Youth riders Cameron and Reuben Orr have travelled across the water to fly the flag for Matlock CC in the second annual Youth Tour of Ireland.
Held over three days, the race consisted of four hard hilly stages with over 250 riders taking part from across Europe and even South Africa.
In the U14 event Cameron Orr revelled in the hills. On stage one he forced a four-man break which stayed away for the entire stage, en route to eventual stage victory he won every “KOH” summit seeing him don the yellow jersey as race leader and polka dot jersey as King of the Hills leader.
Day two started with a short, steep hilly time trial where Cameron finished fourth, just losing the leaders jersey by two seconds.
The afternoon’s stage was another demanding road circuit where again there was a split in the field, but Cameron cemented his hold on the KOH jersey by winning all but one of the summit finishes.
In the final sprint for the line he was narrowly beaten into second spot by race leader Harry Yates (Lichfield CC), keeping his second place overall.
The final stage on Monday was a complete contrast.
Held on a short, flat circuit around the streets of Letterkenny it was a fast moving lead bunch of some 25 riders who eventually contested the finish with Cameron showing his versatility with a fine fourth place, meaning he finished second on GC.
In the U12 event run on the same courses but with fewer laps, younger brother Reuben also showed fine form and promise. He was consistently placed highly each day in the lead group, his gutsy determined style of riding resulting in an overall eighth.
Meanwhile, Matlock Cycling Club’s Smith sisters – Ellie and Libby – took part in the penultimate round of the National Youth Circuit Series at the weekend.
The event was held in wet and windy conditions at the Castle Combe circuit near Cheltenham.
Ellie won the U12 girls race, coming through strongly in the bunch sprint finish, while younger sister Libby Smith competed in the U10 girls race but had to be content with 18th place after crashing on a slippery bend.
Matlock Cycling Club’s evening time-trial series reverted to the earlier starting Ashford five-mile and short hilly courses this week.
Leigh Fearn was once again on fine form as he not only took a fine win in the 5-mile Ashford race, but also smashed the course record in the process.
Fearn clocked a hugely impressive time of 10 minutes and 36 seconds to finish 11 seconds ahead the previous course record holder Patrick Gould.
Third place went to Keiran Tennyson of Buzz Cycles in 10:50.
Elisha McDonagh was the fastest female rider, recording a time of 13 minutes 29 seconds to finish 17th overall from 23 starters.
A revised shorter version of the Thursday night hilly time-trial was used for the first time last week.
The course cuts out the final last ascent to the top of Lea making it around six miles in length.
Chris Green took a fine win in 15:39 from his main rival on this course, Kevin White, with John Johnstone in third.
Cheryl Henshaw was the fastest female rider, clocking 19:10 to finish ninth overall.
In other time-trialling news, Matlock CC rider Alan Cooke’s fine form continued as he recorded a fine win in the BDCA 50-mile event held on the A50 near Etwall.
Cooke was just four seconds off his own club record time, crossing the line in 1hr 46 mins and 27 seconds.