CYCLING: RISING star Ella Tandy took gold in the West Midlands Youth Circuit Series at the weekend after winning the final round of the competition on home territory.
Tandy, who was competing in the final round of the series at the Tudor Grange Circuit on Saturday morning, lapped all of her opponents during the 16 lap race to claim her fourth first placed finish of the season.
Racing in cold and wet conditions – which resembled an autumn day rather than a mid-summer morning – Tandy was one of 150 riders competing in the borough on Saturday morning as Solihull Cycling Club hosted the ninth and final round of the regional championship.
After watching Noah White of Mid Shropshire Wheelers take the chequered flag in the opening race, Tandy with control and speed to take the gold medal.
Speaking after the race, Ella said she was excited to compete in her home town and admitted racing on a track she knows well helped her performance.
She added: “Luckily the rain had stopped by the time I was due to race.
“It didn’t affect my race though as I avoided the spray from other riders wheels.
“Also I have raced on the circuit when it has been wet before so it didn’t worry me.
“I was a bit nervous because I wanted to win the Solihull race the most out of all the series.
“I was very pleased and happy to win our club’s race and the league.”
The youngster will now switch her attention to the cyclocross season – her favourite discipline due to the variety and mud involved.
Elsewhere there was joy for Abergavenny-based racer Emyr Truelove, who sprinted to victory in the Under 12s final.
Solihull riders Max Saunders, Ben Woodhouse, and Jack Alexander finished 10th, 11th, and 18th respectively.
Max said: “I wanted to give it a go on my home track in the final race.
“I like being at the front. One of my coaches suggested I should try doing different things during racing, that really helped me learn about pace changes.”
Five Solihull CC riders started on the grid for the U14s event with new member Jack Fothergill taking second behind Kieran Riley of Langdale in a sprint finish after 28 laps.
Conor Jones also performed well as he finished seventh, his second highest result all summer.
The last race of the day saw the Under 16s compete in the fastest – and driest – event of the day.
Jacob Reid provided the main competition for Solihull CC over the 45 lap race.
Reid attacked early on before the 15-year-old – who completed a ten-mile time trial in under 23 minutes a few days before the event – tired and eventually fell to the back of the pack.
The Tudor Grange Circuit was the brainchild of Olympic silver medallist Harry Reynolds, who presented the medals and trophies to the competitors.
Reynolds, who won a silver medal at the 1956 Olympic Games, and rode in the Tour De France, said: “I am very proud of Solihull CC and the circuit at Tudor Grange.
“It is all I had envisaged when I first had the idea of a circuit in the borough ten years ago.”
Event organiser Mick Edensor said: “There is an awful lot of time and effort that goes into organising and running this event.
“It wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic team of volunteers that give up their time to make sure the day runs like clockwork.
“The best part though is knowing that all the children who raced today gave 100 per cent and were still smiling at the end.”
Riders at Solihull CC will now switch their attention to the cyclocross season which starts in September.
Around 40 riders from the club will take part in the weekly West Midlands Cyclo League, the largest cyclocross league in the country with 900 riders taking part.