IT is now the height of the racing season and last weekend Ilkley Cycling Club was represented at the National Road Race Championships in Norwich.

Alice Barnes of Canyon SRAM won the women's race, whilst Ilkley CC’s Annabel Fisher took a fine 24th place, and she will be comfortable in the knowledge that she would have improved on this had there been some hills which would have suited her racing style.

Fisher travelled back to the UK for this race from her Swiss base, where she is racing for the DN Dames Bio Frais race team.

Yorkshire's Sophie Thackray, who has competed in Ilkley’s Town Centre race and Ilkley’s cyclo-crosses since she was a young girl, is now becoming a force to be reckoned with on the national stage and took 17th.

Emily Meakin, racing for Independent Pedaller last week won the Ilkley race, and came 55th in the nationals.

The men’s race was held over 117 miles and the winner was Ben Swift, Team Ineos, of Rotherham.

Scott Thwaites, Vitus Pro Cycling, continued his successful season with 10th place.

Mark Cavendish MBE was 22nd and hopefully is fighting back to fitness after a few disappointing seasons.

Other local riders like multiple world champion, Otley's Tom Pidcock, Team Wiggins-LeCol, and last week’s Ilkley race winner, Tom Moses, Madison-Genesis, both finished further back.

Closer to home in the Alba Rosa 3/4 category circuit race at the Brownlee Circuit, Richard Kelt picked up Ilkley CC’s first senior race win of the season.

Four riders from Team PMRR were dominant and looking confident of taking the win, but they reckoned without the powerful finishing kick and combative nature of ex-rugby player Kelt, who came through strongly on the finishing straight.

Also finishing in the peloton for Ilkley CC were coach Dan Sharpe, Jake Unsworth, Patrick Blake, Michael Strange and first over 50 rider, Michael Burdon.

Liz Barrett organised the Yorkshire region of the schools hill climb event at Hawpike Farm, Bolton Abbey.

Youngest performer on the day was Ilkley’s Ben Garrido, whilst older brother Toby won the under-7s category with a new category record for the climb. In the under-11s, Ilkley had Theo Hart (fourth), Zac Wilson (10th) and Thomas Knabb (11th).

The first mud of the season was found at Killinghall in round four of the Summer Cross series, where a decidedly tacky surface soon cut up to be a sticky, tyre tread filling syrup.

The long straights and sharp corners became a balancing act of head down speed and delicate cornering, with many succumbing to graceful slides out under the course marking tape.

From 104 starters, Ilkley's riders were headed home by veteran Arthur Wilson in 17th place, followed by Paul Cowland (36th), Jason Bishop (39th) and Liam Rees (62nd).

The ICC evening time trial on the Addingham - Bolton Abbey - Skipton circuit again fell on a day of inclement weather which affected rider numbers.

Airedale Olympic CC visitor Andrew Johnston took the win with 26.45, followed by Arthur Wilson (28.47) in second, Patrick Blake (29.12) in third, Jamie Kirk (29.34) in fourth, Liam Rees (29.46) in fifth, Michael Strange (30.09) in sixth and Nina Benson (30:11) in seventh.


Pics: Richard Kelt cornering in the bunch and on the podium, Annabel Fisher racing in France, action from the schools hill climb