A TEAM of elite young cyclists have powered their way to victory in the first area Wattbike championship.

Staff and students at Carmel College, Darlington, went head to head with teams from Darlington School of Mathematics and Science, Haughton Education Village, Bishop Barrington School and St John’s School, Bishop Auckland, to sprint for first place at the indoor cycling competition.

Comprising one boy and girl from each year group and two teachers, the teams each took turns to cycle one kilometre with maximum points awarded to those finishing in the fastest times.

Carmel College stormed ahead to take the gold medal position with a score of 82 points over closest rivals DSMS with 52 points.

Assistant curriculum leader for PE at Carmel College Peter Philips, who triumphed in the teachers sprint race with a new schools record of 1 minute 7.15 seconds, said: “Having the Wattbike challenge in school encourages students to try a different sport to those that are available in most schools.

“Cycling is a great way to help young people stay fit and healthy and the Wattbike Challenge is a great way to start to encourage more pupils to take up the sport with an element of good healthy competition.”

Developed in association with British Cycling and used by world and Olympic champions, the Wattbike is designed to replicate the sensation of real cycling and uses the latest in digital technology to monitor speed, cadence and distance to track the cyclists’ progress as they race.

The inter school’s challenge is an annual event organised by Darlington Borough Council’s Local Motion team to increase cycling amongst secondary school pupils.