Our first coaching session of 2020. It’s always tough getting the team out during early March. It’s cold, damp, breezy and many of the team are playing other sports, such as Football and Rugby.
Stonham Barns gave us amazing support as ever with the Events Team dropping by with signage and smiles.
Keith Suffling dropped by with his amazing array of cameras and took the following photos that hopefully shows the youth teams having fun. We do not normally mix the age groups, but it went well for the first session. Future weeks will see the younger and older groups have their own sessions.
Suffolk Youth Race Team travelled to Snetterton to bolster the teams position in the Eastern Cyclocross League. The first race was an Under 8s and Under 10’s affair. We had Aaron, Lewis, Frank, Callum, Isaac, Mylo and Eva and Lincoln riding. It was great to see so many Suffolk Youth Race Team riders in one race. The weather was nice for once. We normally get sub-zero temperatures and sometimes snow. We had a dry sunshine day that wasn’t too cold. The course this year was in reverse but still using the indoor manage (Large Barn).
In the Youth category we had Oscar representing the team. Oscar got a good start, but due to his age, he was gridded towards the back of the grid. As the race started Oscar was in top form, passing riders around the outside of one of the long inclines with a bend at the top. Oscar finished the race literally just outside the top 10 in his first full season, which is very impressive.
Next we had Gracie, Abbey and Tally in Under 12s. All three young ladies riding as hard as they could around the technical course. Gracie and Abbey took medals away and Tally was looking very strong and improving with every race, in her first full year of CycloCross.
Isaac rode very strongly in U10 boys, looking quicker every time we see him. Issac’s has come from a Cycle Speedway background, and fits nicely into CycloCross. Needless to say, Isaac has incredibly fast starts. Isaac finished strongly, ahead of Eva.
Lewis in his first race for SYRT looked very comfortable, not too surprising with a dad who is both a coach and races CX at a senior level. Lewis rode very strongly and had a great race.
Lewis said that the course for the U10’s was relatively open apart from a few tight corners in the barn which the kids love cycling through. After a good start Lewis settled into the top ten and started to push on to come across the line as 8th U10 Boy. Lewis currently sits in 6th overall in his category and for the remaining two races wants to finish in 6th place or higher. No doubt Lewis will be on the podium soon enough.
Aaron had a barnstorming race (pun intended) with a great start and kept the power down for the whole race. Aaron came a superb 3rd place in U10 boys, which is very impressive as it is only his first full season and racing against riders who have been around for many years.
Frank and Callum in Under 8s got away well with Frank pulling away well on the first lap. Callum and Frank flew around with Frank beating Callum by around 9 seconds. They finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Eva had a very good ride and finished 3rd in Under 10 Girls. Eva is looking at top 3 in the league, so needed the points. Eva’s riding is improving with every race.
Milo and Lincoln both in Under 8 boys had great races, Mylo looking better with each race. Both in their first season, with Lincoln in his first ever race. The boys looked very comfortable racing on some quite challenging areas of the course.
A small number of the team took the long journey down to the regional finals on Sunday, namely Abbey, Eva, Aaron and Callum.
In under 8’s Callum represented the team. |As the Under 8s were gridded, the Under 10s were just starting. In Under 10’s, Callum’s sister Eva was racing. At the start of her race there was an accident that threw Eva to the ground. Although she got up and continued, she was soon involved in a second incident that knocked the wind out of her. Muddied, she carried on. Callum’s race started around two minutes later. Callum soon caught up with Eva and checked if she was okay. Eva was in tears, but didn’t want to stop. Callum stayed with Eva encouraging her to keep going. Both kept up a good pace for a few laps, until Callum realised there was only two laps left to catch the leaders in his Under 8s race. Callum put in two fast laps to cross the line at speed. Unsure where he had finished, he wasn’t exactly dressed for the podium, and was shocked to find he had won. Callum was therefore Eastern Region Under 8s Cyclocross Champion.
Below are some photos of Callum and Eva. Eva finished 3rd in Under 10 girls, which was nice for her as she had persisted for the whole race with a damaged bike, a fair bit of mud on her and some bruising.
