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Euan Cameron top teen among Bradford cycling elite at Peel Park
Given the unseasonably mild temperatures – spectators are more used to freezing conditions and treacherous inclines and descents – it was not entirely surprising that a husky was temporarily abandoned by its owner in Peel Park.
What was no surprise either was that local riders shone at the Bradford venue in the fifth round of the National Trophy cyclo-cross series.
And none caught the limelight more than Euan Cameron of East Bradford Cycling Club.
Already the winner of round two in Southampton and runner-up in round one in Monmouthshire, the Wibsey teenager won the under-14 boys’ race.
Fresh from victory the weekend before in the North of England Championships at York Sports Village, the Bradford Christian School pupil soon forged ahead to make it two wins in as many outings.
Cameron admitted: “I am really tired. But I got away quite early and managed to hold on.”
It was the 25th victory of 2013 for the youngster, who has also triumphed in circuit races, time trials, grass track (national and regional schools’ champion), roller racing (national and regional schools’ champion), mountain bike and hard track.
His performances have won him both British Schools’ Cycling Association Yorkshire and national best all-rounder awards – and only a mechanical failure probably prevented him from keeping British Cycling’s green leader’s jersey in round three of the National Youth Cyclo-Cross Series.
With National Trophy series leader Craig Rogers (Birkenhead North End Cycling Club) finishing second, the destination of the crown will be decided in the final round at Shrewsbury Sports Village on Sunday, January 5.
Club coach Mike Healey said: “We are very proud of Euan. He’s not a flash-in-the-pan rider but has steadily improved since he joined us, as a complete beginner, in September 2007, moving up through the ranks by working hard at both his skills and his fitness.
“And it’s not only his sporting ability that has impressed our coaches, it’s his level-headedness in the face of the inevitable setbacks, such as punctures, mechanical breakdowns and the occasional illness, that come every rider’s way.
“It’s been a fantastic year for him and we’re looking forward with interest to see what he achieves in 2014.”
Bradford Grammar School pupil Abby-Mae Parkinson (RST Racing) made light of having competed the night before in the Spadger Six-Day at Manchester Velodrome, the Hartshead youngster finishing third in the women’s race.
Having only just ended her days as a junior, Parkinson was in a chasing trio of Wilsden’s Annabel Simpson (Team Hope Factory Racing) and Ffion James (Abergavenny RC) behind series leader Hannah Payton (Kinesis Morvelo Project) and Merce Paciois Pujado (Blue Motors).
By the early stages of the third lap, Parkinson had caught up with Pujado but both were behind Payton.
In the end it turned into a thrilling duel between Payton and Pujado, the former rider making a decisive move on the turn at the bottom of the steep banking that led to the final straight.
A tired Parkinson finished third and said: “I am ecstatic; extremely happy as it’s my home course. It was a really good race.
“Obviously the efforts of last night’s track didn’t take it out of me – and I managed to take a lap with Lizzie Armitstead in the scratch race! Track pre-racing is obviously something to try again!”
Southampton winner Simpson, who maybe paid for going out too fast, finished fourth and Otley’s Delia Beddis (ViCIOUS VELO) was sixth.
Her chances of repeating the podium finish that she managed at Milton Keynes were scuppered by a crash on the first quarter of the first lap.
But Beddis said: “It is the best course in the country. Everyone loves coming to Bradford.”
Bingley’s Marie Jackson (Paul Milnes Cycles-Bradford Olympic) won the women’s veterans’ prize to repeat her Milton Keynes triumph and is really excited about the prospect of a separate women’s veterans’ race at the National Championships in Derby on the weekend of January 11-12.
“There are 20 entered and sometimes we don’t get that many when the veterans are combined with the open-age women,” she said.
Jackson’s junior clubmate Amira Mellor was the eighth woman to finish.
Cononley’s Ian Taylor was just happy to be back on the podium in the men’s veterans’ 40-49 years’ race, having come fourth in the last round of the series at Milton Keynes.
“It felt really good,” said the Jedi Cycles Sport rider after the day’s opening race.
“Temperatures are a bit different from normal here but that meant the mud was slippery.”
Keighley’s Chris Young (Pedalsport Cycling Club) was sixth and said: “I am recovering from a cold but our group realised we could make up some time if we worked together.
“The mild weather meant that the bikes had to be cleaned by the jack washers more often.”
Being under the weather was also a factor for Keighley’s Alfie Moses, another Paul Milnes rider, as he only finished fourth in the under-16 boys’ race.
Moses has tested unblemished series leader Dan Tulett (Hargroves Cycles) before this winter but dad Craven said: “The race went okay but Alfie is feeling under the weather and was heavy-legged. He probably didn’t hydrate enough either.
“Now we can look forward to the final round of the National Trophy and the National Championships.”
Paul Milnes rider Sophie Thackray was ninth in the under-16 girls’ race and Bingley’s Rob Jebb (Hope Factory Racing) was sixth in the men’s event.