CYCLING: National aims as duo get on track

IN ACTION: Weymouth’s Becky Raybould

IN ACTION: Weymouth’s Becky Raybould

First published in Sport

TWO young Weymouth cyclists have been enjoying success at national events. Becky Raybould and Alex Jolliffe, from Wey Valley School, both compete regularly around the country at under-16 level, both on road circuits and at velodromes.

The National Road Circuits Championships held at Hogg Hill in Essex saw them com- peting against the top road riders in the UK at their age group. Raybould competed in a field of 45 riders in a 40km/25 miles race that included gruelling hill climbs that quickly reduced the field to a group of 20 riders.

With 10km to go, she took the initiative, making a break and leading the field only to be caught with 4km to go and finishing in a very creditable 13th place.

In the under-16 boys’ race, Jolliffe was in a starting field of 100 riders to race over 60km/37 miles including 20 climbs of the infamous Hogg Hill. The boys competed at a frantic pace averaging close to 25mph, which again saw riders drop out every lap. However, the race finished in a bunch sprint up the final hill where he dug deep to finish in eighth place.

The following weekend saw both travelling to the outdoor banked velodrome at Welwyn Garden City to compete in the National Omnium finals. The omnium features five different races in one day – 1km time trial, elimination race, scratch race, kieren (sprint from behind the small moped) and a points race.

Both had to qualify for these finals through three regional rounds and did so as the Southern UK Regional Champions. They were therefore again competing against the best riders from the England, Scotland and Wales.

In what is an extremely tough days racing, both competed to a very high standard with Raybould finishing agonisingly just off the podium in fourth and Jolliffe sixth.

Both are now looking forward to the National Track finals that will be held in the Manchester Indoor Velodrome dur-ing the first week of August for which both are training hard.

This will followed by racing down the Mall in London as part of the Prudential Ride London cycle event and then in September they will be off to the Sainsbury’s National School Games where they will be representing the Southern region.

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