Gary Baker report on the Youth support races for the Elite Circuit Series race on Friday night in Abergavenny (Wales)
The Next two riders to follow in the wheel-tracks of Olympic Games squad member Becky James made their mark on their rivals at the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling’s Get Connected Welsh Open Criterium on Friday night. Both won their age group titles on a night which saw some great biking and some thrilling finishes.
The night began with the toddlers, as David Wylie-Morris, of Abergavenny RC, won the Under-eight boys race from Towy Riders duo Iolo Dafydd and Garan Jones.
Maindy Flyers started a good night as well, with the daughter of Tour de France ace Magnus Backstedt taking the title. Zoe Backstedt was presented with her prize by her dad, with Heledd Hunt, of Towy Riders, second and Awen Roberts, also from Towy Riders, in third.
And, after a couple of podium places, it was time for Towy Riders to claim the top spot in the Under-10 boys event as Guto Dafydd rode away from the opposition to take the title from Joe Nethell, of Maindy Flyers, in second and team-mate Jack Roberts in third.
Emma Finucane made it a double in the age group for Towy by winning the girls event and there was likely to be some friendly family banter afterwards as sister Rose Finucane was second. Cardiff Jif rider Isabelle Bennett was third.
And age group national champion Megan James, the first sister of Olympic squad member Becky in action, was just beaten for the victory in the Under-12s contest in a sprint finish. There was a bunch of nine riders who entered the last lap all with a chance of glory and there was nothing to choose between them as they came into the final one hundred metres. But Abergavenny RC’s Joe Beckinsale seized the initiative and came home, with arms raised, to seal the boys title. James was a bike-length for second overall but first in the girls section Maindy Flyers James Codd was second among the boys, with club colleague Oliver Beere in third.
Pfeiffer Georgi, of Giant CC, was second to James among the girls, while Chippenham Wheelers’ Lauren Booth came home third.
There was another mass scramble over the final lap among the Under-14s. The boys were in charge of the lead group this time and, at the bell, Peter Kibble, of Cyclogy Bikes, roared away, intent on building a winning lead.
But he could not sustain it and, in the home straight, Tomas Owens, of Brooks Cycles, was at the head of the bunch to sprint home, with Cardiff Jif’s Rhys Britton in second, and Kibble third.
The girls race was far more clear cut as Towy Riders’ ace Jessica Roberts, a bronze medalist in the National Championships, rode away from the opposition to come home well ahead.
Two teenagers rode away from the opposition for the Under-16 boys title and it came down to another big sprint along Nevill Street. And Team Tredz Joe Holt took the honours by half-a-bike length from Solihull CC’s Danny Fox.
Meanwhile, another member of the Abergavenny biking James family, this time Ffion, came home first in the Under-16 girls event ahead of Cardiff Ajax’s Emily Haycox and Manon Lloyd, of Towy Riders, in third.
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