Windermere schoolboy, Leon Parker, has become the Under 10 North West Cyclocross League Champion, as well as the Under 10 North of England Champion.
Leon, a pupil at the Elleray Campus of Windermere School and a former UK BMX British and National Champion, has been racing in the North West Cyclocross League this winter. Thanks to his remarkable record of eleven wins out of the thirteen races in his age group, Leon took the league title in the Under 10 category.
Leon was also crowned the Under 10 North of England Champion following his recent victory in the North of England Cyclocross Championships, which were held at Peel Park in Bradford. This event was a one-off competition and included competitors from the Yorkshire and North East regions, as well as the North West region. The course itself tests even the most experienced of riders and has been described as one of the best courses in the country. Leon got off to a fantastic start, racing into an early lead in difficult conditions. Despite stiff competition, Leon was able to hold on to his lead all the way to the finish, and in doing so became the Under 10 North of England Cyclocross Champion.
Leon, who is a member of Salt Ayre Cog Set, a cycling club for six to eighteen year olds, now has tour racing firmly in his sights.
Says Leon; “I’ve really enjoyed taking part in the cyclocross racing series. It’s pretty tricky with lots of obstacles, but it’s great fun. The league only runs in autumn and winter, so in spring and summer I want to take part in some tours, so I will need to train hard.”
Leon has already been offered place in the ‘Tour of Assen’ in the Netherlands. Dubbed the ‘Youth Tour de France’, this is arguably the biggest cycle race in the world for anyone aged between five and eighteen years of age. Riders come from all over the world, many gaining their first real experience of tour riding. As in any grand tour, the riders in each age range compete for the coveted classification jerseys.
The Isle Of Man Youth Tour, which takes place in May, is another event which has caught Leon’s eye. This is a three-day stage race on the roads around the Isle of Man, and is part of British Cycling’s Youth Circuit Series and Junior Road Series.
Stuart Parker, Leon’s father, is very proud of his son’s achievements; “We’re absolutely thrilled for Leon. He has worked very hard to improve his cyclocross skills, so to become the Under 10 North West League Champion and North of England Cyclocross Champion are fantastic achievements. He loves riding his bikes and is already preparing for the road racing season – he’s already looking forward to the Tour of Assen and he hopes to be offered a place in the Isle of Man Youth Tour.”
Rachael Thomas, Head of the Elleray Campus at Windermere School, added;
“Over the years, we have been following Leon’s triumphs, first on his BMX and now in the cyclocross series. We are thrilled with his latest achievements and look forward to hearing all about his exploits in the Netherlands, and hopefully from the Isle of Man.”
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.