This month I thought it was about time to have a photo of the seniors as the header photo. Maybe their great results at the Herne Hill team champs, or the impressive riding at the Tour of Sussex. Instead, it really can’t be anything other than these two photos:
But wait, the month started with George, Philip, Iain and Scrippo heading down for the Tour of Sussex. Philip went for his regular green jersey competition. A solid team lead out (with last man Scrippo hanging on for 3rd place) meant he started the week in 2nd place. George finished highest overall in 14th place.
That Sunday saw the National Circuit Championships at North London’s Hog Hill. Look – the Skyline is the wrong way round.
Fred and Ethan rode one of the most exciting races of the year, with Ethan particularly active throughout the race. After two riders got away in the final laps the leg cramping bunch sprint ended with Ethan 5th and Fred 9th.
Georgie and Louise had a very strong race only just getting tailed off a rapidly diminishing bunch.
The big news however was Becky Surridge taking a comfortable win in the U12 girls. A very deserving reward for a dominant season.
There was more success at Crystal Palace. Infact on 15th July VCL riders won the E12s (Ethan), 3/4s (Fred), U16s (Remi), U14s (Max), U12s (Billy) and U10s (Olivier)!
After last month’s success at the Herne Hill Youth Team Championships the youths repaid the favour by helping run the senior competition. Phil Wright and the rest of the Friends of the Velodrome did a great job again.
VCL entered two womens and four mens teams, and won both events!
The following week Iain, Christine and Tony were off to Reading for the Reading Grand Prix. Home of the unusual winner takes all scratch race.
Christine came 3rd in the 15k womens derny final. Iain’s top result was 1st in the points race.
The big youth track event of the month was the National Youth Omnium final – now classified as a full national championships, instead of just a series final as in previous years. Tim Writes:
12 VCL youth riders headed to Welwyn on Sunday for the National Track Omnium finals.
In the U12 girls, Becky Surridge recovered from a relatively poor start in the time trial (only 4th!) to take 2nd in the devil and then win the final 3 races (scratch, sprint and points) to take 2nd overall and take the silver medal; just a point separated her from the winner, Emma Finucane of Towy Riders. Natalie Bloomer rode consistently throughout the day for a great 12th place.
In the U12 boys, Innes Harvey made up for 16th in the devil with an excellent 5th in the scratch and 3rd in the points race for 9th overall. Billy Gilbey also struggled with the devil, managing only 19th, but didn’t score worse than 6th in any of the other events to take a great 5th overall. Oscar Nilsson-Julien rode consistently well, recording a mixture of 3rd and 4th places to take a fantastic 3rd place overall and the bronze medal. The jersey was won by Robert Donaldson of Mossley CRT, in a dominant performance which saw him win every race.
The U14 girls competition was disrupted by a number of crashes at the beginning of the first bunch race, the devil. India Gloag sensibly kept out of trouble for the rest of the day and finished 19th overall. The jersey was won by Anna Docherty of Clifton CC in a very competitive field where each of the five races was won by a different rider.
In the U14 boys, Max Cheatle struggled to reproduce the strong form he showed in the three regional omniums, and came in 19th overall. Matthew Burke, from Newport Olympic won 4 of the 5 events to take the jersey.
The U16 girls was dominated by Jess Roberts and Eleanor Dickinson of RST Racing Team, Jess winning four of the five races to take the jersey. Of the VCL riders, Rachel Jary was highest placed, overcoming the disruption of being wrongly called out in the devil to finish with a great 3rd place in the points race for a terrific 5th overall. Charlotte Cole-Hossain was, as usual, very active in the bunch races – lots of strong attacks, but chased down each time. Charlotte finished 13th overall. Louise Surridge was 14th overall, best placed in the scratch where she got a great 6th place.
A very competitive U16 boys field again saw the results spread across the leading riders. Ethan Hayter won the time trial, Fred Wright won the Kierin and points races; Matt Walls (Velocity WD-40) won the devil; Etienne Georgi (Giant-Halo) won the scratch with a long solo attack.
Apart from the scratch, where he was 4th, Fred was either 2nd or 1st in each race to take the jersey. Ethan’s 2nd place in the last event, the points race, (including a storming attack on the last lap to take the final set of points) moved him up into 3rd overall for the bronze medal.
Great racing all day; the threatened thunder held off; and six VCL riders on the podium including a national champion. Pretty good!
The final major youth event of the year, before riders had to choose between Assen or the Track Nationals was the national circuit series round in South Wales. Top result of the day went to Ethan. After some frustration in the national championships he was on a mission to prove himself. Huw Williams Writes (and photos):
The under-16 boys race was remarkable in that two riders, Anthony Anderson (Sigma Sport) and Ethan Hayter (VC Londres), managed to escape the main field mid-way through the race and sustain it to the line.
This was highly impressive given that the early pace of the race was so fast none of the repeated attacks managed to stay away. When the two did manage to gap the field the early pace had been so relentless that few were keen to do any work in chasing them down apart from Joshua Waters (SRAM) who made a Herculean effort to get across the gap solo which only just failed.
There was agony for Hayter in the final chicane when he came off after going in too fast in trying to gain an advantage for the sprint. Anderson rolled over the line unchallenged while Hayter was forced to run across the line, narrowly finishing ahead of the fast finishing Waters.
Staying on the road, Amy and George have been having good first years as Juniors racing in the senior ranks. Both riding Surrey League races this month, Amy came 4th in her first Dunsfold womens 3/4 race. George (in the background of this months viral sensation of a Kingston Wheelers rider celebrating too soon) came 6th in his first handicap race at Newdigate.
As the month ends, a number of VCL riders are away on the annual camping trip (with a bit of bike racing) at the Youth Tour of Assen in the Netherlands.
The remainder are awaiting the start of the youth track nationals. Meanwhile the Summer Cyclo-Cross League (co-ordinated by Jason and Shaun, with round 2 organised by Philip with plenty of VCL help) is underway. Expect full reports on all next month.