Catching up on road and circuit racing – Part 2

In Part 1 we caught up with George Radcliffe following his return to racing after a broken leg. In Part 2 we’ll see George’s latest report, results for his teammates in the same event, a report from Megan Cullen on her ride in the Women’s Junior National Series, results from the first 2018 White Rose Youth League (WRYL) Wednesday League, including a report from Lucy Ellmore, and more points scoring circuit races.

In the York Sport Evening Crit 2 on Tuesday 10th April Otley CC riders secured a total of 24 points.

The highest tally, 19, was in the 2/3/4 category event, Tom Cullen taking 8 points for 4th place, James Coates 6 points for 5th and Robbie Pollard 5 points for 4th.

Morgan Leeming-Sykes took 2 points for 2nd place in the U14 Girls race, while in the U16 Boys Dexter Leeming-Sykes was 8th to earn 2 points and George Radcliffe 9th for 1 point. Hete’s George’s report on that race.

”For the second time in as many weeks we travelled the traffic packed A64 to York.

“Once again the weather was miserable which therefore made the track a mixture of wet grit and mud. Despite only being 9 riders I was joined by fellow Otley Youth Race Team member Dexter Leeming-Sykes.

“The race was soon underway with both U14 and U16 boys and girls racing together. Almost straight from the gun Finley Pickering attacked which then sparked a number of responses from other rides. After a number of laps with everyone on the limit it settled and two breakaways got away; a solo rider and a pair.

“However, the increasingly strong wind prevented any others getting away despite many attempts. With 10 laps to go solo breakaway rider Finley lapped the peloton and continued to ride on the front. He did so until the end of the race setting a killer pace.

“Unfortunately taking many turns on the front earlier on in the race had sapped much of my energy and in turn I lost the wheel in front with just over 3 laps to go. The remaining laps were spent trying in vain to get back on leaving me with a 9th and 1 point”.

Full results from the BC website.

The same day, Jack Coates was racing on the Tameside Cycle Circuit in the TCDG Race League (Supported by Rapha) #2, finishing 2nd in the U16 Boys race to secure 8 points.

Full results from the BC website.

On Sunday 15th April, Megan Cullan rode the The Witham Hall Junior Women’s Grand Prix, the inaugural event in the 2018 National Junior Womens Road Race Series.

Held over 70km, the event was contested by 1/2/3/4 category riders. Meg reports on her ride. Photographs courtesy of Ian Cullen.

“The first Women’s Junior National Series event took place on Sunday 15th April. Located at Witham On The Hill in Lincolnshire. The race was 3.5 laps of a 11 miles Circuit, with a hill top finish.

”I stayed comfortable with the main peloton for the first half of the race, but with an attacked up the hill I got distanced.

”Finally, after riding a lap by myself I was caught by a group of six who seemed to force me to the front.

“So, on the last lap I attacked just before the hill, but couldn’t get away and in the end I came 45th out of the field of 71”.

Full results from the BC website.

Tuesday 17th April saw our riders in action and the points again at York Sport and Tameside.

Robbie Pollard was the highest scorer at the York Sport Evening Crit 3, scoring 10 points for 3rd in the 2/3/4 category race with James Coates in 5th, securing 6 points. Tom Cullen was in the thick of the action all through the race, Simon Walker commenting on Twitter “Results never tell the full story of a bike race. Tom Cullen was in nearly every break last night including a solo attack 12 laps from the end that almost made it home. Seriously impressive”. Photograph courtesy of Simon Walker.

Morgan Leeming-Sykes again took 2nd place in the U14 Girls for 2 points. In the U16 Boys event, Dexter Leeming-Sykes was 4th and George Radcliffe 6th. Here’s George’s report on his race. Photographs courtesy of Chris Radcliffe.

“For the 3rd time in as many weeks my hunt for points lead me to York. Fortunately, for the first time out of the three races so far it was dry. However, the field was made up of less than 10 riders so only the first 3 would get points; the competition was to be fierce.

