Spring has sprung and the youth race season has begun! Sat March 2nd saw the first race of the season at the Brownlee circuit, home of the Alba youth team and Yorkshire 4RT (alba, Ilkey, VSCC, Harrogate Nova) training cluster.
Word had spread across the country and we had an event befitting of a national series race with huge numbers of strong riders from all over the U.K. with a big showing from Lancaster's Salt Ayre.
The under 8s saw a strong debut performance from Primo race team member Oliver racing for fun.
Under 10s saw ‘the flying pig’ Performance Race Team member Sofia take the win with Henry (Development) and Ethan (Primo) putting on a great display of teamwork riding for each other coming in 11th and 9th.
Under 12s saw Luca (Performance) put in a strong performance to grab a 7th while 4RT training partner Seth (KCA) took a strong 4th in a field of 26. Twins Isaac and Rhys (both Performance) were both looking strong in their first race stepping up into the u14s cat. Impressively, Isaac stayed in the lead group and grabbed an awesome 5th while Rhys got dropped, so slowed for another rider to work together which paid off. Rhys then beat him on the sprint for 11th which is a great result, as last year it was the other way round! 4RT member Alex was just outsprinted for 2nd. Winter Monday night training is paying off! Ben (Primo) competed his first race enjoying the experience of a large field of 19.
Performance Team member Sam similarly stepped up a cat to u16s and got in the mix from an early stage alongside Max (Performance) in a huge 36 strong field of quality racers. Max went with the early break, sat up when it looked like they were being caught only to find Sam and a couple of others counter attacked. Sam dropped back soon after while Max tried to get a chase organised in the pack. Transplant world champion and development team member Esben found the pace unsurprisingly hard with all this action and dropped back but did well to complete his race. After little support Max and 3 others broke free to chase down the breakaway but couldn't pull them back despite dropping one of their riders and getting a gap of 20 seconds. Max nailed a super strong 5th with Sam outsprinting the pack in an impressive 8th. Both lads defeated last season rivals and local (and further afield) race teams. Kudos.
All in all a mighty impressive start for the youth race team.
The size and success of the event was a pleasant surprise to everyone and huge thanks must go to Richard Hollis and Phil Makinson and all their helpers for all their efforts in making it happen. Chapeau!
Thanks to Jean Paul Bednarek and Andy Akers for photos.
Full results here