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Youth Tour of Scotland

We had a member riding this event for the first time, Junior Jackson (making up a composite team) and riding for the Sport City Club based at the velodrome in Manchester.

Live report:

Well the first day is over and if you weren’t in the top 6 at the finish then this day is one never to forget.
(Bad days happen in cycle racing).

9 laps at 5 miles per lap, undulating hills and 1.5 hours of racing. How’s about this rule, (no-one can retire for mechanical reasons or get pulled out for being lapped)!  This is a team focused event and you will finish no matter what.

The 2nd lap was a sprint lap. Contention was high to gain points and valuable time bonuses towards GC. Unfortunately there was a crash with 20 or more riders involved. Two of the favourites to win the overall GC got caught in it. There were riders on top of each other and bikes in a sorry state. Junior plus 2 others on top of poor Issac Peatfield. Junior ended up having a couple of chainring teeth in his thigh, plus a punctured front tyre due to slamming into Bobby Haughtons rear mech, who now cannot finish the tour as a bent rear mech means he didn’t finish the race and is therefore disqualified. Many were injured but carried on. The SPEEDFLEX race team lost the most blood, some on Juniors left fork (sorry to be so graphic).
What’s ironic is that the crash happened at the front of the peloton and some flanking riders took the advantage. Only a handful did. Hence if you were not in top 6…

Junior ended up 1.40 mins back after this and was stuck in a six man group that wouldn’t work together.
After this crash the field was spread out into multiple small groups that consisted of 5-10 riders over a distance of approx 2 miles and this was only lap 2! 
Eventually the breakaway group of six increased their lead and were out of sight of the 2nd group who were 30 seconds behind. 
Juniors group finished nearly 10 minutes behind the leaders (GC aspirations blown).  One of the riders in Juniors group was heard to shout to the others to slow down to wait for a group coming up from behind but they were over 25 seconds behind… Why not just work together to close the gap on the leaders.

Everyone looked glum riding back to HQ and they were all forced to watch the podium presentations. At least they can have dinner together and chat about the days events – in the end… it’s probably one to remember!..  but not one to relive.

Well at least the team was in 4th place on the overall.

“There are too many factors you have to take into account that you have no control over…The most important factor you can keep in your own hands is yourself. I always placed the greatest emphasis on that”.
EDDY MERCKX

Day 2

The second and third stage took place today at St David’s just outside Perth.

A 7.9km TTT followed by another 60km race.

The TTT course was undulating. The boys worked well together and they all finished together. They came 12th with a time of 9.04. The winning time was about 8.45.

There were many king of the mountain and sprinters points up for grabs on the 3rd stage.

The 9 lap race saw 6 riders breakaway on lap 2 and they held the peloton off with 1 lap to go.  They took all the KOM and sprinters points.
With 4 laps to go Sam Watson (Yorkshire) plus Tosh Teare (IOM) had bridged the gap and with 2 laps to go they climbed away from the other 6 riders and into the lead. In the meantime the peloton drove hard and fast to try and catch the 6 riders that were directly in front of them,  4 of the initial 6 that got away were caught. Junior was at the front with a team mate trying to pull the 6 back but sadly it was too little too late. The group sprint saw them fight for 5th position. Sam Watson finished approx 200 yards ahead of his breakaway companion to a deserved win.
Junior came in 14th and team mates were also 7th (one of the 6 breakers – Sam Pugh), 16th and 24th. This pushed the team up to fourth overall. Their aim is to finish third overall and the final stage (the hilly one!) tomorrow will decide this.

Day 3

Today’s stage was a 16 lap, 45km race incorporating a steep 200 metre climb. I thought Junior would make top 5 with all the hill training he’s been doing and he was really up for it. He looked great until halfway into the first lap of the race he was involved in a crash which split the field, he then swapped bikes with a team member (the lad who was disqualified from the rest of tour since the 1st stage because of his irreparable rear mech which was damaged in a crash and he couldn’t continue). Junior having been involved in the crash was way behind the front group and with a borrowed bike which had incompatible pedals he was always going to be struggling. One of the parents checked his bike whilst junior rode on the borrowed bike. (I only discovered after the race that he was caught up in a crash).
After 2 laps he swapped back on to his own bike (confused???? – I was). The next time up the hill his rear mech got tangled in his spokes causing a split carbon dropout. His race was truly over, although he did manage to swap back onto the borrowed bike again and finish.
The race saw many attacks up the hill and because the laps were short the attackers kept getting pulled back – notably by Sam Watson and Alfie George (eventual stage and tour winner). The 20+ riders in first group finished together but well strung out.
Juniors team mates finished well down the field, one due to a puncture. For sure they have lost 4th overall position.

