Racing round, cross and up

Summer’s gone – it has, it really has – and it’s getting towards the end of the year but Otley CC riders don’t let that cool their enthusiasm for racing. Some have continued the club’s success in circuit racing and others are moving on to winter cyclo cross and that traditional end-of-time-trialling-season activity, hill climbs.

Circuit Racing

Two local circuit series recently came to an end for 2018 and Otley riders were to the fore with a win and some podiums.

On Thursday 6th September at the Steven Burke Circuit near Colne Joe Howcroft took 2nd place and 8 points in the CDPP Extra Crits #6, the last in the series. Jack Coates was 8th, sadly not awarded any points due to moving up a category, and Robbie Pollard claimed 1 point for 9th place.

Full results courtesy of BC.

Two days later the Richard Dunn Sports Centre in Bradford hosted the White Rose Youth League Finale 2018.

The top result for Otley was 1st and 2nd place in the U16 Girls, Eleanor Hunt emerging the victor, earning 3 points, with Lucy Ellmore in 2nd place for 2 points. Both Eleanor and Lucy have written about their last race together for a while as Lucy moves up to the Junior category for 2019. Photographs courtesy of Lucy.


“It was very nice to be back racing at Richard Dunn again, but the weather was typical Yorkshire, cold wet and windy.

”The race started well and I made a solo attack about half way through which proved to be the winning move.

”I kept away until the end leaving me with 1st place, a good way to end the last few races of the season”. 


“I really enjoyed today’s race, even though it was raining and it is nice to end the season with a good race. 

“Everyone was in one group in the first few laps, so I made sure that I was near the front so that if the pace did go up I would be more likely to keep up.

“After a few laps, the group was down to just the 4 U16 girls. Eleanor and I decided to attack with about 10 laps to go, but the other 2 girls caught us, so Eleanor attacked again, but I couldn’t follow and stayed with the group.

“I decided to attack with 3 laps to go, as I knew I could sustain the effort for about 3 laps. I managed to stay away and finished 2nd which I am happy with after recently not racing very well. 

“Well done to Eleanor for the win, and I’ll miss not racing with her next year!”

Morgan Leeming-Sykes earned another point for the girls with 3rd place in her U14 race.

For the boys, Matthew Ellmore was 6th in the U14 race and George Radcliffe and Dexter Leeming-Sykes were 6th & 7th respectively in the U16s.

Full results courtesy of BC.

In the current 2018 National Road & Track rankings Otley CC are lying 65th with 525 points and in the Regional rankings are 4th with 199 points.

Individual Clubpoint rankings can be found here. Clicking on a rider’s name will show their National ranking in their category. Our top two ranked riders are Jack Coates, ranked 28th in the Male Youth A category with 114 points, and Eleanor Hunt who is ranked 27th in the Female Youth A category on 77 points.

Cyclo Cross

The Yorkshire Cyclo Cross Association (YCCA) Winter Series, sponsored by Kinesis UK and Bespoke Sports Kit, started Sunday 2nd September. (Don’t worry, it’s not actually winter yet!). Round 1 was held at the Middleton Bike Hub in Leeds, plenty of Otley riders continuing their 2018 love of riding on the rough stuff.

First off were the under 12 categories, always full of enthusiasm and ready to do do battle against their friends.

Photographs courtesy of Stuart Hall.

In the Under 10 race Matthew Hardwick was 23rd in the U10 Boys and 28th overall out of 41 riders.

For the U10 Girls, Isla Aylward was 5th in her category, 27th overall, Amy Hodgkins was 10th, 38th overall and Kaitlynn Hardwick 12th, 40th overall.

Moving up to the U12s, Ruaridh Aylward (U12 Boys) was 10th in his category and also 10th overall out of 63 riders with fellow U10 Boys Oscar Hall 22nd, 22nd overall and Alex Hodgkins 27th and 27th overall.

A fairly recent convert but now firmly bitten by the ‘cross bug, veteran category rider Tony Wild has provided a few words on that first event for the three more senior of the six categories. Photographs courtesy of David Leeming-Sykes, Peter Middlemiss and Neil Hendry.

“A cracking ride from Dexter Leeming-Sykes earned him a well deserved 1st place in the Youth race. Well done Dexter!

“In the same race sister Mo was 8th FU14 61st overall of 72 riders. 