Next up was Aaron. Aaron has been getting stronger and stronger over the year, his first year racing. On paper we were sure Aaron would get a podium finish. Aaron gridded well, and set off a great speed. unfortunately, an accident on the first lap stopped Aaron in his tracks. The accident meant Aaron was severely delayed. Aaron has been focusing on riding to the end no matter what recently, and duly took chase after the leaders. There were not enough laps for Aaron to get up to top 3, but he put in a gallant effort none the less. Chapeau to Aaron. Next year hopefully he will get a top 3 placing.
Last but not least was Abbey in her first year of Under 12s. Abbey was regional champion last year, but has been taking time out of race training to put in some slow winter miles, rather than focus on cyclocross. Abbey had a bad start with a Welwyn Wheelers rider crashing next to her and delaying her. Abbey picked up a nasty bruise that hampered her progress, even so Abbey closed each lap, but could only finish second to a well deserved regional winner.
Report from Frank…. “I felt nervous before the race, but
always do. I had a slow start but managed to get my speed up fairly quickly and
overtake a lot of riders on the grass section. I really enjoyed the woods
section and getting my leg out instead of braking on the corners which helped
keep my speed up. I crashed just before the hurdles on one of the laps, as I
couldn’t unclip, but got straight back up and carried on. I found the hurdles
hard as they were quite high. The crowd was great cheering me on and was really
happy to get my first cx race win.
Although we are celebrating Franks win, we must not forget
the astounding result for Milo. Milo in his first season and one of the
youngest riders finished well up the Under 8 boys field. Well-done Milo!
Race report from Arron, who has been mixing it with the top
boys in Under 10s after only a year into his racing career. “I didn’t get the
best start, but I came out of the forest in around 6th place then I push hard. The
finish line wasn’t where the start was, so I eased off and lost one place to
finish 7th”. This is all good experience for the future and I’m sure
we will see Aaron win a race soon enough.
U12s Tally showed her skills again at Mistley to finish well. I didn’t see the race, so hopefully I can write more next race when we watch her tear up the course in the long grass at Redgrave, a course likely suited to Tally.
Oscar wearing his very cool POC shades rode strongly again.
He is going from strength to strength. He said it was a very hard course and
was shattered at the end. He almost overtook another young lad on the line but
needed another couple if metres to do it! Great effort!!
Abbey has had a tough few weeks, with a 3cm piece of glass in her foot, that’s still giving a bit of discomfort, not training for 3 weeks and on Friday came down with a very bad virus along with most of her School class.
Abbey warmed up well, and asked lots of questions around technique and strategy..
Soon came the time to go to the start line
Abbey had a sensible start, building into her ride.
With loads of family support, Abbey powered around the first lap. The riders had 30 seconds gaps between them At the end of the first lap, Abbey had put 90 seconds into the rider behind her and was holding a good position on her bicycle.
Suffolk Youth Race Team took 6 riders to the Semer Hill Climb near Sudbury. The team did exceptionally well and all bar none, wanted to ride again next year.
Here are their post race interviews:
How did you feel? I felt very nervous before the race as I hadn’t done a hill climb before and there would be lots of people watching
Did you go and see the start? I watched some of the riders before my turn but this made me feel more nervous seeing their pain.
How did you prepare? I timed my warm-up well so I could get to the start in time
How did the hill feel? I didn’t really feel the pain until half way up and it was hard but the crowds helped urge me on
Do you feel you could have done anything better? I think I should have gone harder at the end in the last 15 metres at the very last bit
But your time was really good… At the end I felt dead! But glad I had finished. I am pleased with my time for the first time but I want to do better and be on the podium, next year
What did you feel about the presentation? I was surprised when my name was called to go up for a presentation
Aaron: What did you think of the hill climb? It was very exciting on the hill climb. Everyone was cheering and I got loads of compliments at the end. I think I could have got a better time if I changed gears just before the finish line. I look forward to doing a better time next year.
Eva: When you woke up, what did you think the day would be like? I thought it would be exciting and I was quite scared.
Did you wear anything special? Before and after the race I wore the presents I got for my birthday 2 days earlier. In the race I wore my skinsuit and my special beautiful warm yellow wool socks.
When you got there, you warmed up… what did you think about everyone being there? I was scared and I thought that I would get hurt with all the people, because they were so big.