Nick J. (Mossley CRT Roving Reporter)

What a difference a day makes!

Saturday 25th saw some of our Mossley riders racing at Southport and Milton Keynes.

Cameron Pilkington along with the Michael, Ciara and Eamon Postlethwaite were our racers at Southport (Day 2) and performed really well. Cameron came 3rd and 4th in the two cat B races and Michael finished 9th in both his races in the cat D boys……good result considering he only resumed training at the beginning of March. Ciara and Eamon rode very strongly in the cat E boys and girls races ……Ciara needs to be a little more assertive when trying to pass slower riders and needs a little more practice changing gears…..Eamon on the other hand did fantastically  well considering he only turned 5 in February! Lovely sunny conditions prevailed (I know some of you can’t believe that the sun shines there at this time of year) much better weather than the week before……Well Done to all of you.

I had the pleasure of watching two of our riders at Milton Keynes (Bob and Thomas B), on a revised course from last years National series. The race duration was 40 minutes plus 3 laps……….after a couple of laps Bob pulled into the pits for a rear wheel change (he was experiencing transmission problems) and was duly pushed back into the race. As you will all know there are no laps out anymore and so he had to chase back onto the group. Thomas B was looking very comfortable sat in the bunch and although one or two attacks were initiated by a couple of local riders they didn’t come to anything.  Bob on the other hand was trying valiantly to bridge a gap of around 25 seconds. Lap after lap the time gap was coming down and just as well as Bob had been chasing for eight laps and finally caught the group with what turned out to be five laps to go. He sat in and got his breath back for a couple of laps and with the bell ringing in everyone’s ears moved up near the front. It was Jamieson Blain who attacked from the bottom of the hill and it was Bob who was glued to his back wheel, he came out of the slipstream with a 100 or so metres to go to claim a well deserved victory and Thomas crossed the line in seventh place……….Well done Boys!!

Sunday 26th March

On a grey start to the day Cameron Pilkington, Thomas Bates, Junior Jackson and Robert Donaldson were at the Redbridge Cycle Centre (Hog Hill) for the opening round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series. There were a number of impressive performances across all the age groups notably by Lewis Askey in the U16 Boys and Zoe Backstedt and Eva Young in the U14 Girls races.

It was Cameron who was in the action first in the under 14 Boys and after an hour and the elimination of most of the field  (lapped riders were taken out), there were only about 40 finishers out of the 100 starters! Cameron was doing ok sat in the bunch but Hog Hill was to break the resistance of most of the racers and it looked like Cameron was to be one of them. He battled valiantly all the race and somehow found the strength to find himself at the front at the bottom of the Hog Berg on the final ascent, but there wasn’t going to be a fairytale ending as his front brake was sticking and he sadly trailed in 35th…….racing can be very cruel………Well done Cameron!
We then waited until the last race of the day (Under 16 Boys)…….again a full field of 100 riders!!
Thomas, Junior and Bob were now in action and again it was the Hog Berg that killed most of the field off.
Bob again had a problem but it was a flat rear (safety pin stuck through it) he ran with his bike to the first pit area where Nick replaced the wheel in double quick time and the set off in pursuit of the peloton. Sadly there was to be no repeat of the previous days performance as once the peloton got over the climb the distance just grew and grew. Lewis Askey was to provide the ride of the day as he took off with about and hour or so of the race still left. He caught Bob and
although Bob was able to stay with him it wasn’t long before the commissaries’ noticed that he was a lapped rider and duly pulled him out of the race…….bad luck Bob.
Thomas and Junior were now our only riders in what was to be the biggest challenge that they had ever faced (racing for an hour and a half) and Hog Berg waiting every lap. With three quarters of an hour gone came our next casualty…..Junior…..Transmission problems were to blame…….again bad luck Junior.
And so it was over to Thomas to fly the Mossley flag in a beast of a race……as the time and laps wore on Thomas was slowly sliding towards the ‘trap door’ and it duly came with about 5 laps to go when the leader overtook him after another ascent of the Hog Berg……….Great ride Thomas!!
Lewis Askey was only about 15 seconds away from the peloton when he took the chequered flag, amazing ride.
So our racers had time to reflect on what might have been on a better day with a four hour drive back home but they should all be proud of themselves as this was a great set of races on a terrific course……I am looking forward to next year already.