Otley Races plus more

The prolific racing of our club youngsters continues, including our home town race.

George Radcliffe reports on his Otley Town Races experience:

Otley Town Centre Crit; the home race. As always, it’s very hard fought attracting riders of the highest calibre. It’s a prestigious race that is a highlight on anyone’s palmarès.

Going into the race I felt confident as last year I finished in a respectable position. However, after a steady first few laps it was clear the race was going to stay together and end in a sprint. Continuously attacks went but none stuck meaning the pace was very stop start. In turn this meant the peloton stayed bunched together and didn’t break apart the way I had hoped. Throughout the race I tried to stay active at the front in order to stay out of trouble but more importantly show off the jersey with pride. On the bell and with the final ascent of Burras Lane I decided to attack as I didn’t want the race to finish in a sprint. However by Birdcage Walk I had been caught and just ended up rolling in with the peloton for 22nd. Not the greatest result but a great night nevertheless. Thanks to all the volunteers for making it happen.

National Youth Circuit Championships at the very hilly Oliver’s Mount Circuit at Scarborough on Sunday 7th July.
Otley had several riders in the various races, Matt Ellmore, George Radcliffe and Dexter Leeming-Sykes; and Lucy Ellmore finished in the points with a very good 12th place in the National Junior Women’s road race.


Matt Ellmore reports:
The Oliver’s Mount race started as one big bunch, and we kept together until on the third lap, (the first big lap) where there was a crash on the swooping hairpin causing the group to split, I worked really hard to catch up the group. When i got to the bottom hairpin just before the hill i caught the group up, however as i worked really hard i was really tired up the climb i couldn’t hang on to the group for very long. At the top i kept the pace up and i managed to catch up a group that had dropped off the leading group. I worked with them for almost all of the race as i kept on getting dropped on the hill and then caught them up at the top. On the last lap the same thing happened to the other laps; i got dropped on the hill but unfortunately I didn’t have the energy the catch them up. In the end i was placed 28th out of 87, which i am pleased with but i wished i had trained more for the hill!


George reports:
The 2019 Under 16 National Circuit Championships was held at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough. As is well known, it’s the hardest course of any youth race in the UK as it involves a 0.3 mile climb at over 12% average gradient.

I began the race at the back with over 100 riders in front of me, however after a rapid start on two short, flat loops I had managed to manoeuvre myself into the top 30. By the time we reached the first climb many riders had already been dropped yet I stayed with the peloton for the next few laps. After half an hour or so however I began to find myself struggling on the back of the bunch and was soon dropped. I spent the remainder of the race in a group of 10 or so alongside teammate Dexter. On the final ascent of the climb my group had swollen in size but I stayed at the front and put pressure on the back riders until a point where they were dislodged. Over the top of the climb there were less than 10 riders remaining in my group and with 200m to go the sprint was launched in which I didn’t have the power to match some of the other, stronger riders. Perhaps not my best result finishing 39th but a great race despite that. Once again thanks to the club and sponsors for all their help.


Tom Wallace and Dexter Leeming-Sykes raced for Otley CC last Sunday at the Stockton Cycling festival. Tom reports:
Having not trained in two weeks due to DofE and a trip to London, today’s race at Stockton was never going to be easy! The race itself was relatively uneventful as the pack did not split and I (just) managed to stay with it. The circuit was not for me as it focused on spinning and two 180 degree corners – both of which I am not a fan – however I think I managed to achieve 9th out of 12 U16 boys. Given the lack of training I am reasonably happy with that result.

The next big race on the calendar was the Colne GP on Tuesday 16th. It was a lovely sunny evening on the tight and short course around the Town Centre. Otley were very well represented in all the age groups and they crusaded into Lancashire to steal some points!

In the youth races there were 2nd places on the podium for Matt Ellmore, Eleanor Hunt and George Radcliffe and Dexter Leeming-Sykes took 6th. Lucy Ellmore was 8th in the women’s race and Robbie Pollard and Joe Howcroft were 7th and 8th in the 2/3/4 category race, so Otley Cycle Club came away with 26 “Roses” points!

After all this succesful racing Otley Cycle Club are now 33rd positioned club in the country in front of some pretty big names!