Forza ARCC Youth Race Team
The 2018 sponsored race team had a lot to live up to with 239 races, 67 wins and 126 podiums in 2017. Our 2nd best ever.
We weren’t too worried as we added some strings to the bow of up and coming u12 and u14 racers plus some dedicated first timers keen to make a start, backing up our usual talented bunch. Kitted out in some spicy pink and black speedsuits we set about putting them through their paces at our training home at the Brownlee Centre.
Our Monday night sessions with our close friends and joint coaches Ilkley cc, Valley Striders cc and Harrogate Nova give us a quality training session with numerous keen racers keeping everyone on their game all through the winter months and into the race season.
We developed our Thursday night coaching sessions to provide more training rather than skills coaching for our developed, older racers. We added an open session for adults to keep the numbers up and the pace high. Still thinking we can do better we added in former pro rider, team NFTO manager and professional coach Tom Barras, who just also happened to coach the Brownlee brothers and other professional cyclists. That should work we thought, let’s see what happens….
Each age category (u10, u12 etc) goes across 2 years so often racers find themselves against stronger racers a year older. The youth racing scene in Yorkshire is strong with a tough CX series, strong regional circuit racing in the White Rose League (WRYL), grass track racing in Roundhay Park, city centre races as well as forays into the North East, Lancashire, Devon, national and even international series crit racing to seek high level racing. At these races you will see pro level bikes, carbon wheels and future international racers. The national cycle centre is also just down a big road. As we know Leeds produces some high-level racers, there are definitely more at these races.
We started off slowly with some forays into local CX, the odd MTB race and then into early season circuit crits. Our regular podium queen Sofia decided 1sts was her New Year Resolution with 7 of them and a 2nd between beginning of March and the end of April. Brother Luca took on stop top 10s from Feb until the end of April as well as cheeky podiums.
Sam nailed his first win in his first race in March with new signing Charlie bagging 4th. Sam was so happy he decided to ease back his triathlon training and pick up his cycling (which was already pretty awesome TBH). He carried on in top form all season taking almost constant podiums and many wins in regional circuit and grass track. His efforts helped him gain an impressive British Cycling Regional School of Racing (RSR) place for track and circuit. This is the first step to the BC Olympic programme.
Charlie smashed out constant podiums and top 5s all season as he showed all exactly what 150% effort and suffering was while chasing breaks, leading from the front and punching above his weight in hard races and taking the odd, well-deserved win. He too gained a coveted RSR place.
Max raced regional circuit racing and grass track with constant podiums and top 5s. Also gaining an RSR place, he showed the benefits of its hard training session with his first White Rose League win a few days later for some time at the home circuit.
Twin brothers Isaac and Rhys warmed up with top 10s until April when Isaac got his first podium at our first Brownlee circuit race and got used to finally beating his brother. Other racers that day nailed a range of wins and podiums including a podium lockout in girls u10 as well as Lucy, Sophia and Marco starting off their racing career with focus and enjoyment. Hmmm, that started well….
Isaac clearly got the taste for the podium as he only finished off it twice in the next 5 months in a quite stupendous run including 17 wins. He was our outstanding racer of the year with some very tough competition. Did we mention we upped our training regime? Rhys had to be happy with many 2nd places until the very last race of the season when he rolled his brother by a tyre on the finish line for 1st to remind him who’s really boss…
Reuben quietly put his efforts into triathlons and the odd circuit with top 10s while waiting patiently for the CX season. Lucy dipped her toe into racing at our circuit a win, podium and top 5. Alfie headed to the CorsRosa TT league where he consistently finished high in his category and took 2nd place overall.
Our non-sponsored racers also got into the swing of it with a few dedicated faces emerging. Sophia quietly knocked out constant 2nd places with the odd win as well as Henry, who just couldn’t stop turning up and racing. His positive attitude gained him our rider of the year award.
Meanwhile the adults turning up on Thursday nights were steadily getting their butts kicked as our racers benefitted from the competition and extra numbers happily out cornering, sprinting and climbing all comers. Even Tom Barras had to make do with the occasional defeat… The youth were showing speed, well drilled skills and a thirst for competition.
The big races of the year are the Yorkshire town centre races, national series races, North West tour, Isle of Man, tour of Ireland and Dutch Tours of Assen Tour de Junior. Good results here are indicators of a strong national level racer. All requiring strength, determination and a full family support team.
Sofia and Luca took 7th and 25th overall at the international 4 day Isle of Man. The stand out results of the town centre races were Ilkley: 7th & 8th for Sam & Max; Otley Sam 33rd racing up an age category; Skipton 3rd & 10th for Sam & Max; Barnsley 2nd & 12th for Isaac & Rhys, 3rd & 11th for Sam & Max.
The international NW tour gave us 6th & 23rd for Isaac & Rhys, 15th for Sam and 30th for Luca. Kudos! Other national series races were in short supply nearby until Max & Sam headed to Brands Hatch for a stunning setting and 120 strong field in high speed, accident strewn races requiring some off roading (!) and serious race craft just to finish. Their 35th and 30th respectively were impressive results and among the top Yorkshire finishers.
The international 6 day closed road Tour of Assen and Tour de Junior gave the opportunity for 4 of our racers to show their prowess on the closed cobbled Dutch roads with race cars in a professional setting. And boy did they deliver. Isaac won his category with brother Rhys a close 3rd in Tour de Junior. Of the few ever GB winners, previous winners of this race include Ben Swift, Adam Blythe and Nicole Cooke. Sofia blasted to 21st place and brother Luca 19th .
A cheeky win for Max at the uphill car park race Rampage Leeds closed the road and circuit season and led us into CX. Most of us were new to this jet washing, mud strewn, bike changing malarkey but old hand Sam led the charge with most of the team including newly emerged Reuben getting many top 10s and 15s. Max, Charlie and Sam took a notable 2nd, 3rd, 4th at Ilkley with Sophia finding her groove in the mud.
When that ended our keen racers headed over to the national cycle centre to race track. Sam found his legs again, knocking out a series of wins alongside Isaac and others gaining podiums and top 10s.
Champion: U13 Tour de Junior: Isaac
Champion: U14 –Yorkshire Fixed Wheel Grass Track: Sam
Champion: U10 White Rose league: Sofia
Champion: U12 White Rose League: Isaac x 2
Champion: U14 White Rose League: Sam
Champion Yorkshire u9 Time Trial Champion: Sofia
Champion: U14 ACT Track League (National Cycle Centre): Isaac
Silver: U16 White Rose League: Max
Silver: U10 North East Youth League: Sofia
Silver: U12 Barnsley Town centre: Isaac
Silver: U10 White Rose league: Sophia
Silver: Youth Corsa Rosa TT: Alfie
Silver: U15 British Schools circuit: Max
Bronze: U14 Skipton Town Centre: Sam
Bronze: U14 Yorkshire Fixed Wheel Grass Track: Max
Bronze: U12 ACT Track League (National Cycle Centre): Isaac
Before we show the final win and podium counter a big round of applause must go to coaches from all 4 clubs who donate their time and commitment to put on the highest quality sessions. In addition the commitment from parents and carers to spend large amounts on high level kit and time going to endless races is worthy of a bow or 2. Extremely pleasing to see some of them get back on their bikes at the training sessions and even races. There was even a win in their (e-bike category Rampage Leeds…). We think you must agree the results this season have been outstanding. Even Team Sky said well done.