“Congratulations to Alex who is our latest National Champion, a brilliant ride in the under 14 yrs circuit championships. Also, congratulations to Jamieson who has returned fromSpain following a stunning ride in the Junior Tour of the Basque”.
Halesowen Cycling Club took their second national title this year on Sunday when Alex Barker won the gold medal in the British under-14 circuit race championship at Scarborough, following the example of his clubmate Simon Wyllie who took the under-16 cyclocross title back in January. Barker has been consistently one of the strongest riders in his category in the country this season, helping to propel Halesowen high up the national rankings, and he started as one of the favourites in the one-hour-long event on a closed circuit based on the Oliver’s Mount motor racing circuit near Scarborough.
After 60 minutes of frenetic racing on the hilly course in sweltering weather, a late attempt to split the field worked with a group going clear in pursuit of Nathan Hardy of Cycle Club Ashwell and the race was decided by a sprint among a nine rider group at the finish, where Barker took the gold medal ahead of Ifan Roberts-Jones of Maindy Flyers and Hardy.
“I would like to congratulate Alex,” said Halesowen chair Dave Viner, “he is having a super season’s racing and his parents are massive contributors to the activities of the club.””
Elsewhere the older Halesowen racers of the Academy sponsored by Wenlock Spring remain depleted in numbers due to injuries and illness, but they still managed to figure strongly in one of the toughest British races of the day, with Cameron Biddle and Matt Clarke placing fifth and sixth respectively in the Welsh series event at Trawsfynnyd in Snowdonia. The 62 miles included almost 5,000 feet of ascent, suiting the climbing skills of the Halesowen pair, who missed an initial escape but then formed part of a second move that bridged to the early break providing a springboard for their later efforts.
Overseas two graduates from the Halesowen cycling academy, Jamieson Blain and Ben Healy have performed strongly in the Tour of the Basque Country, Spain's biggest junior race with 5 mountain based stages. The field consisted of 185 riders from across Europe including competitors from Tour de France legend Alberto Contador’s development squad. With Jamieson, the youngest rider in the race, coming second on the first stage and Ben second on the second stage the pair finished the tour in 8th and 10th place respectively and winning the team trophy to crown an impressive week’s racing.
The Halesowen club’s Friday evening track league continues to enjoy strong participation with riders encouraged by the persistent good weather. The A league is currently led by local rider Luke Hardman of the Chateau Impney team, who took the closing 10-mile event on Friday in fine style riding solo for much of the event to cover the distance in under 23 minutes.