Its now the height of the racing season and this weekend saw the National Road Race Championships which this year were held at Norwich. Although the TV coverage relayed by British Cycling was hit and miss, it was great for local fans as we had Ilkley representation, along with local and Yorkshire riders to cheer for all racing against riders famous on the worldwide scene.
The women’s race was won by Alice Barnes of Canyon SRAM, whilst Ilkley CC’s Annabel Fisher took a fine 24th place, and she will be comfortable in the knowledge that she would have improved on this had there been some hills which would have suited her racing style. Annabel travelled back to the UK for this race from her Swiss base where she is racing for the DN Dames Bio Frais race team. Yorkshires Sophie Thackray who has competed in Ilkley’s Town Centre race and Ilkley’s cyclo crosses since she was a young girl and now is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the national stage took 17th. Emily Meakin racing for Independent Pedaller last week won the Ilkley race and came 55th in the nationals.
The men’s race was held over 117miles and the winner was Ben Swift, Team Ineos, the Rotherham rider who has just recovered from some nasty injuries. Scott Thwaites, Vitus Pro Cycling continued his so far successful season with 10th place. Mark Cavendish MBE was 22nd and hopefully is fighting back to fitness after a few disappointing seasons. Other local riders we like to watch, multiple World Champion, Tom Pidcock, Team Wiggins-LeCol and last week’s Ilkley race winner, Tom Moses, Madison-Genesis, both finished further back.
Closer to home in the Alba Rosa 3/4 category circuit race at the Brownlee Circuit, Richard Kelt picked up Ilkley CC’s first senior race win of the season. Four riders from Team PMRR were dominant and looking confident of taking the win, but they reckoned without the powerful finishing kick and combative nature of ex rugby player Kelt who came through strongly on the finishing straight. Also finishing in the peloton for Ilkley CC were coach Dan Sharpe, Jake Unsworth, Patrick Blake, Michael Strange and 1st over 50 rider, Michael Burdon.
Liz Barrett organised the Yorkshire region of the schools hill climb event at Hawpike Farm, Bolton Abbey. Youngest performer on the day was Ilkley’s Ben Garrido, whilst older brother Toby won the under 7s category with a new category record for the climb. Another success in the u7 was Rosa Wilson who took the second place in the girls and a silver medal. In the under 11s, Ilkley had, 4th-Theo Hart, 10th-Zac Wilson, 11th-Thomas Knabb
The first mud of the season was found at Killinghall in round 4 of the Summer Cross series where a decidedly tacky surface soon cut up to be a sticky, tyre tread filling syrup. The long straights and sharp corners became a balancing act of head down speed and delicate cornering , with many succumbing to graceful slides out under the course marking tape. From 104 starters, Ilkleys riders were headed home by veteran Arthur Wilson in 17th place, followed by 36th-Paul Cowland, 39th-Jason Bishop, 62nd-Liam Rees.
The ICC evening time trial on the Addingham - Bolton Abbey - Skipton circuit again fell on a day of inclement weather which affected rider numbers. Airedale Olympic CC visitor Andrew Johnston took the win with 26min45secs, followed by 2nd-Arthur Wilson 28:47, 3rd-Patrick Blake 29:12, 4th-Jamie Kirk 29:34, 5th-Liam Rees 29:46, 6th-Michael Strange 30:09, 7th-Nina Benson 30:11
Pics: Richard Kelt on the podium, Annabel Fisher racing in France, action from the schools hill climb.