The storms from earlier in the day had started to clear away as riders arrived for the opening round of the North Devon Wheelers Tour of Tesco Youth Series on Sunday, 29th March.
The U8s opened the evening's racing with Taw Velo's Louis Garnworthy and Kodie Harmer taking to circuit. Louis led from the off and after 10 minutes of racing finished comfortably in 1st place. Kodie rode an excellent race and, while finishing in a well-deserved 3rd place, there were times in the race when she competed for the 2nd place spot.
With six Taw Velo riders lined up in the U10 race, podium places were a real possibility. Taw Velo's Fin Mead launched his attack straight from the start but was chased hard by North Devon Wheelers' Ruben Stacey. For much of the 20 minute race Ruben stayed within reach of Fin but, in the final quarter, Fin surged once again and took the win. Dotty Baldaro of North Devon Wheelers made a quick start in the girls’ race but Taw Velo's Ellen Garnsworthy and Lucy Ward were determined not to lose touch. Although Ellen and Lucy worked hard in 2nd and 3rd place, Dotty slowly widened the gap and was first over the line with Ellen and Lucy finishing behind her. In their first competitive road race, Josh Kyle, Luke Kyle and Lottie Chesworth showed amazing determination by finishing the race as strongly as they started it; they even managed the occasional smile!
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Taw Velo riders Ben Rowell, Edward Armstrong, Charlie Tompkins, Chuck Harmer and Josh Batchelor took their place on the start line in a crowded U12 race. Edward, Charlie, Chuck and Josh put in good individual performances and at times, worked together as a team. For much of his race, Ben had a rider stuck to his rear wheel and, despite putting in a massive effort in the final laps, was unfortunate not to have finished on the podium.
The evening finale was the combined U14 and U16 race. Many riders had made the long journey to North Devon and this included the well represented Cardiff JIF team in their distinctive black and green kit. Although some rain had fallen, and the track was wet in places, there was no obvious decrease in the riders' speed. Both of Taw Velo's U14 riders, Tom Batchelor and Dominic Pullen (in his first competitive road race), rode good races and demonstrated great willpower in finishing the 30 minute race.
Round 2 of the North Devon Wheelers Tour of Tesco Youth Series, along with a Go-Ride race, will be held on Sunday, 5th April.