STRATFORD Cycling Club hosted a youth race which forms part of the West Midlands Youth Circuit Series at Victoria Park in Leamington recently.
This race has always proved a very popular event and this year did not disappoint as the high number of online entries proved. The weather forecast led the organisers to worry about a washout, but thankfully the rain kept at bay until the final race of the day.
The U8 boys and girls competed in the first event consisting of approximately 30 riders in total. The short and fast race was decided within the first two laps as those who made a good start managed to hold on until the end.
It was an excellent race from the Tinsley twins with Lewis finishing in 2nd place for the boys and Harriet as 2nd in the girls category. Stratford CC had good representation in this event with Ryan Speechly in 8th, Joseph Gregg in 9th and Spencer Corder in 10th for the boys and Ava Piper 7th for the girls.
The second event of the day was a mixed category race for the U10 riders and around 30 boys and girls lined up for the start. The competitive line-up set off at a fast pace which stretched out the main bunch within the first two laps.
Cerys Simmonds of Stratford CC remained in contention in the girls category and held on for 4th place in a competitive field. The local boys Jacob Barritt and Atom Gill finished the race in 22nd and 24th position respectively.
The U12 mixed category race saw Stratford represented in numbers. A breakaway group extended a lead on the rest of the riders. David Hird was able to stay with the leaders, closely followed by Luke Simmonds.
Other Stratford riders gave a good account of themselves. As the fast paced race drew to a close, David Hird finished in 8th, Luke Simmonds 11th, Kieran Speechly 15th, Harvey Jackson 22nd and Baden Green in 23rd. Charlotte Johnson had a great race in the girls category and achieved a podium finish for 2nd place.
John Chesney represented Stratford in the U14 boys race. From the start a Solihull CC rider, Matthew Shaw, attacked immediately and gained a big gap on the rest of the peloton.
Despite an organised effort to bridge the gap to the leader, the chasing pack could not make contact. Shaw managed to time trial his way impressively to the finish to secure the top spot. John Chesney crossed the line in 19th place amongst very strong competition.
The final race of the day was the U16 boys. Keir Lewis and Matthew Bednell (in his first circuit race) represented the club in this category containing around 30 competitors.
As soon as the officials set the riders off on the start, the boys clearly wanted to make an impact as the attacks came immediately and often from several riders in the bunch, including Lewis.
The pace of the race was blistering and provided an exciting show for the spectators. After around 30 minutes of racing at high-speed, a lone rider from Nottingham Clarion CC managed to push away from the main peloton.
The relentless tempo proved too much for majority and even the most accomplished riders fell off the pace. Despite several attempts to bridge the gap, the strength of the leader stood the test and Tom Chandler crossed the finish line in 1st place.
Keir finished in 9th place after a valiant effort to chase the leader. Matthew held on to achieve 28th place in his first race for the club.
Harriet Tinsley was second placed girl in the U8s race. (s)
Lewis Tinsley was second placed boy in the U8s race. (s)