Cross, circuit, road – take your pick

It might nearly be summer – less of the scepticism please – and although we’ve seen plenty of action on road and circuit there’s action too in cyclo cross so let’s start with that.

Cyclo cross

Traditionally a winter sport, ‘cross in Yorkshire is now a year-round activity, Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Association (YCCA) promoting winter and summer series. The second round of the latter, the Eleconline Summer Series 2018, took place Wednesday 9th May at Wilson Road Playing Fields in Wyke, organised by the Guest of Honour at our 2018 Club Awards Dinner Mandy Parker.

Photographs courtesy of David Leeming-Sykes and Lucy Cullen.

In the Under 14 race our highest placed rider was Ruaridh Aylward (MU10 category), 48th overall and 8th in his category, with sister Isla (FU10) 72nd overall and 5th in her category. Morgan Leeming-Sykes (FU14) was 49th overall and also 5th in her category.

Dexter Leeming-Sykes MU16) was the highest placed Otley rider in the Over 14 race coming 14th overall and 2nd in his category. James Cullen and Tim Howcroft (both MV50) took the families rivalry to the rough stuff, James coming out on top in 87th overall and 15th in their category, Tim 93rd overall and 18th in the category. Riding for Otley for the first time in ‘cross, Tony Wild (MV60) was 121st overall, 5th in his category.

Full results courtesy of YCCA.

Road Racing

The Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Youth & Junior Tour 2018 took place Friday 4th to Sunday 6th May with Luke O’Connell and Joe Howcroft Ride MGP from Otley.

The event consisted of a 1 mile prologue on the Friday, a 65 mile road stage the following day and ending with a 59 mile road stage on the Sunday. Luke has written a report on his Manx experience.

“I went into the Isle of Man not expecting too much as it was my first national of the year. Unfortunately the night before the prologue I stared to get a cold. The only aim I had for the prologue was for me to give my best as prologues aren’t usually one of strong points. In the end it wasn’t a great performance.

”The next stage was a flat 60 miles race consisting of six laps of a 10 mile circuit but due to the changing direction of the course resulted in headwinds and crosswinds making the course harder than expected.

“The race started off fast with a rider attacking pretty much after the start but this was brought back with attacks frequently going off as riders wanted to get into a break. However, at one point early on a group of about 15 got away so for a while I thought that would be the race up the road. Luckily that break was brought back after countless attack by riders who wanted to try bridge.

“Eventually, with about 3 laps to go Sam Watson attacked. 5 riders bridged the gap to Sam but he took the win. During the last 2 laps I managed to get into the top 15 but when we came round the last corner before the finish I got boxed in to the left, eventually finishing 37th but pleased with how the legs felt.

“The final the stage took place on a 4 mile circuit covered 14 times. The race was aggressive with lots of attacks, including one from Joe, probably due to the fact that a break managed to win the day before.

“During the race I had a goal of getting in a move which I managed to do but it was short lived.

“In the end a break did manage to get away during the closing laps but I wasn’t feeling great so I tried to stay near the front and get the best possible position from the bunch sprint. During the closing lap I wanted to move up but unfortunately, try as I might, I couldn’t.

“In the sprint I tried my best but rolled over in 43rd position, a few positions behind Joe in the bunch. This wasn’t the best result possible for me but I know how to improve.

“Overall It was a great weekend. I was happy with the races and how I rode but there are things that I need to work on, especially my time trialling”.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Tom Cullen rode the 2nd round of the Chevin Cycles Evening Road Race Series Tuesday 8th May, this time based at Appleton Roebuck.

Tom finished in 10th place for 1 point, one place behind a rider who’s supposedly quite fit, someone called Alistair Brownlee? As well as keeping an eye on Tom, who’s now 7th in the series with 9 points, it’ll be worth watching that Brownlee chap as he seems to be pretty good on a bike.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Circuit Racing

Pedalsport Spring Circuits #2 was held Saturday 5th May at Hammerstones in Halifax with 4 Otley riders competing in 4 different categories.

Amy Hodgkins was 4th in the U10 Girls race, whilst brother Alex was 9th in the U12 Boys. In the U16 Boys event Ben Houlihan scores 2 points for 8th. James Veitch was 14th in the race for 3rd and 4th category riders.

Full results courtesy of BC.

In the TCDG Race League(Supported by Rapha) #6 on the Tameside circuit 8th May Jack Coates continued his winning ways, topping the podium in the U16 Boys race and earning himself 3 points.

Full results courtesy of BC.

The White Rose Youth League 2018 Thursday League 1 was held 10th May at the Brownlee Centre in Leeds (not to be confused with the WRYL Wednesday League, for which round 2 results are now available here). Although full results are still to be published Lucy Ellmore has written a report on her performance in the U16 Girls race.

“I raced yesterday at the Brownlee Circuit instead of at Nelson, as I want to do more of the WRYL than the CDPP series.

“The race started well and I was in a group with all the U16 girls and an U14 girl. I was freezing as I rode in jersey and shorts and the temperature suddenly dropped when the sun set, so my legs were cold and they didn’t feel too good.

“There were a few attacks, but the group stayed together until about 4 laps to go where two U16 girls went off the front.

“I was left in a group with an U16 and U14, both who were girls from Clifton. It was left down to a sprint between me and the U16 girl for 3rd and I managed to beat her. I started the sprint early as long sprints suit me more than short ones.

“I’m happy with how the race went and I think I came 3rd”.

An incisive report from Lucy on her plans and tactics, but there’s more news to come later…..

At the Steven Burke Circuit in Nelson the Coates family enjoyed 2 podium places in the fourth event CDPP Crit Series 2018. Highest placed rider was Jack in 2nd place in the 3/4 category event although, as before, he couldn’t claim points as he’d not raced in his designated category of U16 Boys. Cousin James took 3rd spot in the E1/2/3 event to claim 7 points.

Full results courtesy of BC

Remember the promise of more news regarding Lucy Ellmore? Well, in Middlesbrough at the NEYL Round 3, organised this round by Newcastle Pheonix CC, Lucy’s hard work finally paid off when she had her first win.

Not content with taking the spoils, Lucy has written about her podium topping ride.

“Today I raced at Middlesbrough and my legs felt really good.

“I stayed in quite a big group that included all the U16 girls. When the U16 boys lapped us, everyone caught onto the back of them, but gradually dropped off and went back to the original group.

“The boys lapped us again with 4 laps to go and I managed to keep up with them until the end, two other U16 girls also keeping up with them.

I managed to out sprint them in the chaos of the boys sprinting as well and it was the first race that I have won”.

‘To the victor go the spoils’. Save us a piece Lucy!

“It was another long race – about 45 minutes – and I think that suits me as I am not a powerful sprinter, but I manage to find the energy to sprint at the end of a long race”.

“I rode quite a tactical race and caught onto any break aways, but avoided spending to much energy and in the last few laps I rode very aggressively, which I am happy with as I’m not usually that aggressive. 

“I’m really happy that I won and my next goal is to try to keep up with the U16 boys and to keep winning!”

We’re really happy too that you won Lucy and we’re proud of your and your fellow racers putting in such great results. Chapeau all!


15th May 2018