PREVIEW: British Youth and Junior League is back!
The British Youth & Junior League starts this Saturday with the first of the four regional rounds being held at Stockport, Hethersett, Birmingham and Swindon. The competition is always a popular feature of the season, providing riders with the chance to represent their clubs and compete against riders in their age groups from throughout the country.
Last year Poole finally ended Kesgrave’s reign as Club champions taking the winners shield back to Dorset and Neil Garnett and his riders will not be relinquishing the title without a fight.
Runners-up last year were fellow S&SW club Exeter and they are sure to be challenging again this year, although they will be without their popular leading rider Lauren Hookway. Wednesfield have also a number of new riders to enter who have come through from their popular club night and Kesgrave will be competitive especially in the younger categories.
Last year Poole’s Oliver Saunders was the winner of the U8 title, followed by Exeter’s JJ Wildman and Kesgrave’s Tommy Rope and we wait to see which of the new riders emerge as the leaders in this category. 33/18 News will be represented in this category by the youngest member of their team in the Midlands region.
In the U10s, Kesgrave’s Olly Reynolds was unbeaten in winning and he, along with second place Rosie Tidball and third place Jack Brownell, will be moving up into the U12 category. Connor Steele and John White will resume their rivalry in a quest to improve on last year’s placings and will be likely to be the ones to beat.
The top three from the U12s, where Lewis Brinkoff was a convincing winner ahead of Tom Whitwam and Jake Vincent also move up a category, and Poole’s Nathan Goulden who made an impressive debut in this age category to finish fourth, will surely be one of the leading contenders this year.
In the U14s great friends off the track James Bunting and Harrison Bacon tied for first place with Callum Smith third and they will all move up into the U17s this year. British U13 champion Michael Preston from Stockport looks to be the one to watch and it will also be interesting to see how Lewis Brinkoff fares at this level.
With Callum Albin and Reece Pollitt, second and third last year, no longer able to compete it will be down to the likes of Ben Harvey, just one point off the podium last year, and Haydn Rowley to see if they can prevent Brandon Whetton from taking his fourth successive BYJL title.
Finally in the Girls category Leicester’s Lizzie Rigley, third behind Lauren Hookway and Krissie Mines, will be looking to build on her impressive early season form, though she can expect a strong challenge from the likes of Macie Schmidt.
Trying to keep some order will again be Ross Mee and anyone needing any information on the BYJL can contact him at : firstname.lastname@example.org or 0776 9734581, or speak to the Regional Co-ordinators Pete Ward, Rob Gifkins and Neil Garnett.
Here are the photos of last year’s winners, all taken by John Parker.