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Lichfield Cyclists dominant in National Schools Track Championship PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:41

dsc_0062z.jpgEleven members of Lichfield’s youth cycling section travelled to Portsmouth to contest the latest round of the British Schools Cycling Championship (BSCA) and came away as the most successful club. This is a tough competition, as you’d expect from a National event, and whereas in the past 5th or 6th would have been a great result now none of the riders are finishing lower than these positions demonstrating the high standard of our local riders.

Staffordshire cyclingThis latest round, which is the hard track championship, is contested on a 500m outdoor banked oval track. Riders under 14 ride normal road bikes whilst the over 14’s ride fixed wheel machines. The riders compete in an Omnium, where they gain points in several different races, a little like a Decathlon or Pentathlon, with the rider with the highest score being declared the winner. Our Lichfield riders came away with a very impressive haul of two golds, two silvers, two bronze, two 4ths, a 5th, two sixes and a gold team medal.

Stafforshire cycling clubLewis Askey and Sophie Capewell both won all of their races to take the titles in the under 8 boys and under 10 girls respectively. Daniel Cooper finished second to Lewis and Lucy Nelson took third behind Sophie. Josie Nelson put in another good performance in the girls under 8 event to take 2nd. Her brother Josh was riding in the highly competitive under 12’s and did well to finish 6th. Similarly the girls under 12 event was equally competitive producing some of the closest racing. Emily Nelson and Emily Capewell were to the fore of this competition all day and were unlucky not to have finished higher but their 3rd and 4th places were enough to win the team competition for Nether Stowe High School.

In the under 14 boys Jacob Kelly was really up against some tough competition but rode brilliantly, narrowly missing out on winning in a ‘blanket’ finish to the final race. He finished in 4th place.

However, from the coach’s point of view two of the most impressive performances came from Scotch Orchard’s Matthew Sisley and Isabelle Clarke of the Friary. They finished 5th and 6th in the boys under 10’s and girl’s under 12’s respectively. Both have worked hard to improve which was reflected by their excellent performance.


dscf0158z.jpgThe younger element of Lichfield’s cycling talent upheld local honors at the National British Cycling Schools Association (BSCA) Roller Championships, held at the Friary Grange Sports centre in Lichfield last Sunday.dsc01559z.jpg 6yr old Josie Nelson and 7yr old Lewis Askey together with 10yr old Sophie Capewell each rode exceptionally well, dominating their class to take the crown as National Champion. It was particularly pleasing to see Josie on the top step of the podium as this was her first, but on this form certainly not her last, national title. Lewis was going that fast he’d have been runner up in the under 12’s competition and that in itself was a highly competitive class. His time not only smashed the under 8’s record but was fast enough to beat the record for the under 10’s!

The tournament showcased the best in roller racing, which involves racing your bike on a set of rollers, much like a running machine for a bike. Riders have to compete in three separate races to ascertain the eventual champions. dscf0178z.jpgFor spectators the events are exciting as all racers are attached to a large clock. The competitors’ progress is then displayed with different coloured hands representing each rider so you know exactly where they are.

There were also National titles for teams and both Scotch Orchard (Lucy Nelson, Shannon Turner and Sarah Williams) and Netherstowe High School (Emily Nelson, Emily Capewell and Georgia Tonks) took the gold medals in the under 10 and under 12 girl’s competitions.

dscf0180z.jpgIn addition to our 3 individual champions, Lucy Nelson, James Hughes and James Newey went close in their categories to take silver and there were bronze medals for Abbie Kershaw, Daniel Cooper, Emily Nelson and William Davies.

Some places had to be decided by a ride off the equivalent of a penalty shoot out and these produced some of the most exciting races of the day with the large crowd producing a deafening wall of sound in their support of the competitors.

The slick event organised by Manager Phil Kelly, with support from Lichfield City Cycling Club, saw 75 competitors from as far a field as Cleveland take part in this National event.

Although competing in these high key events enjoyment is the key, if anyone is interested in joining Lichfield City Cycling club then please email or phone from the 'contact us' page.

