Race Report from supported rider Emile Alexander

e1 After crashing at the Youth Tour of London and pulling up on the final stage with a related injury, I was nervous about how my legs would react to the demands of the National Champs, competing against 120 other riders at Scarborough. The course was extremely physically demanding – as we would climb Oliver’s Mount six times. We started by doing the top circuit which consisted of a 1.6km loop – five times. We then moved on to the longer lap which included the hill. Positioning would be crucial. I managed to get about 10th wheel going into it, this was great because it meant I didn’t have to fight up the hill to make up lost positions as we were going fast enough up it already. The winning move with Oli Stockwell and Will Corkhill went straight away and no one could follow their pace. The next lap came around and I found myself towards the front of the group. Joe Pidcock was starting to move up alongside me and he launched himself off the front. I decided this was a good wheel to follow so I jumped across to him putting myself so far into the red I thought I would never come back. We accumulated a gap of around 15 seconds between both the leaders and the main pack. We were working okay but Joe clearly had the edge on me and pushed on with two times left to go up the hill. I popped hard and with one to go the bunch slowly started reeling me in. I was caught by Matthew who had escaped the bunch and passed me at a blistering pace – the last time up the hill. I went to jump on his wheel but my legs said otherwise. I was currently crawling as the bunch passed me with around 300m to go. I managed (multiply your pain up the dipper on Wednesday night by 50) to just about get on the back of them for the sprint bunch in around 15th wheel. Up ahead Matthew had gone too hard to soon and exploded. I managed to outsprint a few off the back of the much reduced bunch and settled for 10th. A decent enough ride considering my recent London setback and a good feeling that my form is finally starting to return after a layoff due to my GCSE’s. I’m really looking forward to the Netherlands Youth Tour of Assen in three weeks, racing in France afterwards and then the North West Youth Tour and UK School Games at the end of August.