From the Bury Times 2nd November 2017
YOUNG Bury riders Corinne Side and Francis Woodcock lived up to their promise after making the podium at the National Hill Climb Championships in Northumberland on Sunday.
Side, of Holcombe Brook, won the juniors event, for cyclists aged under 18, while 15-year-old Bury Clarion rider Francis Woodcock was third in the juniors race, for those under 16.
There was a triple celebration for Side, who turned 17 the day before the race and also claimed the team prize riding for The Racing Chance Foundation.
“I’m really, really happy,” said the former Woodhey High School pupil.
“I didn’t really know how to ride it to be honest but it went so well.
“It was my birthday yesterday so I think I am going to celebrate it with some birthday cake!”
Side completed the 1.1-mile course at Hedley on the Hill in 5mins 19secs, giving her a 9.7-second winning margin and a time that would have been good enough for an overall top 10 in the women’s race.
Woodcock, meanwhile, finished in 4:46, six seconds behind winner Joe Baker, of Zappi Racing, in what was a very strong field of the country’s 20 best young riders.
Last year’s champion Archie Irvine could only manage 10th place this year, while runner-up Josh Charlton won a stage and finished fourth overall in the Isle of Man Youth Tour and finished third in the National Youth Criterion Race.
The champion, Baker, has a 25-mile time-trial personal best of 53:07 – six minutes faster than Woodcock’s personal best, which he set in May – but the young Bury rider was not fazed by the exalted company he is keeping.
The teenager, who is also a pupil at Woodhey High School, is eager to one day become a professional road racer, replicating the leap from Bury Clarion to Tour de France made by white jersey-winning twins Simon and Adam Yates.
And Woodcock has good reason to feel confident he has set out on the right road at Clarion, under the wing of coach Joe Cadwallader.
“I am really happy with the way things have turned out,” he said.
“I only started racing this year and Joe has helped get me in great shape.
“To come third out of the top 20 juvenile riders in the country is not bad, is it?
“My hope is to be a good all-rounder, like the Yates brothers, and compete in the Tour de France one day.
“And I couldn’t be in a better place to start.
“I know all the times they did on all the climbs round here when they were my age and I am actually a little bit ahead of where they were.
“So that gives me a lot of confidence.
“I am also lucky to know their dad, who is a member of the club. He gives me a lot of help and advice, and even turned up once with a load of kit from Simon and Adam, which was great.”
Cadwallader is also convinced his young protege is heading in the right direction.
“I am super proud of this kid and the improvement he has made this year,” said Cadwallader.
“He started the year with potential and a willingness to learn.
“He has improved in all disciplines and this latest performance puts him firmly in a group alongside the best under-16s in the country.
“I am certain he will be ready to mix it with the best next year.”