Bradford Grammar School pupil Abby-Mae Parkinson is making quite an impression in her debut cyclo-cross season.
North of England champion Parkinson is aged 14 but won the under-16 girls’ race at the National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Suffolk and was understandably delighted.
The Hartshead youngster said: “I’m over the moon. I cannot believe I’ve won.
“Billy (Harding) texted me the night before the race and said ‘it’s a bit like Derby’, and I won there, so I was hoping I could do well here but I never thought I’d win by the distance I did.
“I’m so happy that Grace (Garner) got second as well. She’s my best friend and team-mate, so to get a one-two was great.”
Parkinson (RST Clothing-Trigon), whose mum is former Olympic and Commonwealth Games cyclist Lisa Brambani, led early on at Chantry Park in Ipswich, with Garner and Jessica Wilkinson chasing close behind. But after pushing on over the hurdles, Parkinson rode away to an unexpected win.
Garner, who had one knee heavily strapped, finished 45 seconds behind, with Wilkinson third in 1min 07sec.
Parkinson now gets to wear the striped national champion’s jersey in all cyclo-cross races until next January, when she defends her title at Peel Park in Bradford.
Fast-finishing Birkenshaw rider Harding (Paul Milnes-Bradford Olympic RC) was third, only a second off silver, in the under-16 boys’ race behind in-form Jack Ravenscroft, who won by 26 seconds, and second-placed James Shaw.
Harding’s team-mate Sebastian Marsh was 14th, 2min 25sec back.
Keighley veteran Chris Young, who is at the upper age limit for the over-40s, not only managed to get a podium place but also won the over-45s category.
But Young was not the town’s only podium finisher as Joe Moses (Paul Milnes-Bradford Olympic RC) finished third in the junior men’s race, with defending champion and Suffolk hero Hugo Robinson (XRT-Elmy Cycles) turning the tables on Moses from last month’s National Trophy race in Peel Park.
Robinson crossed the line just six seconds ahead of race-long rival Alex Welburn (Cycleshack-Frome Coaching), while Moses won a close three-up sprint for the bronze medal with Tom Armstrong (Wheelbase) and Mirfield’s Jake Womersley (Sportscover), who was fifth.