The British Schools Cycling Association Roller Racing Championships were held in Farsley on Saturday 17th March, expertly run by Mandy Parker and her team of volunteers. The event sees children of all ages Racing on static rollers, the younger riders fixed onto a Support, whilst the older riders use just their balance to stay on. This year saw a field of fifty riders, with some travelling significant distances to compete. The riders are representing their school, so not only are there individual medals to be won, team prizes are up for grabs as well.
Otley had assembled a large team of twelve riders, representing four different schools in the town. The omnium event sees two 500m sprints, best time taken, then a 1000m sprint, seeing is believing when you realise the effort it takes to sprint for a kilometre!
In the U7 boys Jacob Peacock, for The Whartons, was competing in his first ever competition and pedalled hard, statutory smile on his face, in all three of his races. He set the tone for the day with personal best times for both distances and pedalled his way into 3rd place in the Nationals and 2nd place in the Regional competition. A very proud Jacob showed off his bronze and silver medals, a great way to start your racing career!
The U9 girls had Amy Hodgkins and Isla Aylward racing against each other, but also representing Otley All Saints as a team and Annie Chambers made up a trio, riding for The Whartons. They are all seasoned racers and put in three excellent efforts, more personal bests set, to gain podium spots. In the National competition Isla was placed 2nd overall and Amy 3rd, whilst the Regional championship saw the first all Otley podium of the day with Isla in 1st place, Amy in 2nd place and Annie in 3rd. It pays to bring a friend along, as Isla and Amy received two more Gold medals as they took the National & Regional Team prize for Otley All Saints Primary.
The U9 boys saw Daniel Middlebrooke, racing for All Saints, coming into a very strong field but showing signs of peaking in his performance, which would be needed to be in for a chance of a medal. He didn’t disappoint! His personal best rides were blistering, with a potential national record time for the 1000m. It was a very happy Daniel who topped the podium in both the National & Regional competitions.
The U11 girls competition saw one of the largest fields of riders, Amber Peacock was pedalling for The Whartons and as one of the youngest riders in that category found the older girls were very strong, but that didn’t put her off. She showed her tenacity to set personal best times and walked away without a podium spot but an excellent experience to take forward.
The U11 boys had Alex Hodgkins and Ruaridh Aylward, for All Saints, and Jack Wilks, for Westgate, all competing for podium spots. The boys have pushed each other hard in training and all set personal best times for the 500m, but the eventual National winner was on another level! The 1000m saw solid performances by all three and cemented there medal spots. In the National competition Alex took 2nd place with Jack in 3rd, whilst in the Regional competition saw the second all Otley podium of the day with Alex in 1st, Jack in 2nd and Ruaridh in 3rd.
The U13 girls, riding on free rollers, saw Poppy Peacock, Isobel Wilks and Emily Middlebrooke all representing Prince Henry’s Grammar School. The friendly rivalry has pushed them onto new heights in preparation for this and it was good to see it continued. Personal best times by all of them in the 500m meant a tense 1000m to come. A sub 1 minute was set by Isobel, only for Emily to better it by 0.3 seconds! This meant a ride off would be needed. They have been inseparable in their performances and unbelievably finished in a dead heat, utter disbelief from the whole hall and another ride off to come! With little recovery time, the girls were brought back on and a neck and neck race ended with Isobel 0.3 seconds in front of Emily. In the National competition Isobel took 1st place with Emily in 2nd. The same for the Regional competition with Poppy’s solid performances giving her 3rd and for the second year running an all Otley podium. The icing on the cake was the National and Regional gold medals for the team prize, a testament to exactly what they are!
Summary of results:
Jacob Peacock 3rd National / 2nd Regional
Isla Aylward 2nd National / 1st Regional
Amy Hodgkins 3rd National / 2nd Regional
Annie Chambers 4th National / 3rd Regional
Daniel Middlebrooke 1st National / 1st Regional
Amber Peacock 8th National / 6th Regional
Alex Hodgkins 2nd National / 1st Regional
Jack Wilks 3rd National / 2nd Regional
Ruaridh Aylward 4th National / 3rd Regional
Isobel Wilks 1st National / 1st Regional
Emily Middlebrooke 2nd National / 2nd Regional
Poppy Peacock 4th National / 3rd Regional