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.