Louise off to winning start in Day at the Races series

Louise Scupham in action
Louise Scupham in action

Talented Paragon lady juvenile rider Louise Scupham (pictured right) branched out into another area of the sport in the closed circuit races at York Sports Village, organised by the York Sport Cycling Partnership.

This was event three in the Day at the Races series; Scupham entered the women-only for categories Elite, first, second, third and fourth.

Scupham was a beginner so she was in the fourth category, but was not afraid to challenge the higher category riders, who were more experienced in this type of racing.

There were about 17 women entries and two other junior girls.

The elite riders group set off half a lap behind Scupham’s group, to create a handicap type system.

They swept past and Scupham managed to latch onto them.

There was a slight hesitation and some confusion when Scupham realised she had been the only one to challenge the elites and she returned to her own category group.

The pressure from Scupham’s attack had dropped another rider from the group, so it was down to just four women and the pace remained high for the rest of the race.

On the final lap Scupham had the foresight to get in a good position for the hairpin which was only about 200m from the finish line and sprinted admirably on restricted gears (as a junior) to win her category by five metres.

Scupham gained six British Cycling points for fourth place overall, an excellent first attempt.

Afterwards, the teenager said: “I was really happy with the result, it was not what I expected against very strong women and having restricted gears so my top speed was limited.

“I felt I played it well tactically and felt strong all the way through, even when others seemed to tire.

“It was a great experience and thoroughly enjoyable albeit very tiring and I’m looking forward to racing here again in a few weeks.”

The Veterans Time Trial Association (for over-40s) held their 10 miles time trial at South Cave.

The conditions were quite mild with on and off drizzle, the SW prevailing wind at 12-15mph creating a neutral racing effect in places, but there was a tough headwind finish.

David Thompson and Brian Ward were the only two Paragon representatives, with David studying the conditions to opt for an “easy out and hard back” approach.

Thompson was happy to complete the course in a good time (for early season) of 21:40 for 21st overall in a good quality field of riders.

Super veteran Brian Ward at 79 years, deserves respect for completing his first open event of the season in 27:15 (22mph average speed).

Back on local roads, Paragon held their second club event of the season, this time 15 miles time trial from Snainton to Yedingham

There was another good attendance of 17 riders on a damp Sunday morning with a blustery SW wind.

First-time timekeeper Robin Stephenson did a great job along with his assistant Sue Cappleman, guiding the riders round.

There was a visiting contingent from Bridlington Cycling Club once again, but the best effort of the day had to be that of Paragon’s 15-year-old Ben Sixsmith, despite having a sickness bug during the week.

His time of 35:56 was representative of over 25mph and gave him sixth overall among the men.

There were also impressive performances from newcomers Fred Smith and Jamie Ward at their first ever time trial.

New rider Rob Corney also did a great time of 38:52.

Mel Blackford from Bridlington had the fastest time of 34:08, a new course record, followed by Paragon’s David Thompson on 34:21, his best time on this course.

Paragon’s Shaw Pickard continued to improve with 35:35 in fifth.

Other results: Robert Grainger 38:19, Steve Dodds 38:39, Bri Parling 38:43 (Brid.), Mike Potter 39:37, Fred Smith 40:21, Brian Wallace 40:52, Barrie Cappleman 41:08, Jamie Ward 41:11, Jimmy Morrison 45:11 and Alan Scupham 45:18.

The next local event on Sunday is 25 miles from Seamer and is a team time trial (teams of two riders), although this is optional.