Another busy racing weekend – and in the sunshine

Otley CC riders made the most of the good weather last weekend, competing in road & circuit races and time trials.

Road and Circuit Racing

Our road racers visited most points of the compass far and wide to enjoy their weekly dose of bunch racing. Some of our younger riders even rode two events in one day!

Pedalsport Spring CIrcuits #1

The first of two events involving Otley CC riders on Saturday 24th March, meaning a very early start for some.

Giving club colours a good start to the day at the Brooksbank Circuit (also known as Hammerstones) in Halifax, Amy Hodgkins was 2nd in the U10 Girls race, her brother Alex was 11th U12 Boys and George Radcliffe was 12th U16 Boys.

Results from the BC website.

Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Hodgkins.

Leeds Cluster Track League race 4

Onto the Brownlee Circuit at the Bodington Playing Fields in the afternoon and more excellent results from our younger riders to complement their other results in the series. Thanks to Jonathan Hodgkins and Stuart Hall for photographs and results.

U10 boys:
Oscar Hall: 4th, 3rd: 10 points

U10 girls:
Isla Aylward: 2nd, 2nd: 16 points
Amy Hodgkins: 3rd, 1st: 16 points

U12 boys:
Ruaridh Aylward: 7th, 4th: 5 points
Alex Hodgkins: 6th 2nd: 9 points

Final league standings:

U10 Boys (18 riders):
Oscar Hall: 2nd (42 points)
Ethan Lee: 18th (1 point)

U10 Girls (6 riders):
Isla Aylward: 1st (50 points)
Amy Hodgkins: 2nd (40 points)

U12 Boys (12 riders):
Ruaridh Aylward: Joint 3rd (25 points)
Alex Hodgkins: 5th (21 points)

Stuart produced a table of the declared clubs across all categories, based on total points scored and the top clubs were:

Otley CC: 179
Alba Rosa CC: 138
Ilkley CC: 119
Kirklees CA: 114
Harrogate Nova: 86
Pedal Sport: 40
Beacon Wheelers: 35
Bronte Tykes: 34

As Stuart says, this is something to be really proud of as a club and bodes well for the future.

Cadence Junior Road Race

If there was a weekly award for the Otley rider who travelled furthest to race, this week’s would have gone to Joe Howcroft (with an honourable mention to his directeur sportif, soigneur and driver, dad Tim) who made the 400 mile round trip to and from the village of Three Cocks in Brecon, Wales to ride this round of the British Cycling National Junior Road Race Series.

Joe has written an account of their long trip.

“25th of March was the start of the Junior National series down in Wales. A 72 mile race around the Three Cocks circuit won previously by Geraint Thomas, Jon Dibben and Tom Pidcock as well as many other big names.

”The weather for the weekend was excellent (compared to the Arctic conditions in the past few weeks) and the quality 100 rider field promised to make a good race.

”After battling down on the Saturday through the diverted M1 traffic, we arrived Saturday evening with just enough time to ride the course.

”We got to the HQ on Sunday morning with plenty of time to get ready for the event. once the race had begun the pace exploded and a lot of excited riders pushing to get to the front lead to 4 crashes; and that was just on the first lap! thankfully I managed to keep upright and avoid injury. After moving up myself I kept myself in a safe position and out of danger. I gave it everything to get over the finishing climb every lap. I had missed to winning break which went very early on at the start of the race and I finished 48th.

”A good and fun weekend and I now look onto other events hoping for better results”.

Results from the BC website.

Photograph courtesy of Tim Howcroft.

Loading up on pasta and garlic bread – garlic bread! – the evening before the race

The Bike-Inn Spring Shield #4

Not as further afield as Joe’s race but still some distance away, the Bike-Inn races are held at Middlesbrough Sports Village.

Five riders represented Otley CC – Jack Coates, Lucy and Matthew Ellmore, Luke O’Connell and George Radcliffe. Lucy has provided some words on her race.

“I raced today at Middlesbrough and it felt great to be riding in shorts after so much bad weather!

“I didn’t have a great start and could’nt quite get into the group of riders that I wanted to, so ended up riding on my own for a bit. Matt caught me up along with another u16 boy who we managed to draft for 6 laps without having to do any work on the front! Unfortunately, Matt had a mechanical.

“I am happy with how the race went and really enjoyed my first time racing at the Middlesbrough circuit”.

Jack was our highest finisher with 2nd in the U16 Boys, earning him 8 points, with George 10th for 1 point.

In the 3/4 category event Luke finished 8th, earning him 2 points.

Lucy finished 4th in her race, the U16 Girls and Matthew 7th in the U14 Boys.

Results from the BC website.

Seacroft Wheelers Spring Road Races

Also on Sunday 25th March on the Bishop Wood Circuit near Cawood, split into two events, one for 3/4 category riders over 38 miles, the other for 2/3/4 categories and covering 59 miles.

Here’s Liam Mealey’s account of his ride in the 38 mile event.

“After what felt like a decent winter’s training, I was interested to see how I fared. So on Sunday morning I lined up for my first bunch race of the year on a mild and calm morning on the Bishop Wood Circuit, hosted by Seacroft Wheelers.

“The answer to my question about how I’d do was surprisingly well, though that proving something of a double edged sword. An ability to move around more comfortably than I’ve ever experienced in a road race before gave me a bit of false confidence. On the third lap I tried to follow someone off the front and found my limit spectacularly a very short while later, completely exploding. I’m not sure I’ve ever gone back through and out of a bunch so quickly!

“But it was fun to be giving it a go, and what better way to find out what not to do! Here’s to my next race.

“Harry Hunt and Toby Kitching lined up at the same race, and managed a somewhat more succesful ride (though the latter got caught up in a crash later on), finishing in the bunch”.

Helen Goldthorpe, Liam’s partner, given the role of chequered flag waver at the Seacroft event

Tom Cullen, Robbie Pollard and James Coates rode the 2/3/4 event and Tom has put together a few words on their race.

“Decent race at Seacroft 2/3/4 60 mile RR. Good teamwork got Robbie in the break, unfortunately he dropped back to the bunch.

“I attacked following Robbie’s recapture and soloed the last 16 miles ahead of the bunch but behind the break to claim 14th place. James rolled in with bunch”. Tom earned 2 points for his placing.

Results from the BC website.

Time Trials

Claire Jessop must have known the sun would get its hat on as she entered two TTs, a relatively flat Harrogate Nova CC 15 on Saturday 24 March and a most definitely hilly Ilkley CC 10 the following day.

The Harrogate Nova 15, on the V226 course using the A168 near Boroughbridge, was Claire’s first event of the 2018 season which she used to test her form after a winter with limited training and full of illness, recording 41:15. Overall winner was Simon Beldon of Team Bottrill/Vanguard in 30:43. Recording 36:11, Team Swift rider Fiona Sharp was fastest woman. Full results and report courtesy of CTT and Snowdon Sports.

Photographs courtesy of Greg Jessop.

James Cullen and John Barnett joined Claire on the Sunday, riding the hilly and windy Ilkley CC 10 on the V810, a course starting in Addingham, taking in Bolton Bridge and Skibeden Traffic islands and finishing on the Addingham bypass.

James was the fastest Otley rider, finishing in 30:49. John recorded 36:11 and Claire, feeling the effects of the day before, a second slower with 36:12.

Richard Sharp of Team Swift was fastest overall in 24:32. Fastest woman was Hannah Benson of the promoting club with 30:26. Full results and report courtesy of CTT and Snowdon Sports.