CHARLES Walker won a close sprint finish to claim victory in Halesowen Cycling Club's Billy Jones Memorial Race.

The contest was the culmination of the club's popular Friday night track league last week.

Throughout the summer Halesowen Cycling Club has historically run a track league on Friday nights featuring some of the strongest riders in the region in the A category through to junior events for those just starting in the sport.

The event comprises a number of races each week mirroring those seen at the World Championships and Olympics.

The Billy Jones Memorial Race was run as the climax to Friday evening's track league racing, with a strong A category field competing for the prestigious award over 10 miles, or 40 laps of the Halesowen track.

The final winner was Charles Walker, a former Halesowen member now with Spirit Tifosi RT, who took a close sprint finish from the current track league leader Jake White of Wolverhampton.

Meanwhile, this week the Halesowen academy team face their biggest challenge yet when a team of six competes in the Junior Tour of Ireland in County Clare.

Simon Wyllie, Henry Lloyd-Langston, David Hird, Jonathan Cull, Josh Field and Oscar Laight will have an international field to contend with in the six stages totalling more than 400 miles.

Elsewhere in the National Series Girls U16 held at Oliver’s Mount Scarborough Kinga Ingram took a fine fourth place leading the bunch over the line as three riders had earlier got away. Zoe Backstedt had earlier attacked on this hilly circuit winning by over a minute form her breakaway companion.

In the boys U14, Tomos Pattinson from Halesowen managed one place better getting onto the podium and distancing himself from the peloton by five seconds to take an excellent third place.