Megan Cullen was 2nd FJun, 70th overall out of a total of 150 riders in the Vet45+ /Women/Novice race. Ian Cullen was 22nd MV50, 48th overall, Andrew Moxon, returning to competition after a break, was 45th MV50 and 97th overall. Tony Wild (me) was 11th MV60 and 126th overall out of them 150. Pleased to be not last… it was a bit hot (is that the pace or the weather Tony? Or both?)  

“Sam Howcroft was our sole representative in the Junior/Senior/Vet 40-44 Men race, finishing 11th MJun and 60th overall out of 70 riders.

“Our other senior ‘hitters’ James Cullen and Tim Howcroft not present due to conflicting TT interests. Next time boys… next time. Well done everybody! Thanks to David Leeming-Sykes for podium pic”.

Full results courtesy of YCCA.

Wilson Road Playing Fields in Wyke was the venue for Round 2 on Sunday 9th September and once again Otley had a large contingent riding. Thanks again to Tony Wild for his commentary. Photographs courtesy of David Leeming-Sykes, Stuart Hall and Neil Hendry.

“10 riders competed with some ‘notables’ absent due to conflicting TT interests (again). Yes the inter familial rivalries between the Cullens and Hovercrafts continued over at the Club 30 TT at Walshford, Megan Cullen (1st Fjun!) seemingly dissenting TT to do ‘cross.

“It’s all a bit  Montagues and Capulets isn’t it…. Otley’s answer to Verona… without the love interest mind….  

“Alas, no ‘chicken dinner’ for Dexter Leeming-Sykes this week, but a very fine 3rd place podium to Ilkley’s Ben Houlihan (1st) and Bjorn Koerdt (2nd) in  the Junior race.

“This, on what was generally regarded as a difficult and technical course involving a sand pit, steps, adverse cambers with uppy downy bits… and boards so high I nearly had to get me portable step ladders out the back pocket! (I’m 5’4″ folks)”. 


U10 Isla Aylward 4th (19 overall of 35 riders), Amy Hodgkins 10th (33/35),  U12 Ruaridh Aylward 7th (7/50), Oscar Hall 17th (17/50), Alex Hodgkins 20th (21/50) 

Youth – Dexter Leeming-Sykes 3rd (3/64), Mo Leeming-Sykes 6th FU14  (54/64)

Vet 45+/Women/Novice – Megan Cullen 1st FJun  (87/133), Andrew Moxon 35th MV50  (76/133),?Tony Wild 12th MV60  (last! & 113/133).

“Must try harder Tony….. says (wife) Top Nurse Penny.   Well done everybody!  Bedale next week.   Thanks to the YCCA folk, race organisers Shibden CC and David Leeming-Sykes, Stuart Hall and Neil Hendry for snaps”.

Full results courtesy of YCCA.

Hill Climbs

It’s gravity defying time again and to accompany our resident hill climb addict Andrew Bolton, Amy Cuthbertson has also decided to get plenty of these strenuous events on her palmarès. Photographs courtesy of Amy’s Facebook page.

The first event in Amy’s 2018 hill climb campaign – in fact, her first ever hill climb – was East Lancs RC 2 stage on Sunday 8th September. Based at Littleborough near Rochdale, the race uses the 0.4 mile J9/19 and the J9/11 2 mile courses.

Amy didn’t necessarily have the best of preparations the day before, riding with the Otley Mountain Goat section on a wet 40 mile ride taking in both hills used for our open hill climb, Norwood Edge and Guise Cliff, plus the even steeper Hartwith Bank from Summerbridge to Brimham Rocks thrown in for good measure in between.

Still, that didn’t deter Amy and she finished her first gravity defying event in a combined time of 15 minutes and 8 seconds, recording 2:59.3 for stage 1 and 12:08.7 for stage 2.

Overall winner was current National Hill Climb Champion Dan Evans of Assos Equipe UK in 8:43.7 with Jessica Evans, Dan’s wife and teammate, first Woman in 9:51.9.

Full results courtesy of East Lancs RC and CTT.

Amy’s next hill climb challenge is the 3RT event on Sunday 16th September at Scammonden Dam along with husband Michael, John Armitstead, Jemma Mcconville-Roe and Andrew Bolton.


13th September 2018