Verulam Cycling Club's Fete du Velo 'most successful yet' as racing wows record crowd
PUBLISHED: 12:30 04 July 2019
Judith Parry Photography
Verulam Cycling Club hailed this year's Redbourn Fete du Velo as 'the most successful yet'.
The popular annual event, co-run by The Bike Loft of Redbourn and Verulam CC, covers racing for all categories with focus on supporting the community with youth and novice events.
Youngsters were able to try cycle racing for the first time on a specially constructed off-road 'Go Ride' circuit on the common.
With the Redbourn road circuit opening for racing at noon, local riders soon began to impress.
Alarik Knox put on a strong performance in U10s, followed by Verulam Reallymoving's first podium of the day with Beth Watson second in U14 girls.
Verulam Reallymoving racers Will Smith and Jamie Maxen were in excellent form in the U16s, making multiple attempts to break away from the field.
Smith has become a 'marked man' in local and national level races and competitors chased hard to prevent him getting a break but he took a well-deserved third place behind Alex Galpin (Bourn Wheelers CC) and Nathan Hardy (Welwyn Wheelers).
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With sufficient British Cycling points to also be eligible for the senior men's race, Smith went on to make multiple attacks in that too, surprising many with his abilities.
The senior men's Cat 2/3/4 race saw early attacks from Paul McGrath of Rock & Road Ellisix, but he was not allowed to get away from the peloton which stayed together to culminate in a series of high-speed final laps.
The race was won by Ieuan Woods over Kieran Jarvis - both from Cycle Team OnForm.
Local leading junior riders Oli Stockwell (Team Ribble) and Matt Watson (Rock & Road Ellisix) showed their prowess in third and fourth respectively and both are examples of successful youth development programmes in local clubs with Stockwell originally from Welwyn Wheelers and Watson from Verulam CC.
In the women's race, Samantha Fawcett (Lovelo Squadra Donne) took a convincing win, as Matt Holmes (Arctic Tacx RT) took the Masters event.
Verulam CC chairman Doug Driscoll said: "We've had record crowds and over 200 riders racing across all age groups, from all over the UK.
"The action both on and off the racing circuit has been our best yet and I'm confident we've inspired many young stars of the future.
"None of this would be possible without the effort of our officials, marshals, helpers and volunteers who I'd like to thank on behalf of Verulam CC and The Bike Loft, for making the Fete du Velo in Redbourn a premier event in the Hertfordshire cycling calender."