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Race report by Fiona Hawkins

This year for the circuit race we were at Hillingdon, hosted by our friends at Hillingdon Slipstreamers, and we had a great turnout of 46 riders – 14 girls and 32 boys from Palmer Park Velo.

Of course, each and every race was enhanced by the participation of our friends from Hillingdon, who aren’t individually mentioned here but whose contribution to the races is certainly acknowledged.

Thanks firstly must go Peter Kilby – our Commissaire for the day, and Dave George from Hillingdon who jointly judged all the races and also, very especially, to Seth – an U14 mountain bike rider from Hillingdon who stayed behind after his club session to help judge.

Thank you also to Sarah and Sarah for sign on and to everyone else – gear checkers, marshalls, first aid etc. who helped on the day and made it possible for the event to run.

The combined U8/U10 race was up first and, unusually, in the U8 race the girls outnumbered the boys – 5 to 2, but it was last year’s U6 boys overall champion, and the U8 2015 CX winner Seth who again showed pace and determination to win.  Elise led home the girls, taking 2nd overall, followed by Kimi.  Amelie rode strongly to hold off first timer Rebecca who was finishing fast for 2nd and 3rd in the girls’ category.  Madeleine, also riding her first PPV circuit race came 4th, ahead of Chloe whose smooth pedalling on her tiny bike impressed many of those watching.  Seth and Elise, as the only U8 riders who also raced in the CX event, top their respective overall tables.

The U10s started 30 seconds ahead of the U8s race and a leading bunch quickly formed and drew away from the chasers.  This bunch staying together for the whole race so the finish came down to a sprint, with Arlo holding off Thomas and Finn to take the win.  Samuel, Adnan, Finley, Miles, Jack and Alex tried to stay with the pace but as the bunch went away found themselves riding in 2s or 3s and struggling slightly in a breeze that was probably more welcome to the spectators than it was to small riders without a bunch to shelter in.  Greta, the only PPV U10 girl in the race, impressively stayed with the leading boys to take an unchallenged win to add to her earlier CX victory.  With the boys CX winner Finn taking 3rd in the circuit race, and circuit winner Arlo being 3rd in the CX these two riders jointly head the overall table after two events with Thomas in 3rd and James, who missed this race, in 4th.

The new holder of the U12 girls 200m club record, Alexa showed her speed again over that sort of distance, outsprinting the field to cross the line first after an U12s race that had generally been ridden at a fairly steady pace.  James followed her over to win the boys category, followed by Cal and George.  Harry, whose willingness to try to attack and raise the pace had been noted by a number of observers was rewarded by a fine 4th place.  Edward, riding his first race as a PPV member, came in 5th followed by Matteo.  Mia took a strong 2nd place for the girls, just a little adrift of the leading bunch, with Niamh in 3rd, Rebecca 4th and Francesca 5th.   Alexa leads the girls overall table after two events, with Niamh, 2nd in the CX race holding on to 2nd overall, and Mia in 3rd.  James and Cal reversed their CX finishing positions so with a win and a 2nd place each they are tied in 1st place with Harry lying 3rd.

With the CX winner and defending circuit champion Angus out with injury the U14 boys had the chance to shake up the overall table.  Which they duly did, with Alexi making an impressive break stick from 5 laps out and remaining the sole rider ahead of the chasing U16 race.  Euan sprinted to 2nd, allowing him to move to the top of the overall table and Jamie P showed that he is recovered from his injuries earlier in the season to take 3rd.  Jan took 4th with Thomas and Edward, who had each shown enterprise in trying, ultimately unsuccessfully, to get away from the bunch came in 6th and 7th, just beaten to the line by Joshua in 5th.  Arthur, Dylan and Duncan followed them home.  Thomas moves to 2nd overall with the CX and circuit winners Angus and Alexi tied for 3rd spot.

Emily showed strength and speed to follow her CX win with a circuit one, with first time circuit racer Lili-May in 2nd and Jenny in 3rd.  Keen observers will note that on the day the results had Jenny as 3rd overall (2nd PPV) and Lili-May as 4th overall.  Subsequent checking of the results identified an error in recording and Lili-May has been retrospectively placed as 3rd overall and 2nd PPV.

The U16 girls from PPV didn’t trouble the judges, with both Emma and Amber – 1st and 2nd overall after the CX race away with the BC Olympic Apprentice programme, and no other U16 girls able to make the race on the day.

There was a small field for the U16 boys, but that didn’t stop them racing hard and fast.  Callum Macleod’s speed in the final sprint just gave him the win ahead of Troy with Jacob in 3rd.  Callum McQueen faded slightly on the last laps to take 4th, followed by Sam.  2 wins from 2 events puts Callum Macleod at the top of the overall table, followed by Sam, with Liam and Troy, 2nd respectively in the CX and circuit events, tied for 3rd place.