Whether Abbey ever repeats this years feat of being undefeated at home or in Europe is hard to know, but to do that again would be equally amazing. There are some very talented girls racing against Abbey who were so close to beating her on road and beat her in other disciplines, such as Orla and Melanie. In years to come the girls will battle away and all win, I am sure. New girls will come into the mix and make the races as exciting as they have been this year. A massive well-done to all of the girls.
Rather than go into detail of every one of Abbeys wins, here’s a montage of Photographs from this year.
Abbey and some of her Suffolk Youth Race Team mates went down to Farnham in Surrey today in one of the last big races of the season. The races had strong fields and reasonably good numbers too.
Abbey had a reasonable start, at about 10th into the first corner. This is better than her normal position into the 1st corner, which is last. As the leaders finished the first lap, Abbey had forced herself into 2nd overall. She stormed the race and finished 1st by a very long way.
On a beautiful day in Hertfordshire Abbey travelled an hour and a half to the amazing Redbourn event. In many ways a traditional village green crit but catering for everyone with riders from Ipswich and surround areas in attendance. Below are some photos of Abbey. It has to be said we have seen larger fields at Fete Du Velo, but still the racing was amazing.
Abbey had a great race with a boy. He led from the start, Abbey reeled him on, worked out his strengths and weaknesses and did her thing for the last 2 laps to win be the length of the finishing straight.
Minehead is a fare way from Suffolk, but an undefeated in 2019 Abbey went to take on the best U10s in the country. The Minehead Grand Prix saw Sophia Bednarek and Lauren Oldfield enter from the midlands and North England. The course was a triangle around the ton centre with a power sapping dead turn at the top of the town centre,.
Abbey had a fairly good start using a reverse splits. The significantly more powerful boys got around 15 seconds on the 1st lap. Abbey reeled them in lap after lap until she was in 2nd overall for a few seconds. Then the boys broke away again, compounded by a slow rider accidently pushing Abbey into the barriers where she bounced into the air, but held it together,
The commentator added a bit of excitement and confusion by stating Abbey was 1st with 2nd place still in the main peloton with her, but the girl that had been on Abbeys wheel had been long dropped. Calls to Abbey to be aware that one of the riders in the group was a girl meant Abbey had to push to the max to neutralise the threat, and reduce the threat of being out sprinted at the end. This brought forward lap times in excess of 21.6mph and top speeds heading towards 30mph. In he end it turned out that the commentator had seen Abbey lap the 3rd place girl. Abbey was proud to represent her club and again show everyone that suffolk youth have what it takes to win. Abbey had a bit of drama tangling with a mountain bike and getting taken out before the sprint with the boys.
This was the first time Suffolk Youth Race Team had been to the Winchester Grand Prix. The town centre had been closed off and safety barriers erected around the course. There was a carnival atmosphere in the air with a lot of eager riders checking every thing and everyone out. The course went up the high Street, and around the back of the town close to the Abbey. The commentator from the Ovo Tour was there telling the substantial crowd what was going on, which made all the difference. Those looking on actually understood what was happening around them.
In the race with Abbey was Orla Willis a great rider from the South East. Abbey took to the start-line after the boys had started. Abbey had one of her worst starts, as can be seen below with Orla having a great start on the far right and Abbey so far back shes not visible in the photo.
SYRT took one rider to the Youth Paris Roubaix this year Abbey Thompson. Abbey has had a good year to date in Under 10s. She has won every race she has finished including the U10 girls National Championships, the National Youth Series Road Race in the Isle of Man along with many more. The pinnacle of Abbeys season was a weekend trip to France and back (referred to as a bounce) last weekend.
We had to get to the hotel early Saturday afternoon, change, then find the start of the course, recce the Paris Roubaix course (including exactly where to start, lines though the neutralised zone, how to make a decisive break, how to deal with the top international riders fighting for the win, how to stay relaxed and not stress and above all… “self-belief”. Then it was back to the hotel by 9pm, eat, sleep and be up by 07:30 to eat breakfast, pack the car, check out of the hotel and drive into Roubaix some 20 miles away to sign on. Unfortunately, even the locals didn’t understand the race, so no helpful answers. The toilet signs at Roubaix existed, which started off being promising, but they were circular which infuriated even the French riders. The bottom-line being there were no toilets.
Once signed on, we took the option to not mess and drive straight to the start. We used our own prepared food and drink, rather than take a chance with upset tummies. We arrived into the village of Chereng, where the start appeared to be. Once at Chereng we soon made friends with the famous Maindy Flyers, who we had met in other racers during the season, the French team with national and regional, as well as department champions (I need to google that), as well as lovely Dutch riders and families etc. Our one common theme was that no-one knew what the heck was happening and we had to literally prize the information from the officials, who to be fair were lovely people
Two hours to go, we found a building site with an unofficial Portaloo hidden on site, behind Team Frances awnings. A few beers exchanged, as currency, and the loo’s were now marshalled by Team France with access to the British riders given. This turned out to be quite a big deal and gave the Brits some Kudos.
There was a lot of posturing, team riders swarming of the local village centres etc going on.
