Race team and juniors still bringing home the points

Another busy period for our younger racers. Where do they get the energy…

Circuit Racing

The rise in popularity of cycling in recent years has provided, amongst others, a particular benefit for racing via the increase in the number of closed circuits.

Otley Cycle Club is fortunate to have numerous circuits close by, the closest being The Brownlee Centre at Adel. Others include Brooksbank Cycle Circuit (also known as Hammerstones) near Halifax, York Sport, The Steven Burke Sports Hub near Colne,  Tameside Cycle Circuit in Ashton under Lyne and slightly further afield, Middlesbrough Sports Village.

All these circuits have been successful locations for many of our racers, bringing home the points on numerous occasions. It’s worth noting that racing on these circuits isn’t just for younger riders so if you fancy a taste of bunch racing in a safer environment away from traffic and road furniture then why not see about having a go? Races are listed here on the British Cycling (BC) website. Check with the organiser for eligibility to compete.

Enough of the waffle, what about results?

Because our race teams – riders, managers, helpers parents – raid these circuits so often for points sometimes results can be missed but thanks to the power of 21st century communication that can easily be rectified.

We’ve previously reported on the CDPP Crit Series 2018 races 4 and 6 at the Steven Burke Sports Hub but what of CDPP Crit Series 2018 #5 Thursday 17th May? Well, as in the previous and the following round, Otley were of course well in the mix.

Highest finisher was Eleanor Hunt who was 2nd in the U16 Girls race for 2 points, with Lucy Ellmore 4th. 9 points were won by U16 Boys duo George Radcliffe, 5th for 5 points, and Dexter Leeming-Sykes, 6th and 4 points. Jack Coates would normally join George and Dexter in that category but he again moved up to the 3/4 category race, finishing 6th but no points awarded. Beth Zajac was 23rd.

Morgan Leeming-Sykes was 4th in the U14 Girls race whilst in the U14 Boys Matthew Elmore was 6th.

Full results courtesy of BC.

And, just to be greedy, Otley riders amassed even more points at the latest round on Thursday 31st May, CDPP Crit Series 2018 #7, 27 in total to be exact, a fantastic tally with two wins thrown in for good measure.

Tom Cullen scored 10 points in the E1/2/3 race, winning the event in the sprint. Said Tom “I worked hard in a 3 up for most of the race only to be caught with 2 laps to go, managed to win the race in a close bunch sprint“.

Photograph from Tom’s Twitter page.

Top bike throw from Tom to win the E1/2/3 sprint

But the points didn’t stop there for that race as James Coates claimed 5 for 5th place and Robbie Pollard took the last, single point for 10th. Joe Howcroft finished 13th.

Lucy Elmore complemented Tom’s win by taking victory in the U16 Girls race for 3 points. Lucy’s reported on her event – the first report of several in this racing news item – in which she mixed it with the boys.

“Today I raced at Colne and I was one of 2 girls in my category.

“I was confident that I could beat the other girl, so clung onto the back of the U16 boys for a few laps, then dropped off and decided to drop back to help Matt (Ellmore, Lucy’s brother).

”I ended up lapping the other U16 girl and then attacked off the group that we were in so that we formed a new group with an U14 boy, who wouldn’t do any work on the front, Matt and I.

”Matt and I were trying to get rid of the other boy, but he kept on to us, so I did lots of work on the front to make sure that Matt was saving energy and then led them out for the sprint, which Matt won.

”I’m happy with how the race went, as it is my 2nd win and I managed to help Matt in his race as well”.

Well done to our victors!

Ben Kettleborough scores his first points of the season, 5 for 5th place in the 3/4 category race. Your roving reporter had to do a double take for the next placing. Yes, it was veteran Ian Cullen, mixing it with the young ‘uns for 12th place, daughter Megan in 18th and Bethany Zajac 21st. As Simon Drew would say…

Copyright: Simon Drew

George Radcliffe took 2nd place and 2 points in the U16 Boys race, Dexter Leeming-Sykes finishing 6th.

George has provided a report too on his event.

“The hot weather meant a first outing for the brand new Otley CC skin-suit (see below). With only 9 riders points were scarce and it was all to play for.

“After a bad start I quickly recovered and found myself on the front driving the pace. A few laps went by in which not much happened, just a high pace. With 9 laps to go I put in a little dig and distanced myself from the group, however I could only hold the gap for a lap or so.

“Again the pace dropped but with around 4 laps to go another rider attacked; this resulted in a 3 man breakaway including myself. The decisive move went with 2 laps to go when one of my breakaway companions went at it alone. This left me and one other rider to battle it out in a sprint which I won resulting in a 2nd and 2 points”.

Morgan Leeming-Sykes upheld her family honour by taking 1 point for 3rd place in the U14 Girls race.

