CYCLING ROUND-UP: Youth Academy's Giddings showing great potential with victory over UK's top young riders

Josh Giddings winning the National Youth Circuit Series event at Minehead. PICTURE: British Cycling Photographers
Josh Giddings winning the National Youth Circuit Series event at Minehead. PICTURE: British Cycling Photographers

Puncture and broken chain can't stop Willis at Hog Hill

Another brilliant week of cycle racing performances by Mick Ives’ Team Jewson-MI Racing-Polypipe-McCann.
Josh Giddings, the leading member of the Mick Ives' Youth Academy Team demonstrated once again his great potential by winning the latest round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit series. The latest event was held at Minehead, Somerset where he beat the best riders in his class in the UK.

Josh Giddings on the podium after winning the Minehead round of the National Youth Circuit Series

Josh Giddings on the podium after winning the Minehead round of the National Youth Circuit Series

Photograph: Josh Giddings at the finish, courtesy of British Cycling Photographers.

Other members of the Academy, were also on the winners’ podium, this time at Mallory Park, Leicestershire, In what was described as a ‘Mini Stage Race’ for Youth riders. Jamie Kennerson finished third fastest in the Time Trial and 3rd in the Circuit race that followed, making him the overall winner. Team mates Callum Twelves finished 2nd in the Circuit race, with Ed Hopkins 3rd, making it a clean sweep for the squad in the Circuit Race.

The Team’s most experienced rider 56-year-old Mike Twelves, showed no signs of slowing down after his recent crash on Derby Velodrome, when he won the over 55 years Percy Stallard National Road Race, Round 5 at Tysoe, in south Warwickshire, organised by Stratford CC.
Twelves was part of a small breakaway group that went clear for most of the event, only to be caught in the closing stages, but his finishing sprint, was enough to give him victory. It means he has now won all five of the series events and is assured of the National Series Championship, a series he has won twice before. Warwick’s leading rider John Stevenson, team mate of Twelves, once again just missed out on victory, finishing 3rd in the same race.

Earlier in the week Twelves had competed in the Derby Track League at the Velodrome, winning the Elimination race, winning the Points race and finishing 2nd in the Scratch race, behind the 45year-old National Champion.

Next week end Twelves and several team mates will compete in the British Veteran Track Championships at Newport (South Wales) Velodrome and are expected to do well.

The Team’s leading Road Racer of the season Antony Wallis, was in action twice during the week, both events on his favourite Circuit - Hog Hill, in North London.
In round 8 of the Le Col series, the weather was foul, with an inch of water in places on the tough tricky circuit, which includes a very steep climb, followed by a twisty descent. It looked as if it wasn’t going to be Antony’s day when he punctured early on in the race, but a quick change of wheel, and a tough chase saw him back in contention, only to suffer another set back when he broke his chain. Again he managed to get back to the Pits and get his spare bike to start yet another chase to get back to the main field. And still he was able to win the event,with his powerful sprint, making it eight out of eight in the series.
Then a few days later Antony was back at Hog Hill, to compete in the CC London race, no problems this time. Attacking early on in the race, he soloed to victory, in dry weather this time , finishing 1 and a half laps ahead of two chasers, and two laps ahead of the main field. He certainly is the King of Hog Hill. This was his 12th Road victory of the season.

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Rob O'Connor

Rob O’Connor continued the good form he has been showing at the midweek circuit races at the Milton Keynes Bowl, taking another victory after again lapping the entire field all but the second-placed rider Ian Cooper from Milton Keynes. “It was a very wet and dangerous evening of racing but once out front I could pick my own line so it was slightly less so,” said Rob, who is using these events as build up for the British Circuit Championship in London on July 13 this year.

Rob then travelled to Shipston-on-Stour for the Stratford CC for the 5th round of the Percy Stallard National series, lining up with the best riders in the country in his age group. It was a 15 mile lap race to be covered three times, with a tough climb into Lower Brailes each lap. It was a fast attacking race, splitting then coming back together.

“I felt good the whole race and tried to get in every move that I thought would stick," he said. Yet banking on a sprint finish, Rob missed two riders clipping away in the closing miles, which included the eventual winner and series leader Steve Tucker from Derby. With the remainder of the bunch sprinting it out for third Rob was edged out by National Champ Steve Wilkinson from Manchester. ”Finishing fourth I still retain my third overall in the series, which I am happy with so far," he added.