Lichfield CCC Youngsters Collect their Medals PDF Print E-mail
wmccl medal winners.jpgLast Sunday 8th March at the WMCCL AGM some of the younger members of Lichfield CCC collected their medals for what has turned out to be a very successful season. The youngsters gained 3 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals from a gruelling season of cyclo-cross. The medals were across the board at all youth levels from U6 to U14. In the picture back left Lucy Nelson (1st U10 girl), back right Lewis Askey (1st U8 boy, also highly placed in the U10 competition). Front left Connor Smith (1st U6 boy) middle Ben Askey (2nd U6 boy) and right Josie Nelson (3rd U8 girl). Emily Nelson (3rd U14 girl) was unable to attend as she was taking part in the Staffordshire swimming championships.
This years success will hopefully persuade even more youngsters to take part in next years cyclo-cross and gain further medals for next year.

Written by Nigel Capewell   

james bertie newey.jpgLast week saw the second round of the British Schools Cycling Championship, the cross country mountain bike, held at Cannock and once again Lichfield’s young stars rose to the occasion. The event which was a National Championship also combined the Midland championships and the 19 Lichfield riders collected a total of 16 National and Regional medals. Lichfield has a rapidly emerging team of young talent and a good many were competing not only in their first National Championship but their first ever competitive race.

Under 8’s

Remember the name Lewis Askey because here is surely a star of the future. He rode with great maturity to take the gold medal waiting until the final lap to launch a stinging attack that left his rivals watching him disappear into the distance. Daniel Cooper took 6th and bronze in the regional, whilst the very young Max Geldard riding his first ever race finished just behind in 7th.

In the girls event Josie Nelson rode well above expectation to take 3rd overall and the regional title.

Under 10’s

matt sisley.jpgMatthew Sisley rode arguably his best ever race and was unlucky to finish only 9th and 4th in the region. Meanwhile in the girl’s event his former classmate, Sophie Capewell, made an excellent start but had been ill all week and it was beginning to show. Bit by bit she was being clawed back but sheer determination saw her hold on despite being sick several times during the final lap. One of those closing in on Sophie was Lucy Nelson who despite being the youngest rider is one of the best and she come in 3rd and runner up in the regional. Behind was Sarah Williams who was riding her first race and she took 5th in the National and 4th in the region.

Under 12’s

Lichfield have a really good group of girls and amongst them another emerging star Emily Nelson. Emily led right from the start and after being momentarily challenged in the middle of the 35 minute race showed her rivals a clean pair of heels to take the title. Emily Capewell rode well to take 5th and 3rd in the region. Isabelle Clarke, in one of her least favourite events, persevered to finish 7th and was followed in by newcomers Georgia Tonks and Becky Williams with two great performances to finish 8th and 9th.

In the boys event Josh Nelson toughed it out eventually coming in 5th but 1st in the region and was followed in by team mate William Davis who took the silver in the regional competition. Jonathon Groves had to make some adjustments to his bike before the start and then battled hard to take 9th.

Under 14’s

jacob kelly.jpgJacob Kelly led home Lichfield’s trio of riders in the biggest field of the day taking 7th place. Despite not having reason to be he was disappointed with his finishing position which was good enough to give the Burntwood rider the Midland regional title. Oliver Pike also had reason to be proud of a very good 10th place. He had been battling with William Hyde who was doing really well especially considering it was his first race until hurting his back in a fall causing him to retire.

Under 16’s

Finally, the last race of the day saw another of Lichfield’s future stars James Newey. Another tough race saw James never quite getting amongst the leading trio and that’s how it finished with him in 4th but it was good enough to take the silver in the regional competition.

No one should underestimate how gruelling this event was which saw many of the riders collapsing on the ground at the end of their race. The Lichfield club have some real emerging talent and in this competition they were clearly the strongest club. But if the opposition thought they were strong in this just wait until the next round, the rollers, which takes place at the Friary in Lichfield on Sunday 15th March.


