13 riders from Taw Velo made their way to Ilton on Saturday morning to take part in the 1st Chard Wheelers Youth Stage Race. Clubs and riders from around the South West area had a day of grueling challenges. The overall event had over 70 riders taking part, with Taw Velo's latest recruit Morgan Wilson age 6 being the youngest rider there.
The morning started with a time trial with the U14s having to complete a 1 mile lap of the circuit, with a strong head wind on the return straight making the challenge harder. Ben Rowell and Fin Mead both placed very high in their respective categories. However, is was a Taw Velo 1-2-3 for U8s riders, with a particularly close competition between Louis Garnsworthy and Max Standen. The U16s had to complete a lap of the outer perimeter of the airfield, with its long straights and every present winds, adding to the challenge. In total they had to cover the 3.3 miles as quick as possible.
The second stage was a points race, where riders had to complete a number of laps around a shorter circuit. Taw Velo rider Ben Rowell suffered a major fall on the very first lap as he clipped wheels with another rider and suffered grazes on his shoulders and arms. Undeterred, he was determined to start the next race after his quick trip to the first aid tent.
The final race of the day was a criteium race and covered a number of laps around the circuit. Edward Armstrong took an early lead and managed to stay ahead of the group for 3 and a half laps before being over taken by the peloton. Dominic Pullen and Tom Batchelor, both in their first stage race,s found the much longer course tricky and testing after a morning of racing. The ever present winds at Ilton meant that once away from the main group, they would need to ride their own race without shelter from the peleton.