More fun for juniors – and seniors – at YCCA Winter Cross

We’ve already reported on our riders competing in the YCCA Winter Series races at Middleton & Temple Newsam and Bedale & Skipton but there’s always room for more, particularly when it shows just how much our younger riders have taken to the sport and how much they enjoy it!

Jonathan Aylward, Isla and Ruaridh’s dad, has taken the time to write a report on junior ‘cross racing at Temple Newsam, Bedale and Skipton to complement the report provided by Stuart Hall. Jonathan’s also included a report on the Holmfirth Cyclo Cross Sunday 8th October which also included YCCA Yorkshire Under-12 Championships. And of course, our more senior riders were also in action at Holmfirth. Round 5 of the points Series took place Sunday 15th at Huddersfield.

Temple Newsam
Ruaridh Aylward competed in the U10 race: 3rd.

An excellent open course that took the riders across open parkland, banking and woods.

Ruaridh got a pretty good start and getting into the first tricky bend in 7th. I fully expected him to go backwards thorught the field for the rest of the race, partially because of the effort of the start, and partially because the day before he raced at Richard Dunn in the summer track series and looked really tired, being somewhat off the pace. Instead, dropping into the woods in 7th, he came out of
them in 5th. Next lap he came out in 4th and promptly overtook another rider to move into 3rd. By the end of the race he had closed right up to 2nd, and had the race been 200m longer would have overtaken Mark Ketteringham from Harrogate Nova. As it was, I was stunned by his performance. When asked how he did it, all Ruaridh could say was ‘Magic woods Dad – everytime I rode out of the woods onto the field, I felt fresh!’

Oscar and Ruaridh – Temple Newsam Start Line

Temple Newsam Podium

Mandy’s Domain – in full flow during prize giving

Ruaridh Aylward competed in the U10 race: 4th.

The course was fairly flat and non-technical, with riders following a route on a grassed area, with a small section through some trees.

The start of the race settled down quickly with Ruaridh in about 7th place. Thereafter Jody got a clear lead on everyone, whilst Ryden, Mark and Ruaridh were in a goup together battling for 2nd, 3rd and 4th, with the positions swapping all the time. Ruaridh launched a huge attack leading into the last corner and nearly got clear. Unfortunately lapped riders got in the way and meant that he couldn’t make the sharp turn first, and Ryden nipped through. The last 50m up to the line was a sprint finish with Mark Ketteringham pipping Ruaridh to the line (and the last podium spot) by 1 second!

The start

Ruaridh Aylward competed in the U10 race: 3rd.

Another great course centred on a small hill in the park on the west side of Skipton.

Ruaridh, being on the second row, got a poor start but fought his way into 7th by the end of the climb on the first lap, closely followed by Oscar. Oscar was to come a cropper on the off-camber corner, but Ruaridh pushed on hard. So hard in fact that he romped past 2 riders and closed up to the third
placed rider, a certain Mark from Harrogate. Mark, obviously feeling that he should up his pace to stay ahead, unfortunately crashed whilst passing some back markers and damaged his bike in the process (fortunately he was uninjured). He then, a la Chris Froome, set off running the course whilst
his mother fixed his bike. Half a lap later, Mark was back on his bike, but by that time Ruaridh had an unassailable lead which he carried to the finish.

Ruaridh and Oscar on the climb – First Lap

Holmfirth: Kinesis Under 10 Yorkshire Cyclo-cross Championship

Venue: Holmfirth High

Ruaridh Aylward: 3rd
‘Proper racing on a proper Yorkshire cross course’

Watching this one took your breath away!

Firstly the course organisers should be commended, what an imaginative course. It had sand pits (plural!), boards (plural!), lovely (well, OK, nasty really) off-camber corners, banking and a very clever double spiral feature in the middle, all hung together with some fast open sections, giving room for
lots of overtaking.

Enough waffle….now the race!

The start – looking NE

The start – taken at almost the same time looking west

As expected, George and Ryden got away quickly, but Ruaridh too had an amazing start and got himself established in third. On the top banking above the starting straight Ruaridh made a couple of errors, giving Jody the chance to move through, pushing Ruaridh down to 4th (but still 3rd in the Yorkshire Champs race), some way in front of 4th (Mark again!)

Ruaridh running up the banking

Coming out of the second sandpit on the second lap, there was a near calamitous disaster when, in cutting the corner too tightly, Ruaridh managed to hook the course tape round his saddle, and the time it took to untangle things allowed Mark to close right up.


The remaining 1 ½ laps were pure drama and racing at its best, with the lead swapping several times. Ruaridh made another mistake on the off-camber switchback allowing Mark through. Then Ruaridh launched a huge attack coming out of the trees – a last ditch attempt to regain the lead with
the finish close – Mark took the corner wide, which left Ruaridh the chance to power through the
steeper inside bend. Both boys went through the spiral for the last time, each one knowing that the tiniest of errors or slips would spell defeat, with Mark chasing hard. One final sprint on the finish straight bought a podium place to Ruaridh with Mark a mere 0.6 of a second behind.

A tired but elated Ruaridh crossing the line with Mark behind

A tired but elated Ruaridh crossing the line with Mark behind

U10 Yorkshire Championship Podium with Ryden Hindle, Jody Mills and Ruaridh Aylward

Dexter on the top step of the U16 Podium – a convincing victory

Other Holmfirth Results

Dexter Leeming-Sykes was our most successful rider on the day. Riding in the Youth race, Dexter (Male U14) was 1st overall and 1st in his category. In the same race, Mo Leeming-Sykes (FU14) was 31st overall, 7th in her category.

The following photographs of Dexter and Mo courtesy of David Leeming-Sykes.

In the U10 YCCA points classification, Ruaridh (U10 Boys) was 4th overall,  Annie Chambers (U10 Girls) was 43rd overall while sister Charlotte (U12 Girls) was 49th.

Liam Mealey (MSen) was our only rider in the S/J/V/W race, finishing 64th overall and 20th in his category.

Full results available on the YCCA website.


Held Sunday 15th October at Huddersfield New College.

In the U10 event, Ruaridh Aylward (U10 Boys) was 3rd with sister Isla and Annie Chambers (U10 Girls) were 47th and 50th respectively.

Charlotte Chambers (U12 Girls) was 40th in the U12 race.

Mo Leeming-Sykes (FU14) and brother Dexter (MU16) rode the Youth event, Mo finishing 70th overall and 10th in her category, Dexter 11th overall and 7th in his category.

Liam Mealey (MSen) finished 66th overall and 25th in his category in the Sen/V40 race.

In the Vet50/Women race, MV50 riders Tim Howcroft and Peter MIddlemiss finished 48th & 115th overall and 21st & 47th in their category.

Photographs courtesy of Peter Middlemiss, Liam Marley and David Leeming-Sykes.