In the U14 Boys, Matthew Ellmore was 4th, with the help of sister Lucy of course, and Tim Wallace was 6th.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Could this success be attributed in part to the team spirit being raised at the Race Team launch’s at sponsor Chevin Cycles Otley shop the night before? Or the team members receiving their new kit? Perhaps, but hard work and dedication from all concerned is the major factor and bodes well for the rest of the season.

Photograph courtesy of Chevin Cycles.

Junior Female team manager Ian Cullen expressed thanks to our sponsor Chevin Cycles for use of the Otley store for the launch and to the other sponsors RM Developments, Galibier Capital Ltd, David Burrows Joinery, Tactic Clothing and Mint Cycling. And of course the club itself.

We should all be very proud of the whole team, riders, managers and support crew, which really is the envy of many clubs in the area.

Saturday 26th May the Brownlee Centre hosted the albaRosa CC Summer Series #2 races in which Morgan Leeming-Sykes, Lucy Ellmore and Ben Kettlebrough rode.

Ben scored the most points, winning 7 for 3rd place in the 4th Category only event. Morgan won 3 points in the U14 Girls and Lucy 2 for 2nd in in the U16 Girls.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Lucy has again written a report on her racing exploits.

“Today I raced at the Leeds circuit and the race was just U14 and U16 girls again, so there was only about 7 of us on the circuit.

“We all stayed in one group and about halfway through the race the paced slowed down a lot as no one wanted to do any work on the front, so I ended up doing quite a lot.

“There were two attacks towards the end of the race, but we managed to chase them down and the group was all together for the last 2 laps. “

I always try to avoid being on the front for the last lap, but unfortunately I did end up on the front. So, with about 500m to go, I suddenly accelerated but stayed in the saddle, taking them by surprise as they weren’t expecting me to stay sat down and sprint that early.

“I managed to open up a gap of about 50m, but another really powerful girl managed to catch me up and beat me in the sprint, so I came 2nd which I am really happy with”.

Harraby Cycle Circuit in Carlisle isn’t a regular haunt for Otley riders but is one of the venues for the North East Youth League (NEYL) and where NEYL Round 5 was held Sunday 3rd June, hosted this time by Carlisle Cycling Association.

Full results are still to be published but once again Lucy Ellmore has taken time to write about her race.

“Today I raced in the NEYL, which was at the new Carlisle circuit instead of the usual Middlesbrough circuit.

“It was a long 50 minute race again and I managed to keep up with the U16 boys for around half the race. I saved lots of energy because I had been drafting them and I lapped the other U16 girls whilst I was with the boys.

“After 25 minutes there were lots more attacks, so I dropped off with some others and we formed a group. The U16 boys lapped us, so we joined back onto the back of their group for the rest of the race.

“The pace was quite steady and no one attacked, so the finish was a big bunch sprint.

“I am really pleased that I lapped the all other girls and am happy with my third win, especially because my legs didn’t feel good at the start, but they felt better as the race went on. 

“My next goal is to hang onto the back of the U16 boys for longer and be able to keep up when there are lots of attacks”.

Photographs courtesy of Pads Dads Pics Facebook page via David Leeming-Sykes.

The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are two of the five one-day cycling Monuments and are regarded as the most prestigious to win – fans of each will argue which is the one – because of the terrain they cover, both taking in several difficult sectors over the cobbled roads of Belgium and Northern France. The British equivalent of these two continental races is the CiCLE Classic, held on roads and tracks around Oakham and Melton Mowbray in the East Midlands.

The Elite edition of the race takes place in April with the Women’s and Junior event taking place early June. Joe Howcroft and Luke O’Connell rode the latter in a very large field of 140 riders over a 65 mile course.

Here’s Joe’s account of his and Luke’s rough stuff experience.

“CiCLE classic was set to be a wet and stormy one after checking the weather forecast on Friday evening. However, I was pleasantly surprised to wake up on Sunday morning to clear skies and sunshine.

“It was an early start and we set off by 7, heading for the race HQ.  The usual pre-race prep; signing on, warming up and a jam sandwich. 

“Once the race got under-way, as expected, it was carnage. I started towards the front and after around 35km had been brought to the back of the bunch after being stuck behind crashes.

“The peloton began to splinter and I tried my best to get across as many gaps as possible, eventually getting into a group of around 15. Most of the riders however had given up and were happy for a cafe ride back to HQ.

“I decided to press on, along with a few others, to try and make the time cut. Some of the off-road sectors were brutal and a lot of riders were puncturing. This thinned my group down but equally we were catching a lot of lone riders, which evened out the numbers.

“Eventually we caught Luke O’Connell who after riding a very strong race unfortunately punctured in the second half.

”Still working well to stay within the time gap, we made it onto the finishing circuit just in the nick of time and assumed we were the last group on the road.

“Out of the group I sprinted to 52nd and Luke just behind me in 54th. A hard yet enjoyable race and some fond memories to look back on”. 

Well done lads for your determination to finish an event that many had to abandon.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Photographs courtesy of Junior Male team manager Tim Howcroft.