National Cycling Success for Local Schools PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nigel Capewell   
lucy and sarah scotch orchard u10 girls team champions.jpgEmilyN and Georgia and EmilyC Nether stowe u12 girls champions.jpgCardinal Griffin school in Cannock was host to the National Schools Mountain Bike Championships on Sunday. The local Lichfield club had many successes and a full report on individual achievements will follow once the full results are to hand.
However, it was also a terrific day for several local schools who achieved success in the team competition.  Over 80 riders from all over the country had entered but the growing number of young riders in the Lichfield club meant that several local schools also had a strong entry for the team competition.  In the girls event schools need a minimum of
2 riders to qualify for a team whilst it's 3 in the boys events.
In the girls under 10 event for years 4 & 5, Lichfield's Scotch Orchard school team of Lucy Nelson and Sarah Williams took first place.  Despite only being one of the youngest in the race Lucy finished well up the field and was supported by Sarah who was riding her first ever competitive race.
jacob  hugh cardinal griffin youth team champions.jpgNether Stowe High School look set to dominate the girls under 12 team competition already through the highly talented Emily Nelson, with support from the experienced Emily Capewell and emerging rider Georgia Tonks who was also riding her first ever competitive race.  They took the gold medal.
One of the toughest races of the day was the boys under 14's but Cardinal Griffin's  team of Jacob Kelly, Zak Walls and Hugh Burrowes packed the middle order to take the National title. Event organiser, teacher and coach John Shenton reflected on a highly successful event, the first the school has promoted, "The event produced some really great racing and I'm really pleased the school has managed some success too."
A full report of how many of Lichfields riders adorned the podium will follow next week once the full individual results are published.

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Written by Nigel Capewell   
Monday, 26 January 2009 00:00



Em & Em win Title for NetherstoweNether Stowe School’s team of Emily Nelson and Emily Capewell took the girls under 12 team prize at Halifax on Sunday. In cold and blustery conditions on Greetland Moor above Halifax the two year 7 students battled hard to win the schools first ever National Cycling title.

Emily Nelson was sensational and almost led from start to finish, only being bettered momentarily by Sarah Lomas from Buxton with 2 laps remaining. Emily’s response though was swift and decisive and as they took the bell Emily had put 20 metres between herself and Lomas with the next rider not even in sight. Emily had set herself up well with an excellent start but her team mate Emily Capewell didn’t have the best of starts finding herself pushed back into 13th as the pack charged into the first bend. Passing was difficult on the course which had many narrow sections but she managed to claw her way past 2 riders, not quite overhauling a third, to claim 11th place by the end of the 25 minute race.  Her final pass turned out to be crucial as it gave Nether Stowe victory in the team competition.

Both girls, who also helped Nether Stowe to victory in the inter school competition hope this will encourage more of their school colleagues to come forward and help the school achieve even more cycling success.   

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Written by Nigel Capewell   
Monday, 26 January 2009 00:00


sophie and emily.jpgLichfield’s young cycling stars bought home 2 individual golds, 1 team gold and 2 silvers from the British Schools National Cycling Championships at Halifax on Sunday. And in the clubs latest success its 2 new national champions Emily Nelson and Sophie Capewell rode fantastically.

The first event of the day was for under 8’s and the club had high expectations of Lewis Askey of Five Ways Primary, however, a poor start and a fall mid way through the race left Lewis too much to make up and although he managed to get past several riders he eventually had to settle for 2nd place. The team were buoyed though by 2 great rides from Josie Nelson (Scotch Orchard) who finished 5th in the girls competition and Daniel Cooper (Cheslyn Hay) who finished 10th in the boys after the misfortune of losing 3 places when his chain came off on the last lap.

emily riding to victory.jpgSophie Capewell (St Chads) and Lucy Nelson (Scotch Orchard) dominated the girls under 10 race taking the first two places. After almost 20 minutes battling through muddy conditions on a cold day with a sharp wind blowing across the moor not many riders would have agreed with Sophie’s comments as she crossed the line, ‘I loved every minute of that!’ Sophie rode so strongly that she would have finished 4th in the boys’ race.

sl271886z.jpgWith so many entries the under 12’s had separate races for the boys and the girls. All the boys competitions were really tough, as you’d expect at a National Championship and Josh Nelson (Scotch Orchard) and William Davies (Twycross House) acquitted themselves really well to finish 11th and 15th respectively. All eyes then turned to Josh’s sister Emily (Nether Stowe). She rocketed away from the start gaining 10 metres by the first corner. Her lead grew to almost 30 seconds but 25minutes flat out in these conditions is hard and she was eventually caught by Sarah Lomas from Buxton but anyone that knows Emily will know she’s not one to settle for second and a stinging attack crushed Lomas' hopes and gave Lichfield its second gold. sl271892z.jpgThe third came moments later when Emily Capewell (Nether Stowe), who had been battling hard and picking up places, came in 11th which was enough to give Nether Stowe the team prize (see separate story). The third Lichfield rider Jess Clark (Thomas Russell), one of the youngest in the race, was riding her first National Championship and did really well to finish in 16th place.

