The start of the u8s race.

CYCLING: A wet and windy day ensured youngsters from Velouse Flyers were given a thorough test in round one of the Muddy Monsters event at Milton Country Park. 

It added a considerable degree of difficulty to an already challenging course around the park’s pump track. 

A slippery course did not deter the young riders and the Flyers had four riders in the u8s section.

Kacper Gabka led the Flyers, closely followed by Frank Kulazinski, with Rory Fendick on his wheel and Luean Morgan only seconds behind. It was a strong performance by all the riders and showed that the coaching at the Monday junior sessions at West Lynn Sports and Social Club had paid off. 

Gabka was overall winner, having finished third in the sprint and second in the endurance race. The others were seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. 

In the u10s race, Beatrix Middleton struggled on her debut, after getting caught behind several crashes before crashing herself. That caused her to drop her chain, meaning she had to run to the finish line. In the endurance race on the puddle-laden course, Middleton chose to run some parts as this proved quicker and gave her victory. 

In the u12s sprint lap, Antoni Malyszka and Jan Jagodzinski took an impressive one-two. 

In the endurance race, a great start saw Malyszka sitting first in his category, followed closely by Jagodzinski. A crash on the tricky off-camber bank at the back of the course, saw Jagodzinski jump ahead to win the race and section title after Malyszka broke a spoke on his way to third place, second overall.

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Nine-year-old Beatrix Middleton gave her verdict on her first competition.

“I was very nervous, as I had never raced before, having only started riding with Velouse Flyers this summer.

“It was raining when we got to Milton Country Park and we were there in time to see the u8s race first. 

“The course was very muddy and looked like it was going to be hard work and some parts looked like they were going to be difficult for me to ride. 

“When it came to my chance to warm up on the course, I practised by running up the hills before jumping back on my bike. The trickiest part of the course was a steep bank, which was very slippery and I felt like I may fall off on the downward slope but I used the skills I had learned from Velouse Flyers junior training sessions. 

“I crashed in the sprint race and dropped my chain and had to run to the finish line, where my Dad put my chain back on ready for the next race. 

“I felt the three-lap race was going to be tough, as the course was now very slippery and I had to get off and run up a few of the trickier parts. 

“I finished first in the u10s girls and about eighth overall and felt really happy with my performance but was very tired and muddy.”