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Race Report - The North West Tour 2016

The bank holiday weekend saw the Towy Riders head to Lancashire for the fourth

round of the British National Series Youth Cycling championships. The North West

Tour is arguably the biggest race of the year spread over three days and based

around Lancaster. The weather proved to be fantastic all weekend with blue skies

and temperatures over 20°C every day. The riders headed to Morecambe for the

individual prologue time-trial held on the seafront over a flat 2.2km course, where

riders were timed individually. In the under 14 girls Emma Finucane set the fastest

time and was in the hot seat only to be beaten by fractions of a second by a Dutch

rider. Amy Cole also performed well getting 4 th on the day. Dannielle Parker and

Roslie Finucane put in a solid time trial to set them up for the weekend. Bryn Davies

set a searing pace to get 6 th on the day in a field of over 70 under 14 boys with Guto

Dafydd getting 21 st . The under 12 boys seemed to be a repeat of the under 14 girls

with Iolo Dafydd putting in a fantastic ride and sitting in first place until the last rider

who just beat his time to put him in 2 nd on the day.

On the Sunday the riders headed to the outskirts of Lancaster where a 3km circuit of

local roads had been closed for racing. Each lap consisted of over one hundred

metres of savage climbing. Up first were the under 14 girls who were all in contention

early on. Unfortunately dropped chains for Emma Finucane an Amy Cole saw them

drop out of the lead group at key points in the race. Dannielle Parker battled hard for

a top ten place while Rosie Finucane finished just outside the top twenty. The pace

in the under 14 boys was relentless with both Guto Dafydd and Bryn Davies making

the key moves and finishing in the top ten. The time gaps were large so both also

finished in the top ten overall at the end of the day separated by seconds. In the

under 12’s Iolo Dafydd fought hard for lap after lap to keep the leaders in sight but

failed to bridge the gap finishing a valiant 7 th on the day.

The final day saw the riders race at the infamous Salt Ayre race circuit, which has a

reputation for fast racing and crashes a plenty. The under 14’s had two races to

complete while the under 12’s had one race. The Towy under 14 girls were out for

revenge after the bad luck of the previous day. In the sprint for the line Emma

Finucane left the competition in no doubt who was the fastest finisher by winning

both races with bike lengths to spare. Fantastic finishes were also had by Amy Cole

and Danielle Parker who came 3 rd in the first and second races respectively. With

over 70 under 14 boys speeding around the narrow circuit crashes were inevitable

and in the first race nearly half the field were affected by a rider falling in the sprint

for the line. Fortunately for the Towies, Guto Dafydd managed to narrowly avoid the

faller and came in 6 th in the first stage, while Bryn Davies got caught behind the

fallers but was given the same time as the winner. The pace seemed even higher in

their second race but as the riders stretched out the sprint saw Guto Dafydd improve

with a 4 th place and Bryn Davies finishing safely in the bunch. Iolo Dafydd was

determined to show his speed in the under 12’ by taking the points competition by

winning most of the sprints during the race and coming 7 th overall. The Towies have

a welcome break from racing for a while before returning to Cardiff in July for the

British Track omnium championships.

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