More success for Manx youths in UK
A LARGE group of Team Royal London 360 riders travelled to the UK last week to contest rounds six and seven of British Cycling’s national youth circuit race series, securing two wins and a batch of top-10 placings.
The purpose-built Palatine cycle circuit in Blackpool was the venue for the sixth round, with the flat nature of the course favouring the sprinters.
Zac Walker got RL360’s campaign off to a successful start, finishing a close third in the under-eight age group behind breakaway partners Joshua Tarling (West Wales Cycle RT) and James Higham (H. Middleton CC).
The under-10 event ended in a bunch sprint won by Matti Egglestone (Beacon Wheelers), with RL360 team-mates Charlie Gibson and Will Corkill close behind in fifth and 12th spots respectively. Charlie Moss (second girl), Jonty Bregazzi and Aaron Lund lost contact with the frontrunners in the closing stages, coming home in 15th, 16th and 18th places.
There was another bunch finish in the under-12 race. Alistair Leivers (BYCA) took the honours with recently crowned British champion Will Draper crossing the line in fifth spot. Max Walker, Tosh Teare and Emily Bridson were 20th, 21st and 27th.
Matthew Draper produced the Manx ride of the day to win the under-14 class. He broke away with five laps to go and quickly opened up a 10-second gap, but the vigilant bunch was not prepared to let him go and by the bell the group was back together.
However, Matthew was not finished and, after positioning himself in the perfect spot at the front of the bunch for the final corner, won a close sprint from Matthew Walls (Velocity RC) and Daniel Tulett (Hargroves Specialized Trant). Michael Moss was a very good 10th in the bunch sprint and Daniel Scarffe did well to complete the distance in 29th spot.
Despite suffering from a mechanical problem with his gears, Matthew Davies was an excellent 11th in the under-16 class, contesting the sprint for sixth place behind a leading group of five riders. Leon Mazzone was 21st and Jamie Dudley, who was in an early break, recovered from a shunt onto the grass to grab 26th place.
In the under-16 girls, Sophie Black was a brilliant third in the bunch gallop behind British champion Melissa Lowther (Aire Valley TR) and Emily Nelson (Halesowen CC). The hard-working Elizabeth Holden, who had made numerous attacks, was 11th followed by Victoria Kinrade and Phoebe Ferguson in 20th and 22nd positions.
The majority of the team travelled across to Scarborough for round seven of the series the following day, staged on the testing motorcycle racing circuit at Oliver’s Mount.
Zac Walker gave the team its second win of the weekend with a comfortable victory in the under-eight class, while Charlie Gibson narrowly lost out in the final sprint to finish second to Matti Egglestone in the under-10 class. Charlie Moss was second girl in 14th place overall.
In the under-12 class, Will Draper picked the wrong wheel to follow in the bunch sprint, ending up in eighth place behind winner and series leader Nathan Hawthorn (Cycle Sport Pendle). Max Walker led a group of four riders home for 18th position and Emily Bridson was the runner-up in the girls’ competition.
Continuing his recent run of good form, Matthew Draper was fifth in the under-14s. The course allowed the hill climbers to shine and Matthew did well to get over the final ascent close behind the leading quartet, spearheaded by winner Jake Dobson (Newcastle Phoenix CC). Michael Moss retired after taking an off-road excursion.
The four RL360 representatives in the under-16s were in the main bunch for the early part of the race, but dropped back when the field split on the climb. At the finish, Jamie Dudley was 29th, Leon Mazzone 30th, Nathan Draper 38th and Matthew Davies 40th.
In the under-16 girls, Elizabeth Holden was with the leading group all the way, finishing a very close third behind behind the breakaway duo of Melissa Lowther and Abby Parkinson (RST Racing Team). Sophie Black won both prime laps on her way to 14th place and the ever-improving Phoebe Ferguson produced one of her best off-island rides to date in 15th spot. Glen Vine’s Eleanor Davies recovered from the illness that caused her to pull out of the previous day’s event to finish a fine eighth in the under-14 girls.
With one round of the series remaining, the St Athan Races in South Wales, seven Royal London 360 members are holding onto top-10 places in the overall standings. Zac Walker, Charlie Gibson and Will Draper are lying second in the under-eights, u10s and u12s respectively, while Matthew Draper is third in the u14s. In the girls’ standings, Elizabeth Holden and Sophie Black are fifth and eighth in the u16s and Eleanor Davies eighth in the u14s.
l LAST week’s round of the Royal London 360 Youth Cycling League was cancelled because of wet weather.
Sky TV will be at the NSC venue tomorrow evening, Tuesday, to film this week’s round in connection with an Olympic Games feature.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 33 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North