National champion crowned as Cycle Club Ashwell host grass track meeting

The start of a race at Cycle Club Ashwell's grass-track meeting.

The start of a race at Cycle Club Ashwell's grass-track meeting. - Credit: CYCLE CLUB ASHWELL

Youth and adult riders shared the Biggleswade grass track as Cycle Club Ashwell held their annual meeting.

The event, which has a history stretching back over 100 years, has transformed over time from an athletics meeting, into a purely track cycling event.

The multi-race event brought together riders from all over the region and UK, from U8 to veteran categories.

Former Ashwell Cycling Club rider Lizzie Swan (middle) was crowned national champion.

Former Cycle Club Ashwell rider Lizzie Swan (middle) was crowned national champion. - Credit: CYCLE CLUB ASHWELL

The highlight of the senior racing was the women’s national 5km race with former Ashwell rider Lillie Swan taking a deserved victory and the champion’s jersey.

She now rides for Veloccino-Squadra-Donne and took the race by the scruff of the neck with a strong solo attack.

The men’s races saw recently crowned 8km national champion Dave Mitchinson honour the jersey with some flat-out riding, including a brave remount and chase back onto the group following a high-speed crash during the devil-takes-the-hindmost race, where the last over the line is eliminated every lap .

At the younger end, the youth event saw some of the most evenly-matched races, with the photo finish equipment needed for a couple of races.

Sophie Anderton, Lottie Anderton and Nathan Douillet of Cycle Club Ashwell.

Sophie Anderton, Lottie Anderton and Nathan Douillet of Cycle Club Ashwell. - Credit: CYCLE CLUB ASHWELL

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The U12 event culminated in a three-way battle which saw Ashwell’s Nathan Douillet edge out team-mates, twins Lottie and Sophie Anderton, with a well-timed sprint to the line.

Ashwell’s U8s Lucy Douillet, Florence Chaloner and Molly Brazier exchanged victories throughout the afternoon with the handicap coming to a nail-biting conclusion as Brazier held off a marauding charge from Douillet.

Off-track friendships were put to one side as Ashwell's Ella Friedlander and Welwyn Wheeler’s Ellie Mitchinson went wheel-to-wheel throughout the day.

They also held their own against the women’s section riders with the handicap sprint race and devil endurance race saw some of the tightest and most exciting racing.

Charlie Brazier of Cycle Club Ashwell.

Charlie Brazier of Cycle Club Ashwell. - Credit: CYCLE CLUB ASHWELL

Royston’s Charlie Brazier was the youngest competitor at five years of age and kept crowds entertained with his duel with U8 Josh McAdam and Henry Chaloner of the U12 age group.

Ashwell Cycling Club have available spaces in their youth set up. Their Saturday afternoon sessions begin in September and go on until the Spring.

For further information email Mark Wyer on youth@ccashwell.com