Tuesday, 18 June 2019


 Ryan Jackson – Road Cycling -  London Youth Games 2019-Sunday 16th June

The London Youth Games is an annual sporting event were children across the London boroughs compete in many different sports. The road cycling event for the 2019 LYG took place on Sunday 16th June at the Lee Valley Velopark, this being the venue of the 2012 Olympic games track racing events. The facility has a 1 mile road circuit that typically hosts road cycling events through the year.  Ryan Jackson (11 years old, year 6), representing Havering and his school Mead Primary, took part in the road event in the u12 time trial event along with 60 other competitors.  Ryan is very familiar with the circuit, having raced it several times in road race events and also individually in time trials, something which he excels at.  The time trial is a race against the clock, with individual riders starting on their own with 1 minute intervals separating the riders. The aim; set the fastest time for the course.  The distance for the race on Sunday was for just under 2 miles on the road circuit, a relatively short distance for Ryan who is typically riding 10 mile time trials.

The first rider off, Samual Little (Lewisham) set the initial mark at 6:07.098, this was swiftly bettered by Freddy Augsburger (Hackney) with a time 5:21.041. Ryan started 5 minutes after Freddy at number 13, thankfully no bad luck for Ryan, as he stormed around the course. Ryan's time of 5:12.688 flashed up on the electronic timing score board, over 8 seconds faster than Freddy, which was enough to take him to the top spot and a earned him a place in what is known as the “hot seat” in time trial events. This was accompanied by an agonising wait as he watched the times of the remaining riders flash up on the screen (though watching a screen is something that Ryan also does very well).

As it was only one other rider, Aaron Harris (Bromley) was able to get any closer with a time of 5:20.120, which meant that Ryan held on to take the gold medal in this event by just over 7 seconds.

Ryan's performance was exceptional, it is not an easy event requiring a great deal of technique, endurance and speed. However the level of concentration for this event is something that even an adult would find very hard, mistakes add up very quickly and the margins for winning are not that great.  Ryan trains very hard for his cycling events, having racked up around 4,000km last year and often reaches speeds of 60 km/h.  The average speed of Ryan's ride on Sunday was 36.842 km/h (23 mph).

This event was a once in a lifetime chance for Ryan and we are all very proud that he was able to take the opportunity and produce such a wonderful ride and memories that will last a lifetime.