After the rains of biblical proportions at the start of last years under 10’s National youth race at Milton Keynes, it looked like being the perfect day for racing and with the start time at a more reasonable hour, we were spared having to shack up at the Holiday Inn this time around. Now looking at the programme it was clear the race was going to be run identically as before, though I was informed that a notorious pothole had been sorted out before the action.
Now with 70 riders in attendance for the penultimate race in the Series, it was always going to be tough in terms of grinding and with a pace car in use that could be an issue due to a concertina procession and if the front group went early with it. CJ unfortunately was placed at the rear of a very shallow pack and the omen did not look good from the get go but his team mate was gridded further up so that was going to be his first port of call for sure.
As the pace car sped into the distance CJ rounded the first right hander already seeing the leaders going for the next corner… The race had strung out like he’d never seen before and he fought to get to his team mate Noah Hobb’s group whilst out in front Finlay Pickering of Clifton CC was causing mayhem with a fast solo break that the second tier appeared not to cover. The scene was now looking like a massacre as the racers where now splattered all the way up the main straight to the finish line.
Max Poole of Bike Box needing only a top three position to secure the title sat in the second group along with Owe Lightfoot, Luke Prenelle, Bevan Smith, Billy Gilbey, Ben Askey and Joshua Giddings as smaller groups developed in their rear view mirror. CJ now in a rear group of approximately ten tried to push the pace with his team mate but to no avail as the likes of Ayrton Smith and especially Taylor Carr of Lichfield City CC who managed to make the required jumps up the field. This was now looking like a lot of toil for not a lot of gain with wheel suckers, coasters and draft dodgers aplenty.
1st year under 12’s on the back of the grid were on a hiding to nothing but being Fathers Day he wanted a good showing as he ploughed the pedals knowing there would be no harvest to reap at the end of the day. This was also J’s last Nationals until the under 14’s category with the new rule changes afoot and everyone appeared to singing from the same hymn sheet of Chris Hoy’s favourite Ice Cube warm up tune… “You Can Do It, Put Your Back Into It”.
All over the desimated field the status quo held for most of the racers with Pickering continuing to put time ino the second group as his lap times held lap after lap after lap. Eventually he took the line with a cacophony of applause from the crowd as Giddings, Poole and Lightfoot in that order respectively sprinted for the two remaining podium spots. CJ on the other hand had his own private war but managed to take the sprint in his own group taking 30th place and making best of bad day.
Tears fell for a moment and I was reminded of a quote I heard last year from someone who knew Hamilton and Rosberg in their junior karting days… “The difference was Hamilton cried when he lost where Rosberg did not, It was then I knew it meant more to Hamilton”… Yep, if I needed reminding that CJ was in love with human powered two wheeled racing then I was assured yet again of his raison d’etre and proud of my boy on Fathers Day. RESULTS