THREE local riders made a big impact as Yorkshire scored a success in London.
Holme Valley youth rider Amira Mellor was selected to ride for the Yorkshire girls youth team in the 2012 School Games, which this year took place in the capital alongside two girls from the Wakefield area – Melissa Lowther and Lauren O’Brien – and Abby Mae Parkinson from Liversedge.
The girls were defending champions from the Inter-regional road race championship 2011, which was included in the first two days of the three-day event at Redbridge in east London.
The girls along, with the boys team which included Holmfirth High school pupil Gabz Cullaigh and Shelley High student Leon Gledhill, travelled to London by coach with team mangers Ian O’Brien and Lisa Brambani.
The team performed magnificently over the opening two days, where the events included a sprint criterion, street sprint, team time trial and road race.
Mellor’s best result came in the 40km road race where, with 7km to go, she made a break and was only chased down by one rider, Bethany Hayward.
Eastern region rider Hayward eventually took the win with Mellor in second place – her best position at this high level girls in a road race which is not bad for a specialist mountain biker.
In the boys event Cullaigh also took an excellent second place in the road race where he just lost out in a sprint finish having led for most of the race in a three man break.
Gledhill took gold in style in the ‘street sprint’ where the Shelley rider showed his determination and overall the Yorkshire team had some excellent placing’s over the two days giving them a win by more than 50 points over the North West and East Midlands regions.
The last day of racing was in the Olympic velodrome, which was a great privilege for all the competitors to be able to ride on an amazing track.
Yorkshire’s Pink Panthers – named because of their pink kit – had another great day of cycling and good individual performances all contributed to a second place overall, just being beaten by the team from the East Midlands.