Two riders from the Watts and Co Guernsey Cycling Academy, Hannah Brehaut and Alex Van Katwyk represented the Guernsey Velo club at the Omega youth series at Castle Combe race track in Chippenham this weekend.
There were 82 youth riders on the start line starting in 4 different waves, with each group having to complete 5 laps of the motor racing circuit. First to the starting gun with the largest field was the under 16 year old boys, Guernsey’s Alex Van Katwyk was amongst the starters for what was a hard and tough race, not helped by a very bitter cold wind. Alex made a good start and as he came past the post on the first lap Alex was in the main front group, holding his own, sharing the work with the group and taking shelter to recover on others wheels where he could. As the race developed he became stronger and coming into the last straight with the strong block head wind, Van Katwyk squeezed his way to the outside of the sprinting riders, picking off one rider after another and crossed the line in the bunch and was placed 5th, a brilliant first criterium race of the year.
Last wave to start was the Under 14 girls, Hannah Brehaut riding in the Guernsey colours had a good start with the hole shot into the first corner, she ensured she kept out of the way of any trouble and used the peloton wisely, letting a much taller rider take the front into the head wind, whilst still ensuring that she stayed within the top three riders and sharing the work load. These three riders clearly looked the stronger trio, but at the end of lap three one of the duo working with Brehaut made a determined attack and Brehaut was the only one strong enough to go with the break. The two then shared the work until the last corner with Brehaut positioned perfectly on the wheel hiding from the block head wind. Hannah timed her sprint to perfection and won the sprint and winning the under 14 year old girls.
Another of the Watts and Co Guernsey Cycling Academy rider, Katie Halliday, road in a West Midlands Youth Series race in Solihull on Saturday. She rode with great determination but was struggling with a virus and lost out to more of the experienced riders. She was expected to race with Alex and Hannah at Castle Coombe but, unfortunately, was not well enough to compete.