Sam Harrison and Ruby Miller rode to victory in the first round of the DHL Future Stars series.
They were among 45 of the UK’s top young riders who battled it out in front of a sellout crowd at the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday.
Sam outclassed the field in the first two events of the night, the Points and 6 Lap Dash, but was defeated in the last event, the Scratch Race, by Kian Emadi. Despite his victories, Sam has just a four-point lead going into the next event in December. He will have to work hard to stay in front of second-placed Chris Nicholson and Simon Yates in third.
Chris said: “The racing’s short and very fast. We don’t usually have such big crowds and that makes it even quicker than normal. I came second, third and fourth so I’m going to go for a win at the next one. To win overall, consistency will be the key. Sam’s strong but if I can beat him in a few races, who knows what could happen.”
Harriet Owen and Ruby duelled hard in the first two races, finishing first and second alternately in the Points and Scratch. Lucy Garner came through and won the final race, the 6 Lap dash. Final scores after the first event are close and Ruby will have to pull out all the stops to beat Lucy and Laura Trott, who are just six points behind in equal second place with 80 points.
In the team competition, series five winners the North West are already edging ahead with 424 points, 65 points clear of the East Midlands with 359.
Olympic Talent Coach Phil West, who manages the series, said: “It was really great to kick off this season’s Future Stars competition with such high-quality racing. The level of these riders just keeps getting better and better, with average speeds of races spiralling up and up.
“The challenge for the boys’ title was laid down by Sam Harrison of Wales, already a multiple national champion on the track. It will be interesting to see what the other riders will come up with to stop him in his tracks! His compatriot Ruby Miller was equally strong in the girls’ events, although she’ll need to be on her toes to hold off the likes of Lucy Garner and Harriet Owen in the race for the overall.”
Round two takes place on 6 December. For details, see www.cyclingrevolution.com.