What was the weather like? The weather was quite warm, but it was meant to rain, but it didn’t.
What was the start like? Well, the start, I would describe as scary because I thought as they pushed me off, I might have fallen. But it was okay in the end, they were nice to me and made me feel okay.
What was it like going up the hill? It was hard work, and I thought I would slip down, but it was not too hard in the end.
How did you feel at the finish? I felt happy and tired.
Did anything unexpected happen on the hill? Yes, because people and boys were running beside me shouting for me to go faster. I liked that, it was a really nice feeling.
What did you feel about the presentation? I felt surprised because I didn’t know I was that fast to get a prize. I think I could go much faster next time. I will practice more for next time.
Did you meet the organisers and sponsors of the event? Yes, met Dan and he gave me some wine. I met a lady and man whose son used to race, they were lovely and talked to us.
Would you do it again? Yes please, it was very peopley and loud. It was fun.
Callum: When you woke up, what did you think the day would be like? Rainy, but it was sunny. And the event? I was scared about it, because it was my first time racing up it.
Did you wear anything special? Well, I wore odd socks. Why? Because I don’t have any pairs. Really? It brings me a lucky day.
When you got there, you warmed up… what did you think about everyone being there? I don’t know. Was it busy? Yes, so I had to be careful warming up.
What was the start like? The best piece because I went fast and it was fun.
What was it like going up the hill? Ermmmm… when I went around the corner, it was like… scary and I might fall off. I loved people cheering me on.
How did you feel at the finish? Happy, but my brakes didn’t work so I went on a bit.
Did anything unexpected happen on the hill? No
What did you feel about the presentation? Very happy, like, I could see people go up and get prizes. Well, our club all got something. We all stood by the podium
Did you meet the organisers and sponsors of the event? Yes, I met Dan and he was nice. I met a lady and her husband, like they organised the wine and gave it out.
Would you do it again? Yes, Yes, I would, yes, I would like to do it again.
Abbey: You had an interesting build up to the race I hear: Yes, I had a few bad weeks of training building up the hill-climb. Then on Wednesday I had a 3cm x 1cm bit of glass in the ball of my foot and couldn’t walk until Saturday. I did a test on Saturday, and it hurt but I could ride. On Sunday I could walk, but it hurt a bit. I tried not to think about it much, but I couldn’t get power down for more than a few seconds and had to back out. Semer is such great fun, I still wanted to ride up.
When you woke up, what did you think the day would be like? I was very worried. I told Callum my brother I wasn’t sure I could do it, as I still had the stitches and it was painful.
Did you wear anything special? No, I even forgot to get my overshoes on I wore last year.
When you got there, you warmed up… what did you think about everyone being there? I got to my warm up late and didn’t have my shoes, so it was a bit rushed. I didn’t get warmed up properly, but it didn’t matter. I have done races before without a warm up, and they were fine. Its not so easy to do that on a hill climb because it’s a straight sprint. We tried to do a negative split, to help me, but that didn’t give much advantage.
What was the weather like? We expected it to be rainy, and we brought all sorts of wet weather clothing and towels etc, even daddy’s virgin oil. We didn’t use any of it.
What was the start like? I was very worried about sprinting because of my foot. I worked into the sprint, rather than going off very fast. It doesn’t affect the time much, but gives my foot less pressure.
What was it like going up the hill? We were all told that we can’t win, because we are so young in U16s, so I went hard as I could, but enjoyed it more than previous years. It made me smile a lot to see everyone cheering us on.
How did you feel at the finish? Thought I could have gone flat out or the whole hill, but my foot was hurting, so I think I did okay. I wasn’t worn out like previous years.
Did anything unexpected happen on the hill? No, not really. It was just good fun.
What did you feel about the presentation? Previous years they gave a presentation to girls only and boys only, I think the numbers were lower this year so we had a mixed gender race. I’m not sure where I came, probably about 5th or 6th. Everyone got a prize from my club, which I liked. We all lined up.
Did you meet the organisers and sponsors of the event? Yes, they were all very nice. I think Eva thinks she won a bottle of wine, but its for all of us.
Would you do it again? Yes, its one of the best races of the year.
