SOME of the Stratford Cycling Club youth riders took part in a summer cyclo-cross event hosted by RLSCC at Adventure Sports, Wedgnock Lane, in Warwick.
The ‘Summer CX Steeplechase’ was a technical off-road course with switch-backs and sharp banks, which was intensified by the flash-flooding around the area just prior to the start of the races.
The first event of evening was the ‘mini-cross race’ for all age categories below U12 and this took in a shorter part of the whole course.
Tom Charles (U12) made a great start for Stratford CC and soon found himself in a battle with a Redditch rider. Among the other Stratford riders, Robert Martin (U8) set off at a good pace to be in contention within his age category. He was closely followed by Alex Taylor (U8) who is fairly new to the racing scene.
As the race went on the Tom and the Redditch rider edged away from the main pack containing many younger in the U10 and U8 categories. On the last lap, the Redditch rider came off his bike in a technical section which allowed the Charles to cease the opportunity to pass him. Tom went on to take his first win – a fantastic result for the youngster.
Robert finished strongly and managed to secure third place in U8 category, with Alex finishing fifth in the U8s – a valiant effort from the newcomer.
The U14, U16 and Junior categories raced with the adults in a longer race which took in the whole course. This was a demanding technical event with twists and turns through muddy woodland sections and steep banks, forcing the riders to dismount and carry their bikes.
The race started at a fast pace with Keir Lewis of Stratford CC taking the ‘whole shot’ to the first corner. The 50-minute race was a lung-busting affair and around lap four Keir had a mechanical problem with his brake which caused him to drop a few places to the senior riders.
Keir battled through to make up ground on the leaders and after a fantastic effort Keir finished in the top spot for the ‘junior’ category – fourth overall in the combined adults race – a great achievement in a very competitive field of senior rider.
Keir Lewis battles on. (s)