Road and Circuit Racing. And a bit of the green stuff.

The third of the big-3 Grand Tours, La Vuelta España (or The Tour of Spain if you prefer), is on now. Our racers aren’t yet indulging in such a marathon but they have been involved in some big road events recently and of course in circuit racing. And some last gasp grass track.

Road Racing

Local to us, the Yorkshire Regional Road Race Championships were held Sunday 19th August. Joe Howcroft put in a great performance, finishing 9th for 7 points. Here’s Joe’s report on his race. Photographs courtesy of Tim Howcroft.

“The circuit around Norwood Hall/Beckwithshaw and Penny Pot lane is a circuit I’ve ridden many times and know well and I had high hopes of getting a good result.

“The Junior field was very strong and I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I was well up for it. The race started off from Norwood Village Hall and for the first 2 laps there were several attacks trying to create a breakaway.

“Finally, 2 1/2 laps in what looked like the winning break, Ollie Rees (PH-MAS Paul Milnes) attacked up the road, soon followed by team mate Jim Brown and Dylan Westley (Giant Halifax RT).

”I followed an attempt to bridge the gap the trio had opened up but we were soon chased down.

“With just over a lap to go I moved towards the front of the group and clipped off the front.

“Once I’d established a reasonable gap, I fully committed to bridging across to the break. Surprisingly, by Penny Pot lane (approx. 1/3rd of a lap) I had bridged the 25 second gap.

“Unfortunately, after a lot of ‘cat and mouse’ we were slowly brought back, riders getting across in 1’s and 2’s to form a group of 10. I finished 9th, after burning all my matches.” 

Full results courtesy of BC.

Some of our riders competed in their own stage race Saturday 25th to Monday 27th August on the west coast based at Morecambe, Lancaster and Kirkham.

The Screentek International North West Youth and Junior Tour forms part of the National Youth Circuit Series for A’s and B’s with support races for C’s and the Junior Womens National Series.

Photographs courtesy of Russ Ellis, David Leeming-Sykes and Jon Hunt.

Otley CC was represented by Morgan Leeming-Sykes (U14 Girls), Eleanor Hunt (U16 Girls), Dexter Leeming-Sykes (U16 Girls) and Megan Cullen (Junior Girls). Megan and Eleanor have written about their experiencies in the Junior Girls and the U15 Girks events on a weekend where the weather wasn’t as kind as it has been recently.


“The final event of the Junior Women’s National Road Race Series, the NWJT is a 3 day stage race.  

Stage 1 Prologue 2.4km along Morecambe Promenade. Completing the TT in a time of 3 minutes 44 seconds I came 33rd, 22 seconds down on the winner.  

Stage 2 Waking up to hammering rain stage 2 consisted of 12 laps of a 2 mile circuit with a hill top finish and 3000 ft of climbing. 

“On the 3rd lap up the hill I got distanced after a rider attacked, but gradually I was able to get back on. However, a rider in front of me knocked wheels which forced me into the banking therefore I had to take my feet out and as this was on the steepest part of the climb I was unable to get back into the peloton.

”After a lap alone a group of 10 riders joined me. For the remainder of the race we raced as a group taking equal turns on the front and I eventually finished 27th.  

Stage 3  13 laps of a 2 mile circuit, which was mostly flat apart from two motorway bridges.

“The course itself was very narrow and full of potholes and included a ‘roller coaster’ section, which meant ‘cross skills came in handy.  

“With the first lap being neutralised until the second motorway bridge, the race started with a fast uphill sprint. Throughout the race many riders tried to get away, but the technical flat course made this very difficult.

“In the end it came down to a sprint finish. With 1 lap to go I was positioned in second wheel. My plan was to attack but with little room and a fast pace I couldn’t find the right place to do it.

“In the end I finished in the bunch in 26th and overall I finished 27th”.


Stage 1/Prologue This was a 1.5mile TT along Morecambe Promenade which was very windy but also quite sunny (the only day of sun over the 3 days). I came 27th which put me right in the middle of the field.

Stage 2 This was the most important stage for me as it was a climbing stage.

“After some minor issues at gear check I did my warm up and made my way to the starting pen.

”It was 9 degrees, windy and raining. I had a good start but managed to keep with the leading group for only a lap and then joined the larger second group.

“6 laps from the finish (4 laps in) I decided to make an attack at the top of the hill to test the bunch and also try to tire their legs. However when I looked behind me I realised I had a large gap on the group so I decided I’d keep away for a lap and then let them catch me.

“But, as each lap came around I was gradually increasing my lead on the group and getting used to fighting the strong wind along the home straight alone.

”Basically, I managed to keep away until the end and caught a few riders who had dropped from the leading group, and finished in 13th position.

Stage 3 Entering the final stage the weather was a little better but my legs were pretty tired from Stage 2.

“I knew today’s course wasn’t one that really suited me so there were no great expectations, all I had to do was make sure I didn’t lose any time and therefore remain 13th on G.C. and his is what I did.

”I tried to keep near the front of the peloton and avoid any crashes. I finished 22nd on the stage and remained 13th overall.

“It was a very enjoyable 3 days of racing in Lancashire and I can’t wait for next year”.

Morgan’s and Dexter’s results are as follows.


Prologue – 37th

Stage 2 – 36th

Stage 3 – 34th

Overall – 34th

Dad David reported:

”Back home after a great weekend of racing at the North West Youth Tour. Usual mixed bag of emotions but glad to have them finish safely

“Mo’s first time, gaining valuable experience of stage racing.

“Felt for her on stage 3 where she was caught up in a crash on the neutralised lap breaking a gear lever resulting in no front brake and stuck in one gear.

Managed to get back on and finish which meant a lot to her.

“Cottage fire came in handy to dry out all the kit after Sunday’s downpour”.


Prologue – 80th

Stage 2 – 61st

Stage 3 – 45th

Ovetall – 52nd

Full results courtesy of BC.

Joe Howcroft was in action once again at the Squadra RT Summer Classic, a 63 mile race based at Warter in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Joe rode to 11th place, taking 5 points on a course the organisers described as undulating.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Circuit Racing

Thursday 23rd August saw two wins for Otley at the CDPP Extra Crits #4.

Eleanor Hunt was victorious in the U16 Girls with George Radcliffe the victor in the U16 Boys, both of them earning 3 points each.

In the 2/3/4 category event Joe Howcroft took 7 points for 3rd with Robbie Pollard in 16th.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Grass track at Roundhay might have finished for 2018 but George Radcliffe managed to eek out more green stuff action at the 2018 Mildenhall Cycling Festival Saturday 25th August.

Riding the Youth A Omnium George took yet another win for the club, earning himself 3 points.

Full results courtesy of BC.

George’s next ride is in Event 9 of the corsaRosa League on Sunday 2nd September in which he will be hoping to take the fastest youth time again after missing out recently because of holidays.


31st August 2018