In the first of an occasional series of features JOHN GEORGE talks to the characters of grassroots cycling

RISING stars Abby Mae Parkinson and Amira Mellor bagged podium places at the National Cyclos-Cross Trophy event.

Parkinson (RST) and Mellor (Holme Valley Wheelers) took second and third places, respectively, in the girls Youth category in the meeting held in Southampton.

Parkinson got off to an excellent start and soon established a significant lead, but teammate Grace Garner stayed with her throughout and managed to take the win with a very strong last lap.

With a fine display of intelligent and determined riding Mellor kept the pressure on the rest of the field to take a very well deserved third.

In the Women’s category Louise Robinson (Isla Bikes) turned in yet another powerful performance to take the win and maintain her domination of the series as she held off a very strong challenge from her rival Adela Carter (Hope Factory Racing).

In the Junior category, Louise’s nephew Jake Womersley produced arguably the performance of the meeting in chasing down Jelle Vanden Dries (BKCP Enertherm).

Womersley proved to be the strongest challenger to the Belgian as the race went into the final lap, but was beaten by the smallest of margins at the line.

Kirklees Cycling Academy rider Fin Cooper secured his second win in as many weeks in the Under 12’s category in the Norton Trophy Cyclo-Cross Races at Graves Park in Sheffield.

Cooper rode strongly throughout the race to take the win from clubmates Henry Hollyman in second and James Ince in fourth, while Huddersfield RC rider Tom Whitworth finished fifth.

Holme Valley Wheelers Frances Hodgson rode very strongly to finish second in the Under 10s girls category, while her brother Ben secured a deserved second place in the Under 8s boys and younger sister Victoria (aged 6) rode well in the Under 8 girls.

Star Wheelers Alex Bailey was second in the Under 10s boys race, with clubmates Luca Longo and Dylan Boyes clinching fourth and fifth respectively, and Ella Hampson took third in the Under 10s girls.

In the Under 14 boys category Harry Hardcastle (Kirklees Cycling Academy) found the technical course much to his liking and finished second, while Holme Valley Wheeler Joe Williams put in a fine performance to clinch fourth Under 16 boy.

Honley rider John Hick produced another gutsy ride to take fourth place in the Senior, Vets, Women and Junior race, and Huddersfield RC rider Andy Whitworth had a strong race to finish 17th, closely followed by club mate David Beachill.Š

Huddersfield Star Wheeler Ivan Boyes also put in a strong performance to finish 24th.

Holme Valley Wheelers’ Go Ride training will be staged on Saturday, Wooldale Rec (9am) and all junior members present and new. See for more details.

Results, Seniors: 1 Chris Metcalfe (Charge Bikes) 51:16, 2 James Thompson Hope Factory Racing), 3 Tom Randall (Rock Racing), 4 John Hick (Holme Valley Wheelers), 5 Dan Cook (Planet X), 6 Robin Bradbury (Aire Valley), 7 Matt Down (Paul Milnes-Bradford Olympic), 8 Rick Crabtree (Pedalsport CC), 9 Phil Hinchcliffe (Bradford RCC), 10 Duncan Warner (Airedale Olympic)

Women: 1 Diane Lee (Zepnat RT), 2 Lynn Bland (Norton Wheelers), 3 Karen Ballantine (Craven Energy)

Youth: 1 Tom Seaman (Wakefield Junior Triathlon Club) 24:18, 2 Jacob Feetham (Wakefield Junior Triathlon Club), 3 Harry Hardcastle (Kirklees Cycling Academy)

Girls: Hannah Saville (Norton Wheelers)

Under 12s boys: 1 Fin Cooper (Kirklees Cycling Academy), 2 Henry Hollyman (Kirklees Cycling Academy), 3 Morgan Merzaali (Bronte Wheelers)

Under 12 girls: 1 Amy Hinchcliffe (Wakefield Junior Triathlon Club), 2 Emily Marsden (unattached), 3 Ellen Patton (unattached)

Under 10s boys: 1 Marcus Hiley (Pedalsport CC), 2 Alex Bailey (Huddersfield Star Wheelers), 3 Tom Scott (Sheffield Stars)

Under 10 girls: 1 Chloe Hinchcliffe (Wakefield Junior Triathlon Club), 2 Frances (Hodgson (Holme Valley Wheelers), 3 Ella Hanson (Huddersfield Star Wheelers)

Under 8 boys: Oliver Sibbald (Sheffield Stars)

Under 8 girls: Astrid Hiley (Pedalsport CC)