Stroud Green maintains lead as North Harringay takes Round 5

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After missing out in the roller racing round in March, Stroud Green returned to the League last month to recover a healthy lead at the top of the standings in the trophy competition.

But it was North Harringay who stole the day on points and secured the most wins. The former champions dominated both the boys and girls 26” category heats, winning five out of the six races. But despite taking the Girls 26” A-final in a thrilling race to the line, they fell short in the Boys 26” A, beaten by strong rides from St. Aidan’s and Belmont.

Risley had similar success in the 24” category, taking wins in both the Boys and Girls heats, and the Girls 24” A-final. The Boys 24” A-final saw one of the closest League wins in years, with Risley and Stroud Green finishing in a dead heat that only transponders or photo-finish cameras could have separated.

St. Aidan’s had a good day, taking one of the Girls 24” heats, both 26” C-finals and the Boys 26” A-final.

St. Mary’s backed up their win in one of the Boys 24” heats with a first place in the Boys 26” B-final.

See the full results and points-per-school.

Round 5 course

The course layout for Round 5

The schools raced three laps on a dry, fast-running course, negotiating a complex series of turns before a fast return straight. Riders needed to be first into the turns so as to avoid getting held up behind others in the technical section.

Riders who were more confident in the tight corners were obviously at an advantage — though some were adept at letting the lead rider stay in front until the final lap, when they moved ahead to take the sprint for the line.

With just one scoring round to go, this has become the closest competition in years. Stroud Green currently have an 89-point lead at the top, but only 26 points separate 2nd and 3rd places.

Only the top five rounds of each school will count in the trophy competition, so the final round could see some changes in the podium positions!

Standings after Round 5

League standings after Round 5.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Roller racing returns to the League

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January’s postponed roller racing round took place last week at St. Mary’s CE Primary School.

Normally a winter event, when the local parks are too soggy for racing, roller racing is a great way of keeping schools racing through the cold and wet weather.

Five schools took part in the racing, using the League’s new set up with Kreitler roller racing stations, Frog track bikes and OpenSprints electronics and software.

Four riders at a time sprint over a virtual 500m on fixed bikes mounted on rollers, with progress displayed on a screen.

It’s fast — and loud!

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Watch Year 6 roller racing in action (video credit: RAPS)

Congratulations to St. Aidan’s Y6 boys for setting the fastest time of 30.24” — a time so fast we had to check the equipment was set up correctly!

North Harringay’s Y6s got the best girls time of 31.21”.

St. Aidan’s scored again with the fastest Year 4 time of the day, with 32.38” — the 8th fastest time out of a total of 49 riders across the three year groups.

Belmont and St. Mary’s had the fastest Y5 boy (32.93”) and girl (37.02”) respectively.

Risley were joint winners of the day with St. Aidan’s, notching up 248 points each.

See the full results and points-per-school.

This leaves the points competition delicately poised, with three schools within 30 points of each other – and just two points separating Belmont and North Harringay!

But this is all this likely to change over the next two rounds, as only each school’s top five rounds will get counted for the final tally.

Even so, this is shaping up to be the League’s closest competition in years.

Standings after Roller Racing
League standings after the latest round.

Round 5 on 29th April will see a return to racing on grass at Downhills Park.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

St. Aidan’s win at Ducketts

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St. Aidan’s claimed an emphatic Round 4 points victory at Ducketts Common last Friday. Their riders won four races – including two B finals – and amassed 234 points to finish the day on top.

Only Stroud Green could come close in points (229), maintaining its customary control over the Girls 24” category to take both heats and the A final. Risley dominated in the Boys 24”, winning one of the heats and both finals.

North Harringay won the A final and two of the three heats in the Girls 26”. Belmont won the Girls 26” B final although, down one rider, they couldn’t repeat their Round 3 success and were overtaken by St. Mary’s in the day’s points.

See the full results and points-per-school.

With three more scoring rounds to go, the League standings after Round 4 have Belmont and North Harringay vying for position behind Stroud Green in the trophy competition.

