The first town centre crit races in Shaftesbury took place yesterday, and hopefully this will become an annual fixture as it was a great day of sport and entertainment.  There were good crowds around the circuit, particularly for the various Youth category races.

The circuit took the riders from the town hall start area, round to Bell Street, along to the right turn into Angel Lane and then downhill to the last right hand corner by the Post Office.  From there it was straight back up the High Street to the finish.  The final turn was particularly tricky, the speed bump on the entry to the corner was right at the braking point for most riders and from there the corner was bumpy and littered with drain covers.

GDW were well represented across the races, and the Youth Development Squad riders really looked the part in their brand new kits and surely have inspired some of the spectators to get themselves or their children involved with the brilliant work which Mark Geddes and co are doing at the Henstridge Airfield coaching sessions.

The racing got underway with a good entry of under 8 and under 10 riders, sporting a big variety of bikes.  While a very rapid rider from Chard Wheelers left the rest behind, Finn Little worked his way up the order to get third place by the finish, with Ross Hopkins close behind in fourth.  Owain Newing put his new Hoy bike to good use and was first of the under 8s while Shinya Calloway came home in 12th overall.

The under 12s race saw a dominant display from the GDW squad, taking four of the first five places.  Toby Easby and Nathaniel Brookes worked well together to gradually pull away from the field, with Toby sprinting clear on the run up to the chequered flag.  Behind Nathaniel, Lawrence Kinnison took third.  Rory Brookes finished in fifth place.

The combined under 14s and under 16s had a large entry of riders, and was run at a furious pace from the start.  A break of three went clear immediately and were never caught, with Poole Wheelers Alistair Fielding then escaping the break at around half distance to solo home for a very impressive win.  Behind them, James Hywel-Davies had a slow first lap or two but soon made up places and rode really well to climb up to seventh by the end.  Connor Geddes was another who was riding well and came through for third in the under 14s.  Further back, James Geddes and Ben Hywel-Davies (both under 14s) circulated together for much of the race and came in just behind GDW rider Jacques Kinnison.  Elliot Simpson and Kian Calloway were two of the youngest riders in the race and struggled to stay with the pace of the race but soldiered on to the end.

Rowan Birch and Chris Gray were amongst many riders who soon lost ground in the 4th cat event, but new member Tristram More-Molyneux put in a terrific ride.  Tristram was always in the top 10 throughout and looking comfortable, and was helping to force the pace on as a the pack split behind.  He was part of a seven man group which went well clear, grabbing fourth i the final sprint to the line.

The 3rd cat race was again quick from the beginning, with Paul Hopkins (Merida UK) joining forces with Kamden Reedy (Dymag) who got away on lap three.  As they pulled clear, GDW junior rider George Smith slid out at the final turn, his crash leaving him a bit battered.  The crash also split up the main bunch, with James Howell caught the wrong side and dropped.  Up front, Ed Sutton (Wightlink) bridged across to Paul and his break partner, the three of them circulating smoothly and rapidly until the final sprint up the hill, with Paul just missing out on a home town win in second place.

The final race was the E/1/2 event.  With lap times now down to just over one minute, there was general carnage  throughout the pack, with riders quickly getting left behind and forming small chase groups.  Barney Cox was amongst these, eventually finishing two laps down.  Charles Rees did really well to hang in there with the lead group of around 15 riders until roughly half distance.  Charles kept up the speed after losing contact with them, lapping many riders and finishing just outside the top 10 one lap behind the winner Ioannis Spanopoulos of BH-Solidor.

Well done to all of the GDW riders who took part, and their ‘support crews’, it was a really positive day for the club and a fantastic effort from everyone.  

The points which the youth riders scored in these races have lifted up the club in the national BC rankings, GDW now in 392nd of the 532 clubs which have scored in 2014.

There are loads of photos on the GDW Facebook page from various people which can be seen here
Full results here  (U16/14 race results aren’t correct though)