Banbury Star junior race team in action at Hillingdon and Gravesend

By David Tew

Four team members racing at the Hillingdon Slipstream Youth Spring series at the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in Hayes.

The circuit built on waste earth from building the Hayes bypass opened in 1997. Bradley Wiggins started his racing career on a prototype of this circuit as a schoolboy. This circuit is 1km round with short ramps and some long bends which allow the riders to keep pedalling all the way round.

Mixed weather conditions met the riders on Sunday, with sunshine, clouds and a strong wind blowing and becoming a strong headwind on the start and finish straight.

The first race of the day was the Under 10’s race which lasted 20 minutes, Caleb Smith, Henry Boyles and Jorgi Gillet all worked well together, taking turns on the front and encouraging each other. Halfway through Jorgi, who was recovering from a cold and advised not to race by her parents. Dropped off the pace, coming home 3rd of the girls in the race. On the last lap Caleb took one of the ramps and led the Banbury Star team home , crossing the line in 6th place and Henry just behind in 7th from the field of 10.

Isabella Boyles went in the Under 16’s race, she lined up with 7 other girls , the race was combined with the U16 boys race, due to low numbers racing. This did however create a peloton of 40 riders, a first big group race for Bella. She managed her race extremely well, settling into the bunch, reacting to the changes in pace which caused quite a few of the riders to drop off. At around the three quarter stage, some of the boys attacked off the front, with the pace increasing, Bella was distanced off the front with 2 remaining girls. She picked her moment and on the last lap on one of the ramps, Bella attacked from behind, quickly leaving the other girls and soloing her way to 2nd place.

Poppy in 2 day Event

The cyclopark road circuit in Gravesend was the track for Poppy Kisley first 2 day race series. Organised by VC Londres Deux Jours de Cyclopark, this 2 day event, was Poppy’s first race in a big peloton of almost 50 riders. The circuit is 2.9km round, with long sweeping bends and a few ramps. The junior races have 2 races per day, racing the circuit clockwise on day 1 and anti clockwise the next day. Poppy tried to get in the break in race 1 , but just missed out, but held her own very well and led the main bunch over the line. The second race of the she had to fight her way around in torrential rain and the race mirroed the first with Poppy crossing the line 2nd in the main bunch. Day 2, Poppy pushed hard but was tired from the previous days efforts, unfortunately she lost the bunch in the first race but finished safely in the bunch in the 2nd race.

Huge congratulations to all the juniors for their competitive efforts in the weekend's races. It bodes well for theirs and the club's future that we have such a talented group of young racers.