Finally, in the boys under 14’s our 2 riders Jacob Kelly (Cardinal Griffin) and Oliver Pike (King Edwards) were really up against some of the country’s top young talent. I don’t think even Lance Armstrong would have fancied riding this race! sl271912z.jpgThe longer course and duration told a bit on the lads who slipped a couple of places towards the end however they both should be proud of their gutsy performances to finish 10th and 14th respectively.

The next National Schools Championship is the Mountain Bike event which takes place at Cardinal Griffin School in Cannock on the 22nd February.


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Written by Nigel Capewell   
Thursday, 22 January 2009 23:12

Netherstowe student, Emily Capewell, begins National Cycling title defense.
dsc_0530.jpgLast year Emily emerged the winner of the 8 round series of races by amassing points with consistently high places and a win in the mountain bike round to be crowned British Schools National under 12 girls champion. She starts this years event with the cyclo-cross in Halifax this Sunday. After that riders will attempt to gain points in the Mountain Bike, Track, Rollers, Grass track, Circuit race, Time trial and Hill climb in an attempt to became the 2009 National overall Champion.

Emily won the title last year whilst a pupil at St Chads and together with Isabelle Clark they also won the team title. This year Isabelle rides for the Friary but Netherstowe’s team of Emily Nelson, Georgia Tonks and Emily Capewell will takes some beating for the team prize.  

Lichfield is blessed with a whole host of talented young cyclists who will all be challenging for honours in this years competition. Oliver Pike will be representing King Edwards, Jacob Kelly rides for Cardinal Griffin, Jess Clark for Thomas Russell, and Fradleys William Davies rides for Twycross House. 

In the younger categories Sophie Capewell represents St Chads whilst the remaining members of the Nelson family Josh, Lucy and Josie will also challenge for team honours for Scotch Orchard. There are high hopes in the under 8 boys after Five Ways Primary’s Lewis Askey was sensational throughout the cyclo-cross season and he is joined by Daniel Cooper from Cheslyn Hay Primary.
All the riders are a product of Lichfield Cycling club’s commitment to the development of youth riders and the coaching team is confident of many reports of their success in these pages throughout the coming season.

National Cyclo X Championship PDF Print E-mail

Cyclo X – Bradford 10th January (2 Youth reviews)

dsc_0595.jpgOn Saturday January 10  it was the National Cyclo-Cross Championships, Emily Nelson and me were in the youth race, and Steve Clayton and Steve Whitehouse were in the veterans race, and all did very well.

It was frosty and extremely cold while we were racing, which suited me more than the wet muddy conditions we normally ride in. We also had to get over hurdles and run up steps with our bikes on our backs and there were lots of tough hills to climb. When there were just a couple more laps to go I came off going around a hair pin bend, I was so determined to complete the course and get a good position, so got straight back onto my bike and kept going . On the final straight I found some energy for a sprint finish and gained one place.

This race was a great experience for me, but now I know what level of skill people have, I can try to improve and get fitter for future races. The main thing that kept me going was the support I got from Steve Clayton riding round and telling me what I should do. I also had Linda Nelson and my family cheering me on (my mum yelling at me to keep going, which she does so well! ).

By James Newey (14) - youth

dsc_0599z.jpgThis morning (10/01/09) I competed in the National cyclo cross championships in Bradford along with Bertie, Steve Clayton, and Steve Whitehouse. I competed as an under 14 girl.
The weather was horrible. It was -2 at the start of the race and during the 40-49’s race (after mine) it got down to -3,-4!!! It was icy and muddy which made it REALLY slippy. The course was ace and really tough!! It included hurdles, steps and loads of hair pins!!
Well done to Steve Whitehouse, Steve Clayton and Bertie Newey. And thank you to my mum who stayed in the pits and to Steve and Beth Clayton and Millie, Simon and Debbie Newey for cheering me on!

By Emily Nelson (12) - youth