”The race started at a relatively leisurely pace but gradually increased as it progressed. Unusually there was a lack in major attacks possibly due to the intense wind. Around a third of the way through the race there was a big attack resulting in 2 riders getting away. After a few laps of chasing reality sunk in that closing the gap was too big an ask.

”As riders realised that they were all fighting for just 1 point they began to refuse to work and the pace slowed. Coming into the final 10 laps I realised that I’d stand a better chance of acquiring the point on offer if I was off the front on my own. So with 5 laps to go I launched a solo attack in a bid for glory. I managed to stay out for just under a lap before being reeled in.

“Biding my time I sat on the group recovering before going again. As if history were repeating itself it was a lap before I was caught; this left just 2 laps before the finish. With half a lap to go I laid it all on the line and distanced myself from the group. The metres dragged on as I painfully turned the pedals. Tragically with just 50 metres to go the peloton swallowed me up and spat me out the back.

“Finishing sixth out of six in the ended but left feeling as though I deserved so much more”.

Full results from the BC website.

At Tameside in the TCDG Race League (supported by Rapha) #3, Jack Coates took 5 points for 5th place.

Full results from the BC website.

The first round of the White Rose Youth League 2018 Wednesday League (WRYL) took place Wednesday 18th April with several Otley CC riders taking part. Details of the league from the BC website.

Before we get to the results, some important news regarding the location used for the event. This is an important league in the area to help give younger riders a chance to compete and find their racing legs. The races are held on the outdoor cycle curcuit at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre in Bradford. Sadly, that facility is due to be closed in 2019. Mandy Parker, a stalwart of youth cycling and cyclocross in Yorkshire, is campaigning to keep the track open and has started a Facebook page to garner support. Let’s get behind Mandy’s campaign to keep it open.

Results for Otley riders.


4th Ruaridh Aylward U10B

18th Isla Aylward U10G

25th Amy Hodgkins U10G


14th Alex Hodgkin U12B


13th Paul Wordsworth U14B

20th Matt Ellmore U14B


4th James Wordsworth U16B

9th George Radcliffe U16B

14th Eleanor Hunt U16G

19th Lucy Ellmore U16G

Full results here.

Lucy and George have also taken time to write a report about their races.


“I raced at Richard Dunn tonight for the first time.

“I started quite well and got into the leading group that Eleanor was in. I was at the back and a gap started to open up between the main group and the girl in front of me; it is the narrowest circuit I have raced on and I was cautious when trying to overtake people.

“I managed to overtake the girl, but by then a big enough gap had opened up that I was unable to chase back onto the leading group. I tagged onto another group that caught me up and I rode with them for a while, until the leading group lapped us and I joined onto the back of their group again, where the whole group sprinted with one lap to go and I couldn’t keep up.

“I’m happy with how the race went and it has really boosted my confidence.

“Although, I was initially planning to race yesterday and tomorrow, I decided to focus on tonight’s race, as it is more important and I can’t make tomorrow’s race. Yesterday’s race was 3 out of 4 in the series, so decided to do some more training instead. Matt and I are both entered into NEYL at Middlesbrough on Sunday and are looking forward to racing then.”


“For what seemed like the first time in forever it was warm at Richard Dunn (those familiar with the track will know that it is always cold there). This was to be the first White Rose race this year. This specific race had attracted a large crowd of strong riders including another of Otley’s own, James Wordsworth.

”Surprisingly, I had a very good start; foot straight in the pedal and first into the opening corner. However just 1 lap later I was forced wide and onto the grass. I soon discovered that yesterday’s effort had taken its toll and I couldn’t sustain such a fast pace.

“After a few laps solo I gradually began catching other riders who had been dropped. 4 of us then rode together until the lead group, containing James, caught us with just a lap and a half remaining. As we received the bell a split formed in the pack and, being at the rear because of just joining the group, I got caught behind it.

“Not wanting to give the riders I was with before the chance to finish in a good position, I went to the front and took up the work. Fortunately I’d set a high enough pace on the final lap to keep myself clear and I crossed the line having not conceded any positions.

”Overall, not my best result but it can only get better from here onward”.

Well done to all our younger racers on their performances and also on some excellent reporting.

23 April 2018