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North West Youth Tour

Dan Tulett reports:

Last weekend was the 2013 North west youth tour, a 3 day stage race in and around Blackpool with a total of 5 stages. In my race ( youth B’s ) there was roughly 80 riders competing. On the first day the racing was at Preston sports arena , a very twisty circuit , which suited me lots.

The first race was a short one, to decide who would wear the leaders jersey in the longer second race. I won the first race by not much, but just enough to secure the blue jersey ( leaders jersey ) . Then in the 2nd race I decided to sit back and do a little less work than usual, which payed off, but it was very tight, the timing chips recorded the gap was 0.0002 seconds between me and second, I know lead the GC by over 5 seconds, a very small gap that could be lost easily over the next 2 days. on the second day we were at Salt ayr , a boring course , with very long finishing straights . the racing would be 15 laps in one direction in the morning, and 15 laps in the other direction in the afternoon. the first race went well and according to plan, just sit in the bunch and try my luck at the sprint finish.

In the second race of the day I tried to follow the same pattern but got beaten in the sprint, i still finished 2nd . Coming into the final day I was just 10 second ahead of second on GC , this was to be the stage where most races were won or lost. The weather had been near enough perfect until the last day where it turned into a monsoon and did not stop all day . Coming into the race, I knew what I had to do. I was to try and extend my lead by breaking away on the short, steep climb just after the finish straight, just like last year.


When I was on the start line I was nervous, because I knew it could all be lost today if I made the wrong move. The bell sounded on the 12th  lap for the national series points preme, then on the climb one of my main rivals Harry Yates attacked , I managed to follow and counter attack around the hairpin corner and over the top of the climb, stringing the bunch out who were trying to chase along the top tailwind straight .

I held my lead over the bunch for the remainder of the lap and took the points, then again going over the climb I took another big dig to extend my lead. all though the wet and cold was not very nice, I did enjoy my time off the front which I managed to hold and win with a margin of around 2 and a half minutes. winning overall by 2 minutes and 37 seconds .