KEIGHLEY-BASED cycling club Bronte Tykes can boast four national titles and six Yorkshire regional titles after a successful year in British Schools Cycling Association (BSCA) competitions.
The club, formed only two and a half years ago, started their incredible year back in February’s BSCA Yorkshire Regional Cyclocross Championships, held at Spen Valley High School in Liversedge.
The Tykes scored instant success with first place for Eddie Thornton (Eastburn Junior & Infants School) in the U7 Boys, with team-mate Charlie Albone (Glusburn Primary) following up in second.
The club similarly swamped the podium in the U9 Girls’ race, with Sian Thompson (Eastburn Junior & Infants School) powering to victory while Bethany Charlton (Steeton Primary) took bronze.
The club completed their medal haul for the day when Oliver Barker secured third in the U11 Boys category.
The BSCA National Cyclocross Championships took place in Redditch, Worcestershire, a week later, where Charlie Albone secured a bronze medal (U7 Boys). There were also a range of strong performances from other riders, including Owen Thompson (South Craven School) in the U13 Boys, Sian Thompson (fourth, U9 Girls) and Eddie Thornton (fifth, U7 Boys).
For their next event, BSCA moved the proceedings indoors for the Yorkshire Regional Roller Championships. Held at Farfield Primary School in Pudsey, this event featured riders racing on stationary bike rollers in short timed bursts.
Tykes siblings Sian and Owen Thompson both took home bronze medals in the U9 Girls and U13 Boys respectively, with Archie Gill also grabbing a silver medal in the U9 Boys category.
The Thompson pairing again scorched the ground at York Race Course for the National Grass Track Championships. Comprising of sprint, time trial and pursuit races, Sian Thompson secured a thoroughly comprehensive victory by winning all three events to simultaneously carry off Yorkshire regional and national titles.
Older brother Owen Thompson later added a silver medal to the family trophy cabinet in the U13 Boys category, winning the sprints race and scoring highly in the other two rounds.
A move onto asphalt didn’t halt the charge of the club’s riders at the newly-opened Brownlee Centre in North Leeds for the Yorkshire Regional Time Trial Championships.
Tom Blenkinsop (Bingley Grammar School) won bronze in the U15 Boys category, while Eddie Thornton (U7 Boys) and the ubiquitous Sian Thompson (U9 Girls) both took home silver medals.
However, it was at the final event of the season that saw perhaps the Tykes’ finest hour. Utilising relative home advantage on Penistone Hill in Haworth, the BSCA National Mountain Bike Championships saw the club rack up 12 medals against the stunning countryside backdrop immortalised by the club’s namesake, Emily Bronte.
Beginning with the U7s race, Charlie Albone survived a crash to secure victory in both Yorkshire Regional and national titles, with Ollie McAllister (Darley Primary) taking a bronze medal at regional level.
Charlie’s feat was matched by Sian Thompson in the U9 Girls category and the gold rush continued as Callum Feather (Nessfield Primary) emerged as the strongest rider in an engaging U11 Boys race to take both the Yorkshire regional and national titles, with Pedalsport’s Noah Ellison (Oxenhope CoE Primary) in second.
Madeline Moorhouse-Smith (Gargrave Primary) collected a silver medal in the U11 Girls, while the U13 Boys saw Addison Willis pick up a bronze at regional level, and Owen Thompson rode to a national level bronze – which translated into a Yorkshire Regional Silver medal – with Pedalsport’s Harry Ellison (Hipperholme Grammar) taking victory.
The day was rounded off by a strong showing from all the club’s participants, with 11th place in the U9 Boys for Harrison Worsnop and top ten finishes for Eddie Thornton (sixth, U7 Boys), Thomas McAllister (seventh, U9 Boys), Jacob Rook (ninth, U9 Boys), Zak Dimitrijevic (fifth, U11 Boys) and Maddox Howe (eighth, U11 Boys).
Flynn Howe (U7 Boys) and 2016 U9 national champion Oliver Barker (U11 Boys) also rode superbly before their day ended with crashes.
Having performed so consistently across the season’s events, the Tykes have found additional success in the final Best All Rounder (BAR) summary – calculated from a simple points score accumulated across every race.
In the Yorkshire Regional BAR, Eddie Thornton finished in third place in U7 Boys, and there were overall wins for Sian and Owen Thompson.
The National BAR results also saw a strong standing by the Thompson pairing, with silver medals for both in U9 Girls and U13 Boys respectively.
Bronte Tykes hold fully-coached training sessions twice a week throughout the year – more details can be found at www.brontetykes.com.