Monday 25 June 2018

London Youth Games 2018 - Hackney retain the cup

The crowded teams' enclosure at LVV circuit for the 2018 London Youth Games road cycling event.

The London Borough of Hackney team retained the Eileen Grey cup following last year's win - winning the overall competition now for a record 5th time.

Kai ready for U16 TT
 For once it looked like the competition format had stayed the same as the previous year so we knew sort of what to expect. With two time trial competitions for under 16 boys and girls, then under 12 boys and girls - followed by circuit races for the older boys and girls it all makes for a very long day at the Lea Valley Velopark. As riders inevitably get older and become ineligible to compete this means the team evolves each year and a fresh bunch of talent has to be found to step up to the challenge. The hackney squad is always strong in depth and reserves are ready to step in if needed and they usually are the riders who take up the reins the following year.

Ewan in the U16 TT
 The first competition was the under 16 boys 4 lap time trial. Kai, Ewan and Tom all posted fast times in the top ten to get the team off to good start.

Tom  in the U16 TT

Jakita  in the U16 TT
 The girls under 16 time trial was next with Jakita, Charlie and Anoushka riding for LBHackney.

Charlie in the U16 TT
 The girls did really well with Anoushka posting the 2nd fastest time and Charlie the third fastest it looked like we were right up there in the points. (There's a rather baffling points system for the overall with the top two rider's points counting - 50 for 1st and so on downwards.)

Anoushka on here way to silver in the U16 TT

Milo  in the U12 TT
 The next set of races were the under 12 boys 2 lap time trials. Milo, Milton and Elliot all produced solid times to keep us in contention but other strong contenders such as Southwark and Sutton are beginning to look likely winners.

Milton in the U12 TT

Elliot in the U12 TT

Ashleigh in the U12 TT
Next up were the under 12 girls - Ashleigh, Ishanna and Laila Grace all worked hard to post times in the top 20. By this time only the judges knew who was leading leaving the riders to enjoy themselves
and meeting friends and riders from other boroughs whilst waiting for the circuit races to start.

Ishanna in the U12 TT

Laila Grace in the U12 TT

Kai and Ewan in the boys circuit race.
 The u16 boys circuit race was first - at only 12 laps this is a bit shorter than what these guys are used to so it looked like being a fast race. Both kai and Ewan took turns a`t the front showing they weren't afraid to do some work and force the issue. Eventually the race split and with both of them in the front group things started to look good at least for podium spot in the overall. Kai finished 5th and Ewan 8th.

Charlie and Anoushka in the girls circuit race
It was now down to the girls and Charlie and Anoushka didn't disappoint both making the early break of around 8 riders. The pace intensified half way through the race and Charlie dropped back picking up four other riders. Come the final lap the pace slowed and the two bunches came together for the sprint - Anoushka was just pipped for the win and Charlie finished 9th. Would this be enough to ensure a podium spot?

The anxious wait for the results
The inevitable long wait whilst the judges sorted all the results gave us time to pack up and reflect on how well the riders had done. Unknown to us it had been all square between three teams going into that last race. Sutton and Kingston finished equal second and hackney were crowned champions once again. Well done to all the riders and reserves on the day and all the other riders who did the trials meaning those who made the team had to push harder to be there. This is the second time Hackney have the trophy two years running - previously its was 2009/10 - and the fifth time in total lifting us clear of all the other boroughs. Even better the result helped LBHackney to their best ever placing in the Jubilee cup - the overall cup for the thirty or more sports that thousands of competitors from all over London compete for - 2nd place. go on Hackney!
The Hackney team win again
Photos - Andy Bardill.

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