FLORENCE Greenhalgh has capped a superb winter by winning a prestigious regional cyclo-cross award.

The 13-year-old East Bradford Race Team member was named as Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Association’s Young Rider of the Year at their prize presentation at Otley Golf Club.

Greenhalgh, a pupil at St Mary’s Menston Catholic Voluntary Academy School, won five of the nine rounds in the girls’ under-14 category of the Yorkshire Points Series (at Beverley, Leeds [Temple Newsam], Bingley [Myrtle Park], Pontefract and Knaresborough).

She was also runner-up in the North of England Championship at Townley Park, Burnley and finished fifth in the season-long National Trophy Series, winning the final round at York as well as coming fourth at Derby and Irvine and fifth at Pembrey.

Most notably, however, Greenhalgh, who also competes at mountain bike and on the velodrome, won the HSBC national under-14 girls’ cyclo-cross title at Shrewsbury.

The Menston teenager said: “That is the achievement that I am most proud of this winter.

“I wanted to finish on the podium but the course was muddy and I like mud and had won two weeks previously in the mud at York.

“I got away on the first lap at Shrewsbury and got a big lead, while in the Yorkshire Points Series I liked the course at Temple Newsam because it was hilly.”

Sophie Thackray (SCOTT Racing), winner of the Yorkshire Points Series for senior women, gained even more silverware over the winter.

The 20-year-old from Eldwick won the events at Temple Newsam, Skipton [Aireville Park], Bingley, Middleton Bike Hub [Leeds], Peel Park [Bradford] and Wath and was also second in the North of England Championships.

The University of Cumbria physiotherapy student also retained her under-23 women’s title in the National Trophy Series, winning rounds at Derby, Ardingly and Pembrey and coming second at Westmorland and third at Irvine and York.

In the senior women’s category, Thackray was second at Pembrey, third at Westmorland, fourth at Ardingly, sixth at Derby, seventh at York and eighth at Irvine to finish second overall, 178 points behind Ffion James (Hope Factory Racing).

In the National Championships at Shrewsbury, Thackray was 11th in the senior women’s race, while she also dipped her toes at the elite level internationally, competing in World Cup events in Belgium and the Netherlands.

“I was most proud of retaining my under-23 women’s National Trophy series and I only lost the yellow jersey for the senior event in the last round at York, but I am okay with that and did better than I expected at elite level,” revealed Thackray.

“My self belief has grown over the winter and you get that from your family - my grandma thinks that I am the best rider in the world no matter what I do! - and to win the national series was proof of that, as was wearing the yellow jersey at senior level.

“It was really nice to wear that yellow jersey at York with so many people watching me and I hope that I have inspired younger riders like Freya Whiteside and Florence.

“When I was coming up there were maybe one or two Yorkshire girls who were doing well, but now there are five or six performing nationally.

“I go down to the sessions at Marley (Keighley) and give them tips that I think would have helped me at that age.”

Bradford-based photographer Bernard Marsden, from Clayton, won the Frank The Flute Trophy for his comprehensive coverage of all things Yorkshire cyclo-cross, and also set up the fancy dress course for the festive event at Heptonstall.