League standings after Round 4

League standings after Round 4

But it’s not all about the points. The day saw some of the most exciting riding of this year’s League as riders negotiated an exceptionally twisty course with skill and determination, sometimes using techniques in the hairpins more at home in speedway.

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The “Ducketts Diablo”: hairpins, switchbacks and a fast return straight!

No cornering skills needed for our next event, however, when the League will see a welcome return to roller racing.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Belmont edge ahead to take Round 3

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Round 3 of the 2021-22 League saw a return to racing at Ducketts Common for the final event of the year.

Forty-five riders from five schools competed in a series of 15 races on a mercifully dry cyclo-cross course.

St. Aidan’s maintained their impressive form from the last round, winning all but one of their B-finals — despite fielding the smallest team of only seven riders.

North Harringay took the most race wins overall, including both the Boys 26” and Girls 26” A-finals. But it was Belmont’s consistency at finishing in the top three that saw them accrue the most points (252), just pipping Stroud Green’s 250 points to take the day.

Stroud Green’s lead in the overall standings remains unthreatened for now — though the race for second and third between Belmont and North Harringay is heating up.

See the full results and points-per-school.

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League standings after Round 3

Round 4 — an indoor roller racing event postponed due to the pandemic — will be rescheduled in February.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Year 4s centre stage at Round 2

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Round 2 saw the second highest attendance in the League’s 9-year history, with 66 riders from seven schools taking part in 20 races on an MTB course in Finsbury Park.

The day also had one of the largest numbers of younger riders taking part, with most schools taking advantage of the bonus points on offer to Year 4s.

But the youngest year group didn’t need the help of points incentives to make their mark on the day. Year 4 riders took six race wins — two of them A-finals — and seven podium places in the finals.

Stroud Green continued to dominate the racing overall, taking 6 race wins and accruing 266 points.

Belmont and North Harringay tied for second place at 229 points, with NHP winning four races, including two finals.

St. Aidan’s won the most finals (3) and came third overall in the points tally, with 227 points.

See the full results and points-per-school.

Standings after Round 2
League standings after Round 2

Special thanks to all schools, parents and volunteers for helping to make one of our largest race events a success.

Round 3 will be at Ducketts Common on 3rd December.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

2021-22 League gets underway

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The League’s first full season in three years got underway last Friday at Ducketts Common.

58 riders from six primary schools competed on a longer, albeit less technical, course than normal that proved to be an endurance test for riders more familiar with the tight turns and fast finishes of previous races.

Stroud Green, Belmont, North Harringay and Risley were joined by  St. Mary’s (making a welcome return) and newcomers Ferry Lane.

Continuing their dominant form shown in our post-lockdown mini-series, Stroud Green won the day by a wide margin. They won eight of the day’s 16 races — including three out of four A-finals — to finish on 255 points.

Belmont and North Harringay came next, taking three races each and finishing with 210 and 199 points respectively.

Ferry Lane ended their first day’s racing with the League with 195 points, winning their Girls 26″ race and coming 2nd in the A-final.

St. Mary’s finished at 192 points, and were one of only two schools to include year 4 riders in their team. They won their Boys 24″ race, and notched up an impressive five 2nd places across the day’s events.

Fielding a team of only eight riders, Risley were at a disadvantage compared to larger teams and finished the day with 178 points.

Round 2 will be at Finsbury Park on 5th November.

See the full results and points-per-school.

Standings after Round 1
League standings after Round 1

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

Stroud Green: post-lockdown champions!

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Stroud Green continued their winning form last Friday at Downhills Park to take the post-lockdown race series by a comfortable margin.

Stroud Green’s dominance was tested by a resurgent Risley team — the only other school to take part in each of the three rounds.

They were joined by the current title holders North Harringay, making a welcome return to the League.

Risley took control of the boys 24” and 26” categories, winning all but two races after one of their riders was relegated for repeated and deliberate swerving into another.

The girls races were fairly well split between Stroud Green and North Harringay, with three wins each and, for the most part, sharing second places.

The balance shifted back to Stroud Green during the mixed finals, with the school winning three out of the five races.

