Chris Young may not have had a great time as a rider in last weekend’s National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Bradford’s Peel Park.
But having finished fourth in the men’s 45-49 years race, the former Keighley resident’s mood was tempered by two of his proteges picking up gold medals.
Hartshead’s Abby-Mae Parkinson retained the girls’ under-16 title, while Birkenshaw’s Billy Hard-ing made light of moving up a category by lifting the junior men’s title.
Bradford Grammar School pupil Parkinson was reportedly the first rider on the course once it was completed last Friday lunch-time and her preparation with Young – who now lives in Shipley – paid off.
He said: “Abby attends my sessions at Marley and she is learning what lines to take when she is racing.
“Before, you had to explain everything to her but it gives me a buzz to see her doing so well – especially when I didn’t do so well myself. Billy also comes to the sessions and was smooth.”
Harding, 16, who goes to Heckmondwike Grammar School, won by 19 seconds over Jack Ravensroft in his last ride for Paul Milnes-Bradford Olympic RC.
Young was 14th overall in his race (the 40s and 45s rode in a mammoth field of 118 riders) at 3min 22sec, and said: “I tried my hardest but I just seemed to plod along.
“I was fourth in the National Trophy race the previous week at Derby but it just never happened for me here. I didn’t have any energy in my legs and can’t explain why.”
Cononley’s Ian Taylor (Craven Energy) was fifth in the veterans’ race at 1min 48sec, Bingley Harrier Andy Peace (Cross-trax), from Haworth, was eighth at 2min 25sec and Oxenhope’s Matt Denby 15th (fifth in the veterans’ 45) at 3min 31sec, one place ahead and 28 seconds of Chris’ brother Mike (Pedalsport CC).
Richard Ballantine (Craven Energy) was 91st at one lap, while Bingley’s Paul Watson (Paul Milnes-Bradford Olympic RC) was 29th in the veterans’ 50 race at one lap.
In the boys’ under-14s, Bradley’s Jamie Ridehalgh (Airedale Chemical RT) was ninth at 4min 03sec, and Keighley’s Alfie Moses (Paul Milnes Bradford Olympic RC) was a noteworthy seventh in the under-16 boys’ race at 2min 40sec.
Bradley’s Ed McParland (GT Racing UK) was disappointed with his 12th place in the under-23 men’s race but the 18-year-old, who wants to be a dentist, revealed: “It was a difficult race and I have been hampered by a back injury.
“I am now looking forward to the mountain bike season, which starts in March with the BC National Cross-Country Series at Sherwood Pines Forest Park.”
Bingley’s Robert Watson (Dirtwheels Cycles) was 4min 47sec down in 13th, 39 seconds behind McParland.