CYCLING: JOSEPH Allen maintained his good form with a fine win at the Liverpool Century schoolboy races.
Held at Wavertree playground, each U14 race was almost 10k.
In the first, a scratch race, 13-year-old Joe applied pressure from the start to take him away from the other riders, winning three primes on his way to a clear victory.
The handicap race saw him give away more than 600m, but he came into the final straight on the wheel of the first-placed rider, Steven Algate (Mossley CRT).
Despite a spirited sprint, Joe's earlier efforts took their toll and he was unable to overtake. But he settled for second place aware this would give him overall victory.
His sister Laura, 10, also riding for Abesco-Cruden New Brighton CC and supported by the Halton Sports Development Fund, enjoyed a day of mixed emotions.
In the U12 race over 6k, she attacked from the start and took Chelby Clarkson (Mossley CRT) with her.
These two riders pulled away over the space of the first two laps but a determined sprint from Laura to take the first prime saw her drop Clarkson.
The distance between them grew as Laura took a second prime two laps later and eventually the race.
In the handicap race, Laura was given a huge distance to make up and responded magnificently, eating away the arrears at just the correct pace.
Making up 10 seconds on the last lap seemed impossible but she did it and led into the final straight, but her legs failed her in the sprint as Clarkson beat her to the line.
In the final sprint, Laura's rear tyre had deflated with a second puncture.
Although both riders had the same points, and Laura two extra primes, the overall winner was decided on the handicap results so Laura slipped to second overall.
There had been floods of cheers for Joe Allen in the GHS Regional Time-Trial Championships.
Rain left surface water on the roads but Joe defied awful conditions on the eight-mile Bickerstaffe circuit to win the U13 event.
A fine performance saw the New Brighton rider finish nine seconds clear of his nearest challenger Sam Looker, who had travelled from the Isle of Man to compete in this national championship qualifier.
In the North West Track Championships at Kirkby, Joe continued his good form by taking a silver medal in the U14 omnium.
The omnium consists of four events with Joe finishing second in each of them, setting personal bests at 200m sprint (15.14secs) and 500m time-trial (46.48secs).
Laura Allen, stepping up to U12s level after last year's U10s title success, rode superbly in her omnium event.
The only girl in the event, she finished second to Lewis Balycki in the opening three-lap event but rallied to take the 200m sprint (16.53secs) and then rode to victory in the Devil race, ahead of Balycki.
The deciding event was the 500m time trial - a discipline in which Laura had never beaten Balycki. Laura's time was a PB 48.84 secs. Balycki was the last rider off but was unable to beat 50 secs.
Laura was declared the overall winner, again proving her prowess at time-trialling to increase confidence and ability on track.
With the cancellation of the Manchester Tour, both riders' main objectives for the season are complete.
Laura has won three national titles and two regional titles. Joe has taken runner-up in two regional titles and finished first in the Birkenhead Park Series.
During school holidays, both riders are to take part in a sponsored bike ride of 50 miles or more in one day to raise money for Sts Peter and Paul High School's sports specialist college bid.