Frank: What did you think of the race? I really enjoyed the crowd cheering me and it made me cycle faster.
Three SYRT riders went down to Basildon on the 6th of October to compete in Round 4 of the Eastern CycloCross league. Tough muddy course today but the 3 SYRT riders all put on good performances.
Dried out lots after my race was sunny and warm!!! Then back here to torrential rain.
Arron went well getting off to a steady start but finishing strong. At the start, his dad told him to sit back and not try to race the first guys at start but try jump on their wheel as Aaron wasn’t confident with it being super muddy plus the hurdles. It was a muddy carnage there the first lap. He did very well, on the last lap he had a boy chasing him down, he put a good sprint on the final lap to finish just ahead of the boy chasing him down. He came off muddy, messy but surprising happy… Aaron finished 7th.
In the race, first lap, everyone was sliding into each other at the bottom, both Ben and Oscar probably jumped 6-10 fallen riders on the first lap, after that, lower was the way to go
Ben and Oscar had good starts but Oscar got a bit held up through the woods. They did really well with the off camber with both of them riding it when many others were running it. Then they both kept good speed to make it down and up a big bomb hole.
Unfortunately, Ben has a mechanical bending his hanger which caused his chain to jam between the cassette and wheel. He had to run a long way to pits where he got great service from his mechanic to get him back in to the race.
Oscar also had some drama coming off and getting a nasty bit of road rash on his leg. But he got back on to finish two places ahead of Ben after his mechanical.
Oscars mum stated “It was a tough one but they all did really well – so much mud!”
On Sunday the team went int deepest Essex, to Basildon in fact.
After last years Biblical rain, the reports of 22 degrees, light winds with thunder and lightening were taken very seriously by those that went last year. There was many a story from lasts years washout from parents and riders too.
The team saw Oscar, Abbey, Tally, Aaron, Eva, Callum and Milo racing.
The first race had Aaron, Eva, Milo and Callum take to the start line. All riders having done a practice start and sighting laps… raring to go… Aaron shot off as part of the breakaway in 2nd and 3rd place during he first lap, settling into the race quickly and looking completely in control. With only a couple of laps to go Aaron got caught and had a battle into a corner and clipped wheels in a very fair manner with another riders wheel sending Aaron to the ground. Aaron was okay, bounced up and took chase, but unfortunately lost touch with the leaders and finished just outside the top 3. Without doubt Aaron made sure people knew he was in the race and raised many an eyebrow with his pace and determination. Aaron will be on the podium soon enough…
Milo rode a strong race finishing very strongly. This was Milos second race and he looks to be loving racing with this elder sister also racing, but in the U10s.
Eva got a great start and flew around putting some very impressive lap times. Eva battled through the race showing great braking ability on dead turns to pass many riders. Eva finished 2nd in U10G. A fantastic result and keeps her leading the league.
Callum had his first win in Cyclocross today aged 6 years old and came 8th overall in both U8 and U10 combined. A great result.
Next we had the U12s with Abbey and Tally lining up. As the whistle blew, Abbeys chain broke and that was that. Under the new rules you cant do much to help. That left Tally to represent the team, and she did a sterling job too. Tally made up a number of places and you could see the improvement from the previous week. Tally’s job was made all the harder as it started to rain and showed great bike handling ability as the grass became slippery.
The last race with SYRT representation was U14s and Oscar. Oscar got a good start and showed great handling ability in very slippery conditions. The laps were long and the pace was gruelling. Oscar did very well and fought up to 8th place in only his second year.
Below are photos of Oscar and a few more photos from the day…
Today saw the second round of the 2019 Cyclocross season at Springfield in Chelmsford.
We had a strong team present, with other strong riders starting their season in coming races.
The 3/4 of the team in the race shown below…
The first race saw Aaron U10 gridded up towards the front, and due to their ages, Eva U10 Girl, Callum U8 and Milo U8 were further back. The photos below taken just before gridding:
As the race started, Aaron powered into the top 3 positions down the first straightaway followed by Eva, then Callum and Milo in his first race.
Aaron was a bit unlucky to slip on a technical section and dropped back to a still very impressive 5th place overall. I think its fair to say that Aaron has only done 1/2 a season and was up against youths that have raced for a few years. That makes his showing at the front of the race very impressive..
