Riders departed the Crow Edge Community Centre near Holmfirth to tackle 13 laps of the Hade Edge circuit in damp and dull conditions. British Cycling Yorkshire opted to give regional juniors their own championship event and chose the tough 4 mile triangular circuit which would test all the riders with a total of 4,700 feet of climbing over the 55 miles. As soon as the neutralised section was over and the flagged dropped attacks came straight away.
The first time up Flight Hill, 3 riders had forged a slender 19 second gap from a lined out peloton. The trio of, Eugene Cross, SSLL Racing Team, Tom Cullen, Otley CC and HMT with JLT Condor second year junior, Robert Gray soon increased their lead to 27 seconds. Sensing that this was a early race winning move, Robert Scott, VCUK PH-MAS Cycling Team took off on a solo effort to catch the hard working group. Scott, fresh from a great weekend at the Junior Tour of Wales soon caught the break and increased the firepower to four riders. The quartet soon increase their lead to 57 seconds and through the finish line after 3 laps the gap was just over a minute. At this point, the rain came down and made the race that bit harder. Unfortunately the wet conditions caught out Tom Cullen as he slipped on a white line and crashed out of the break. The Otley CC rider would get back on and carry on but abandoned a few laps later.
The break, now back to a trio didn’t look back and worked well together to forge out an advantage of over 2 minutes at the half way point. Back in the chasing peloton, lots of attacks were made but the first pairing to gain an advantage were Tom Garnett, Ilkley CC and Prologue RT rider Joe Williams. Thorough the finish with 6 laps to go, the two riders held a 13 second advantage over the depleted peloton with two dropped riders battling on in the wet conditions.
With 4 laps to go the three leading riders were well ahead and a champion would come from one of these three. Further back Squadra RT rider, Billy Robinson and Gavin Taylor, Prologue RT rider attacked and soon gained a 20 second advantage. These two worked very well together and by the next lap the advantage was 1 minute 27. The now beaten looking peloton were over 5 minutes behind the classy trio of Scott, Gray and Cross.
Going into the last 2 laps the leaders again increased their lead to a now unassailable 5 minutes 40 over the 2 chasers of Robinson and Taylor and a huge gap of 7 minutes and 11 seconds back to the 8 riders which made up the rest of the peloton.
At the bell, the leaders were still together with the chasing pair of Taylor and Robinson now nearly 5 minutes down but the action was further back with Dylan Flesher, Prologue RT and Jaime Tune, Bike Box Alan both attacking and going clear. City Road Club Hull rider Joseph Faichney was in between the groups and held a 17 second advantage with just one lap to go.
On the last lap Scott attacked and held an advantage going into Hade Edge. The VCUK PH-MAS rider was reeled in by Robert Gray but his powerful move dropped Eugene Cross. The 2016 Yorkshire Junior Road Race Champion would come from one of these two as they ascended Flight Hill for the final time. Going into the final kilometre it was Gray who would lead out the pairing as the rain still came down. Scott used his tactical head and wouldn’t show his hand until just 50 meters to go. A powerful sprint was unleashed and this saw a defeated Gray give way to the stronger Rob Scott and a golden victory was taken by just two bike lengths after a tough 2 and a half hours duel in West Yorkshire.
Eugene Cross came in alone just 33 seconds behind to claim the bronze medal. Further back, Billy Robinson, Squadra RT out sprinted Gavin Taylor, Prologue RT to claim 4th. Taylor came over the line suffering from cramp but in a well earned 5th place. Dylan Flesher won his battle with Jamie Tune for 7th with Tune rolling in just 25 seconds down on his breakaway companion. City Road Club Hull rider Joseph Faichney held off the peloton and came in 8th. Harry Hardcastle, VCUK PH-MAS won the mini bunch sprint to take 9th and Tom Garnett, Ilkley CC would round off the top 10. A special mention must go to James Coates, Otley CC would battled the whole race solo but finished to claim 15th and a very well earned point.
The organisers would like to thank British Cycling Yorkshire region, Albion Cycles, Thongsbridge, 3RT, VCUK PH-MAS Cycling and Otley CC for helping marshal and support the race.
1 Robert Scott VCUK PH-MAS – 55 miles in 2:22.34
2 Robert Gray HMT with JLT Condor @ same time
3 Eugene Cross SSLL Racing Team @ 33 seconds
4 Billy Robinson Squadra RT @ 5:54
5 Gavin Taylor Prologue RT @ 6:01
6 Dylan Flesher Prologue RT @ 6:41
7 Jamie Tune Bike Box Alan @ 7:04
8 Joseph Faichney City RC Hull @ 9:04
9 Harry Hardcastle VCUK PH-MAS @ 10:24
10 Tom Garnett Ilkley CC
11 Joe Williams Prologue RT
12 Julian Roche Otley CC
13 Jordan Reed Bike Box Alan @ all same time
14 Robbie Pollard Otley CC @ 1 lap
15 James Coates Otley CC @ 2 laps