Peters eyes double defence of British crowns

1/6/2013 (SPORT)''The Susie's Youth Track Cycling Meeting took place on Saturday at the Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: Caitlin Peters from Fareham Wheelers Cycling Clun during her time trial for the U12's boys and girls category.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131474-6633)

1/6/2013 (SPORT)''The Susie's Youth Track Cycling Meeting took place on Saturday at the Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: Caitlin Peters from Fareham Wheelers Cycling Clun during her time trial for the U12's boys and girls category.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131474-6633)

80-year-old to pedal 80 miles

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Caitlin Peters is aiming to put omnium heartbreak behind her and claim a memorable British Schools hat-trick.

The Fareham Wheelers talent, 11, narrowly missed out on qualification for the final of the National Youth Track Omnium Championship last weekend.

Forced to race against boys at category C (under-12) level by British Cycling rules, she finished eighth in the southern region – well clear of all her female rivals.

However, only the top five qualify from the six regions to fight for the national crown at Palmer Park next month.

That leaves Peters, who currently tops British Cycling’s national female rankings at her age group, on the sidelines.

There is no time for the Hog Hill GP champion to dwell on her misfortune, though.

Races are coming thick and fast for the Wykeham House student with a British Schools’ double-header in prospect this weekend.

She will tackle the National Hill Climb Championship today before racing for National Hard Track Championship honours tomorrow.

And having taken both titles for the past two years, Peters is gunning for a remarkable treble.

‘In Caitlin’s category, although she was the first girl by a country mile, she finished eighth overall in the southern omnium series,’ explained her father Gareth, who is the quartermaster at Fareham Wheelers.

‘So she will not get invited to the nationals, much to my chagrin.

‘But that’s the way it goes.

‘They race on the track at the same time as the boys and this can put a lot of girls off full stop.

‘That is one of the problems with encouraging girls to race – until you are an under-14 they have to race against the boys.

‘There are some races that are separate but they are very rare.

‘But this weekend she is back on her bike defending both titles she has won for the last two years.

‘She is confident and in good form.

‘I now find myself at the point where, despite my best efforts, sometimes I can’t keep up with her when we are out training!’

Peters, who counts Olympic gold medallist and former i-Team rider Dani King as her inspiration, will then turn her attention to the National Youth Circuit Race Championship in Blackpool on Saturday, July 6.

The 20km race will take place along the seaside town’s North Shore Promenade, with national glory up for grabs.

And after Peters blew her female rivals away in the Hog Hill GP back in April, confidence is high she can confirm her standing as British number one in category C.

Her father added: ‘Caitlin won a huge event at Hog Hill in Essex earlier this season and that was against all her rivals who will be at the national championship.

‘She was the only girl to finish in the lead group that day, which was a great effort.

‘She is a regular member of Guy Watson’s Friday night sessions (Portsmouth School of Cycle Racing) at the Mountbatten Centre.

‘That has been fabulous – and much tribute to Guy for that.

‘I just can’t get her off her bike now!’

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