Eva had a bit of a bad start, taking after her older sister. Eva then started to make up places and was up to 2nd place by the end of the first lap. Eva, ever graceful, made it look effortless. After the 2nd lap Eva pushed on and took the lead. Realising she needed points, she had to push to pass a few boys. A very happy Girl, Eva won her race.
In U8s we had Callum in his 4th season aged 6yrs old and Milo who has raced speed way previously scorching the grass. Both boys rode hard and showed off their technique well… Callum was over joyed to come 2nd overall U8 boy and Milo finished close behind.
Next up was the Under 12s with Abbey and Tally riding for SYRT. Both girls got a great start. Abbey pressed hard and came first U12 girl, with Tally literally powering around showing amazing grit to finish strongly,elevating herself up the league table.
Next up was the Under 14s with Ben and Oscar. Both boys started strongly, with Ben tight on the heels of his main rival from 2018. Boy boys showed great skill and determination. Ben recently won a variety of medals through Triathlon and looked t be in great shape. Ben suffered a minor back injury and had to pull out of the race. This left Oscar to represent the team. Oscar finished a strong 9th in his second season against some very experienced opposition and beat riders in the next category up
Today saw the start of the 2019 Cyclocross season. Amis Velo, consisting of just 12 members, put on wonderful event at Hilly fields near St Helena School in Colchester. The number of youth riders that entered was something to behold for all, especially for the sport of cycling.
Suffolk Youth Race Team had a good number of riders in a fair few categories. The team today is shown below…
U8 Boys: Callum and Frank took to the start-line looking full of confidence. Pre-race chat from the dads, with tactics taken on board by the boys. The Commissaires whistle blew to start the race and off they went. Frank got a great start, but Callum got bogged down with gear selection issues. Both boys flew around, with Frank showing great power. Eventually, after a chat with the time keepers the results were corrected to show Frank finishing 6th and Callum finishing 7th. Photos of the boys below:
Next up was the Under 10 girls race. We had Eva in the race who has come top 3 in the league every year she has competed. Although Eva has a special fashion sense when it comes to racing, she is mighty when she wants to be. Yesterday she came up with some things she wanted to change for the race on her bike that made sense, so she came to the race with a bit of an untested config. Today she got a good start and gracefully powered around the course holding off some very strong competitors. Eva had a look of someone who wanted to win, and over took with determination to move into the lead. Eva hung on to the the lead right to the end, putting in very impressive lap times, not far off some of the older riders.
Photos of Eva below:
Next up were the Under 10 boys. Aaron represented the team and got a great start. He pushed hard for the whole race. A bit of a mix-up on the last lap caused a minor issue, but Aaron dealt with it like a pro and finished 7th. Aaron has had a few months off and wants to work hard to get up into the top 3. We are sure it wont take long before he’s there. Photos below:
Next up were the Under 12 Girls. Tally and Abbey lined up towards the back of the grid, which hampered both of their starts. Abbey had to go for an outside grid place by choice to give some level of option to get to the front. This failed unfortunately, although it did help her to clear some riders. Tally got a good start, but its not easy from the row the girls were on. Tally was on her new bike and powered around the course showing great poise and skill. It was evident Tally was still getting used to her new bike as she took a few corners tentatively and sensibly. As the season progresses Tally will grow from strength to strength. Abbey got caught behind slower riders through the wooded section on lap 1 losing over 25 seconds. Her lap times came alight later on in the race where she showed what was asked of her this year, to be more robust. Abbey passed a few riders, taking herself into 2nd place, with the leader too far up the road to catch. Abbey had a moment in the woods on the last lap, allowing the 3rd placed rider to squeeze passed her. Abbeys hit a tree with her shoulder, with no major injury, just a sore shoulder. It was a great showing by both girls… They should both have a good season… Pics of both girls below:
The last race of the day for SYRT was U14 Boys. Oscar also had a bad grid placing, but got a good start driving hard around the course. Oscar rode well staying with recognised decent riders to finish 17th in under out of 33. Pretty good considering he was gridded so far back. Oscar said he is pleased with his ride on such a tough long course. Photos of Oscar below: