STRATFORD Cycling Club juniors were in determined mood when they competed at the second Wallingford Festival of Cycling.
The Oxfordshire town basically closes down for the day as cycling races of every description take place and two Stratford riders decided to give it a go against top drawer opposition.
This meant really exciting racing which Stratford pair Jess O’Riley and Tom Charles found highly motivational.
Town centre criterium or ‘round the houses’ races were run over a 950m course with racing for 25 minutes plus a lap.
In the girls only race Jess, in her own words, “loved it”. The crowd gives such a buzz and makes for highly competitive racing and Jess found herself in the second of a hard chasing group of four and had to settle for eighth place.
The boys’ race had an extra dimension as it was a mixed age group race with boys ranging from 13 to 16.
With Tom being at the lower end of the age range and with a lower gear – a stipulation because of his age – he can be very proud of the determined performance which saw him fall off behind two others, causing the race to be stopped and restarted.
This did not put him off and he can be proud of his finishing position of ninth in his age group.
AT THE other end of the age range, Stratford CC’s Tony Owen was at it again in in a veterans criterium held at the purpose-built circuit at Stourport.
Thirty-five riders started the race, which was to last 50 minutes plus three laps.
The course is specially built for cycle criterium racing and is almost a flat course of perfect tarmac with two hairpin bends shaped a little like a boomerang.
Tony was the sole representative for Stratford Cycling Club and succumbed to team tactics from Coventry Olympic Club.
They clearly had a plan which was to take it in turns to attack the bunch until one of them could establish a breakaway.
It is a well established plan in which one rider attacks, the other two block and the bunch do their best to reel the attacking rider back. Once the catch happens, another rider will jump away and the whole process repeats itself.
In the end Tony was very pleased with his tenth place.