1 hr to go and nearly all of the riders were making mistakes in the 32-35 degrees of heat. Abbey played it cool, and did her standard prep. The start was neutralised, so it was important to work out where to be in the role out. The girls started at the same time as the boys, but were allowed to start at the front of the 80 plus field. The race was very professional looking with motor cycle out riders, commissaires car, and general convoy. At the last minute the organisers realised that they needed to get a police car from the back of the stationary peloton to the front…. on a narrow road. The shuffle took about 10 mins with a lot of smiling parents. The riders rolled out at quite a pace.
Parents were not allowed to follow the course which caused a bit of mayhem getting back to Roubaix before the riders. Back to the race, Abbey took her first planned attack, which turned out to be decisive. She reached the first of three sections of Pave (very, very tough cobbles) in first place.
We know boys are faster than girls, so it was only a matter of time before the faster boys passed Abbey, which happened during the first cobbled section. Abbey then pushed hard utilising the lines the boys used ahead, as she was not that familiar with the course. Over the short 10Km course Abbey maintained first place with a 30 second gap all the way to the last 2Kms. We think the marshals expected the riders to know whereto go, but at 2k to go there was a fork in the road that she hadn’t seen on our recce ride the previous day. After some waved arms and a foot down, the marshals saw the issue and pointed the way to go. The gap to 2nd place had reduced, but Abbey has been taught to not panic and got back into her rhythm and pushed hard into the famous Roubaix Velodrome. I managed to park 2Kms from the stadium and missed Abbey winning, but found her and she told her story.
The presentations came straight after the U23s finished with British World champion, Tom Pidcock, winning his race. Abbey received a lovely presentation and a jovial mention alongside Tom Pidcock that made her smile.
We then literally rushed home with Abbey laden with flowers, a piece of Pave and a Trophy.
Next year we should have a strong team out there and hopefully more success.
The team is always looking for more riders, so contact us if you are interested in joining in the fun.
The team is always looking for more riders, so contact us if you are interested in joining in the fun.
Suffolk Youth Race Team travelled to Oulton Park in Cheshire with Abbey and Aaron, supported by their families.
Abbey and Aaron both had terrible starts, got hustled off a rolling start line and ended up at the back due to a bit of unusual riding by a rider that eventually came almost last. They also both survived a crash in the peloton that split the u10s and u12s and both fought their socks off.
Both pulled through and got back into the group, with Abbey pulling herself just shy off the under 12 group off the front. Very strong ride from Abbey and she won the under 10 girls by a fair distance, and tbh I think only one boy in the under 10’s was ahead of her…. Aaron did well, until a Marshall pulled him off with the under 8’s after 2 laps… Luckily, club official, Riana was there to get him back on the track, by then some momentum, positioning had gone but he fought his was back. No idea where he came yet but he had a big smile afterwards, and really enjoyed riding the race course… ‘dad it felt like the tour de France with the motorbikes alongside us’… We know Aaron has loads of work to do but he enjoyed himself so for me, it was a success (by Billy Pittson).
There are plenty of riders in the team coming through that could do well next year.
At the end of March Abbey Thompson sponsored by Gibbons Plant Hire and Stonham Barns, with just five weeks to the Isle of Man National Youth Series 3-day Race, the biggest race of her season, fractured her right arm in a cycle racing incident at the Olympic Park in Stratford. After the accident, Abbey worked tirelessly to get fit in time for the race. She had been told by the doctors that she could not ride for 3-4 weeks after the injury. There was no way to know if she was ready until the first day’s race.
Day one was a 1.6Km sprint up a hill outside of Douglas.
Abbey gave it her all and came second over-all with a healthy gap back to 2nd
place, but with a ten second deficit to first place. The winner was a very talented Melanie Rowe,
daughter of Olympic Silver medallist Sarah Rowe.
Day two saw a daunting and very steep hill climb at Glen
Vine. This race had a group start and Abbey had to fight from the back to lead
within the first 300mtrs, with the knowledge she had to take the win and pull
back the 10 seconds. Abbey led to the top of the hill in the points leader’s
Green jersey, but the Pink jersey pipped Abbey on the line and gained more
Day three was the road race at the National Sports Centre. This is Abbeys strength. Abbey knew she had to win the race and take out a lead of over thirteen seconds on the Pink jersey to take over-all winner and claim both Green and ink jerseys. Abbey had a bad start with riders either side of her clattering her off the line. Abbey overtook rider after rider on the first lap to be on the wheel of the Pink jersey by the end of the first lap. The riders came into sight on lap two with Abbey sprinting hard with an 8 second lead as she crossed the line. The Pink jersey worn by Olympic Silver Medallist Sarah Rowe’s daughter Melanie was in full pursuit. As the laps unfolded both girls were a long way ahead of the rest of the race, with the Pink jersey slowly reeling Abbey in. The Pink Jersey sprinted past Abbey, but Abbey using tactics sprinted too, passed the Pink jersey whilst sprinting took the time to look into the girl’s eyes before slowing a little, just to let her know she was still strong. Abbey sat on the Pink jerseys wheel until 4 laps to go, when she used a technique she was taught in her coaching sessions to break away again, this time it was all or nothing. Abbey knew 4 laps was enough to get the 13 seconds, and it was defendable. Any earlier and she risked being reeled in again. Abbey came across the line with around six seconds lead, the next lap a nine second lead. Then the Pink jersey head down and fighting relentlessly started to pull seconds back especially as they passed some back markers. Abbey eventually came across the line beating the previously unbeaten Scottish rider to take the Road Race win, over-all Green jersey, 2nd on general classification.