat in the bunch while others burnt themselves out. With 15 laps to go I put in a big dig which forced a split and enabled eight riders to form a break. I tried several more attacks from the break but nothing seemed to stick so I decided to wait for the final sprint. I went in to the last corner in 2nd place and kicked with about 50 metres to go, taking the win. Overall it was a very tough race and I was extremely pleased with the outcome.