FREYA Whiteside finished agonisingly outside the podium in the HSBC UK National Cyclo-Cross Championships at Crawley last Sunday.

The 16-year-old from Ilkley was fourth in the junior women’s race at a Sussex course that had been badly affected by mud following heavy rain.

PH-MAS-Paul Milnes Cycles member Whiteside finished in 44min 7.6sec, exactly 16 seconds behind bronze medallist Emily Carrick-Anderson (T-Mo Racing).

Also fourth was Bramhope’s Bjoern Koerdt (Shibden Cycling Club) in the equivalent junior men’s race, although this time the margin between the teenager and the podium was 70 seconds.

Meanwhile, Freya’s elder brother Ethan (Shibden CC) was a solid fifth in the under-23 men’s race.

However, Burley-in-Wharfedale's Alison Kinloch, also a Paul Milnes member, did get on the podium, finishing second in the women’s over-45 race, almost two minutes behind Lucy Siddle (Reifen Racing).

Several riders, including Freya Whiteside and Menston’s Florence Greenhalgh, took advantage of the final round of the Yorkshire Points Series the Sunday before, at the iconic Peel Park course in Bradford, to get in some practice for the nationals.

Whiteside was third in the junior women’s race, while Greenhalgh was third in the under-16 girls’ race, leading serial winner Cat Ferguson (Hope Factory Racing) on the opening lap before fading.

Ilkley Grammar School pupil Whiteside said of her race at Peel Park: “I had a strong start but it is a constantly tough course, very brutal and OI faded a bit and had to change my bike to a different pressure because the conditions got slippier after some rain.

“I jumped back onto my main bike and powered through and finished well.”

As for her career, she said: “It is my dream to be a professional cyclist but if not then I want to be involved in the sports industry somewhere.”

Former Ilkley Cycle Club member Stefan Macina (Shibden Cycling club) won the men’s over-50s race, while Kinloch won the women’s over-40 category.

St Mary’s Menston pupil Greenhalgh went on to be 14th in the under-16 girls’ race at the National Championships at Crawley.

This weekend the focus shifts to the final round of the National Trophy Series at Broughton Hall, near Skipton.

Greenhalgh is third in the under-16 girls’ standings heading into the sixth round, while Kinloch is third in the women’s 40-49 years’ category.

Koerdt is sixth in the junior men’s section and Whiteside 11th in the junior women.