But it was Risley’s new-found strength and confidence that marked the day. Tired of trailing behind Stroud Green, they came determined to win the round — and they would have, too, if not for their rider’s relegation. Five wins and seven 2nd places: their best result of the series.

Consistency, though, is everything, and no team was able to mount a serious challenge to Stroud Green’s command in the standings.

See the full results and points-per-school.

Round 4 standings
League standings after Round 4

Thank you to all the schools, volunteers and parents for their support and enthusiasm as we sought to get our League back on track after so many months. And for your patience on race day as we fumbled with our face masks, sanitised bikes and did what we could to make race days as safe as possible without killing too much of the fun.

We look forward to returning with our normal calendar of monthly races in the new school year, with a full complement of schools.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

MTB racing in Finsbury Park

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After a gap of three years, the League returned to MTB racing in Finsbury Park for the penultimate round in the post-lockdown mini-series.

With just two schools taking part, riders were able to compete in multiple races, boosting their teams’ standings with the extra points on offer.

Normally held in autumn or early spring, the track was a lot drier than in previous years. Despite the lack of mud, it was still a technical course which needed skill and confidence to handle at speed — and stamina for the uphill return straight.

The day saw expert bike handling by some riders who negotiated the twists and sharp turns with apparent ease. And there were the usual close finishes that make the races such fun to spectate.

The lack of riders on the day meant that some races were mixed categories, and the boys and girls races were combined in the three finals. It was great to see the girls giving the boys a run for their money, taking top spots in both the A and B finals.

Stroud Green maintained a comfortable lead over Risley (who were down two riders), winning most of the races (save the Boys 26”, which Risley dominated) and the team relay. Risley ended the day with 179 points, with Stroud Green on 265.

See the full results and points-per-school.

Round 3 Standings
League standings after Round 3

But the fights to cross the line first are only part of the story. 

In the day’s racing, we saw riders crash dramatically — and get back on and finish the race. There were riders who chased hard from the back, just so they could move up one place. And riders for whom just getting round the course was an achievement in itself.

So, while everyone races to win, what defines their win will not be the same for all.

The league’s final event this term will be on 9th July at Downhills Park.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

How fast is your school?

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We think all primary school children should have the opportunity to experience the sheer fun of racing on bikes. To help new schools give it a try, we can now bring cycle racing directly to your school — indoors!

Using our brand new Frog track bikes mounted on Kreitler Goldsprints rollers, and hooked up to OpenSprints electronics, we can run roller racing sessions in your school’s gym or hall.

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Roller racing is an easy way for schools to introduce bike racing to children — even those who aren’t too confident on two wheels. Four riders at a time pedal as fast as they can on our static bikes, while their progress round a virtual course is projected on the wall in front of them. It’s fun, fast and noisy! And because the races are quick, there’s usually time for several classes to have a go.

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So, just how fast is your school?

We’ve been running a mini roller-racing series in the latter days of lockdown with some of our regular schools — and getting some impressive times over 500m races (that’s two laps of the Olympic Velodrome).

We’re especially keen to hear from Haringey primary schools that haven’t taken part in the cycling league before. So here’s the challenge: can you beat our schools’ top times?

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Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.

And we’re back…! School racing returns to Haringey’s parks

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Last Friday, the Haringey Schools Cycling League held its first outdoor race event since the easing of the pandemic lockdown.

Belmont Junior, Risley and Stroud Green primaries raced on a cyclo-cross course at Belmont Recreation Ground, as a part of a mini post-lockdown series.

And it was close: Belmont and Stroud Green were evenly matched, with either one taking first or second spots in most of the afternoon’s races. Risley, who fielded the smallest team, dominated in the Boys 26″ B-Final. In the end, Belmont edged in front of Stroud Green by just one point. See the full scores and points-per-school.

Mini-series standings so far

The day also marked the first event since the League became an independent, British Cycling-affiliated club.

The league has also been running a series of indoor roller racing days at primary schools in Haringey. If you’d like us to come to your school, please contact us for details.

The league’s next event will be an MTB race on 25 June at Finsbury Park.

Find out more about the Haringey Schools Cycling League. If you’d like your school to take part, see How to Join.