A total of 11 Team RL360 members travelled to Wales recently to compete in round two of British Cycling’s national youth series at Pembrey.
The two-day four-stage event consisted of an individual time trial, a short 20-minute sprint race and two criteriums.
As a result of the flat nature of the course, it was difficult for any breakaway attempts to succeed.
Consequently most of the races ended in bunch sprints, giving the time trial and bonus seconds gained extra significance in the general classification competition.
After two days of hard and fast racing, Niki Quaye finished an excellent third overall in the A girls.
The 15-year-old Manx girl won stage two’s 60-minute criterium, was second in stage four’s 70-minute criterium, third in stage three’s 20-minute sprint race and seventh in stage one’s time trial.
Her cumulative time put her 12 seconds behind the winner Carys Lloyd (VC Londres) in the final overall standings but only a fraction of a second down on the runner-up Mari Porton (Halesowen CC).
A fine fourth in stage four’s criterium, a ninth in stage one’s time trial, a 13th in stage two’s crit and a 17th in the short sprint race placed Glen Vine’s Sophie Smith in a very good ninth spot overall 19 seconds behind her team-mate.
Jess Pickavance and Flossie Griffin’s 13th and 24th positions in the time trial followed by consistent bunch finishes in the road races slotted them into 15th and 24th places respectively on GC, separated by a narrow eight seconds.
In the A boys, William Curphey’s 11th place in the opening time trial followed by mainly bunch finishes earned him 14th position overall, 29 seconds behind the winner Rory Gravelle (Velo Myrddin CC).
Orry Lund stayed with the main pack for most of the stages to take 39th overall, while Oscar Gaylor, who scored a ninth on stage two and 17th on stage three, dropped down the standings to 40th after losing time because of a crash in the final day’s criterium.
Owen Collins and James Kinrade ended the two days in 55th and 59th places. There were 95 finishers.
Lily-Ann Scott and Cameron Hounsell were the only RL360 representatives in the B events, both doing well to finish 15th and 39th respectively in the overall standings.
One week after the finish of the Pembrey event, an enlarged RL360 team travelled off-island again, this time to the Oulton motor racing circuit in Cheshire for round three of the national youth series.
The RL360 A girls excelled in their race with Flossie Griffin taking a very good 11th spot in the group sprint for second place, which Isle of Man Youth Tour victor Cat Ferguson (Shibden-Storey) edged.
Sophie Smith and Niki Quaye were just behind in 13th and 18th positions, with Jess Pickavance four seconds further back in 42nd slot.
Isabel Mayes (JRC-INTERFLON) took the win seven seconds ahead of her pursuers.
The A boys race ended in a massive bunch sprint won by Pembrey winner Rory Gravelle (Velo Myrddin).
Ivan Sorby was 13th, Oscar Gaylor 25th, Owen Collins 34th, Orry Lund 35th, Cian Howard 39th, Will Curphy 53rd and James Kinrade 64th – all within a few seconds of each other.
In the B girls, Abi Clayton stayed with the leading group to contest the finish, crossing the line in a fine 17th position, some four seconds down on the winner Aelwen Davies (RR23).
Lily-Ann Scott and May-Saa Smith were further back in 21st and 22nd places.
Despite suffering from a sore hip during the B boys event, Alec Sorby was the best of the RL360 boys in 39th place. Cameron Hounsell was 44th and Zach Jones 47th both at one lap.
The day ended on a high note when Daniel Minay outsprinted James Trippier (Newport Shropshire) and Joshua Hughes (Rhyl CC) to win the supporting C boys race.