On Friday June 27 at about 6 pm these young racers gathered to take part in the Town Centre Racing, one of the exciting events in the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling 2014’s week long programme. I walked round the narrow, hilly streets before the first competitors burst from the start line to pick some vantage points for my shots – a bend is always good and there were plenty of those.
Of course the punters at the Kings Arms had the best spot – sitting outside, beer in hand, they soaked up the evening sunlight as the young speedsters hurtled fearlessly round the corner.
There were some vociferous parents, urging their kids on to glory – personally, I think parents should be given a sedative and kept well out of the way until it’s all over – but that’s just me!!
There was no shortage of competitors or marshals – in fact, the whole event was extremely well managed and a police bike went round the circuit after each race to make sure there were no stray pedestrians or hazards on the track.
The gathering storm clouds were a bit of a concern (but only to me, as it turned out!) – in fact, they just added to the drama – and made the spectacular backdrop of the Brecon Beacons stand out even more.
So with interested spectators lining the route, bags of chips in hand (God! I’m hungry!) – off they went!
The barriers opened, the kids put their game face on and hared off down the hill – with no concern for their own safety! At the bottom they turned left and then ……………….met their first challenge – which some negotiated better than others.
Marked by two traffic cones, the road was closed off and they had to turn back on themselves and head up a steep hill into the town and round to the right. Eventually, this brought them out by the King’s Arms, where they veered right again into a wide, flat straight –
– a chance to jockey for position, and then up another steep incline and back to the start.
There were surprisingly few mishaps in the junior races and this young man was put straight back on his bike after coming to grief on the corner – and off he went none the worse for his spill.
Not everybody was pleased to see the cyclists in town – it took this man 15 minutes to cross the road!! Hope he didn’t miss his train!