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25 September 2015
2015 BRITISH CYCLING NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY ONE RESULTS ROUND-UP
Results from day one of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where Laura Trott and Andy Tennant took the individual pursuit titles, Katy Marchant won gold in the women’s sprint, Matt Crampton took gold in the men’s keirin, Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (pilot) took the para-cycling time trial BVI title and an inspirational Kadeena Cox won her first national para-cycling time trial title (C1-5).
Day 1 Afternoon Session
Women’s Sprint 200m Flying Lap
Defending Champion Jessica Varnish starts her Sprint Jersey with the second fastest 200m Flying Lap whilst Katy Marchant leads the way with a 11.030. Up-coming Victoria Williamson sets a 11.270 behind former Double World Champion Becky James at 11.294.
The top twelve riders qualify to the next heat.
Katy Marchant Unattached 11.030
Jessica Varnish Team V-Sprint Racing 11.149
Victoria Williamson VC Norwich 11.270
Rebecca James Abergavenny RC 11.294
Rachel James Abergavenny RC 11.585
Sophie Capewell Lichfield City CC 11.616
Anna Newton Unattached 11.877
Eleanor Richardson Edinburgh RC 11.961
Ellie Coster Team USN 12.036
Robyn Stewart Glasgow Sprint TCT 12.143
Lauren Quenby Swinnerton Cycles 12.186
Neah Evans Glasgow Sprint TCT 12.215
Neah Evans takes an impressive first heat against Katy Marchant.
Jessica Varnish takes heat two against Lauren Quenby
Victoria Williamson takes heat three against Robyn Stewart
Ellie Coster takes heat four against Becky James
Rachel James takes heat five against Eleanor Richardson
Anna Newton takes heat six against Sophie Capewell
Katy Marchant re-joins the event the harder way, through the repechage.
Eleanor Richardson also re-joins the event through the repechage heat two.
The biggest upset of the afternoon was defending Sprint Champion Jessica Varnish losing out to Katy Marchant in the quarter finals.
Men’s 4000m Pursuit Qualifying
Andrew Tennant (Team WIGGINS) qualifies quickest in the final heat of the 4000m IP setting a time of 4.23.908, beating Germain Burton 100% ME by almost a second. Team mate Jon Dibben qualifies third with Mathew Gibson fourth.
Andrew Tennant Team WIGGINS 4.23.908
Germain Burton 100% ME 4.24.751
Jon Dibben Team WIGGINS 4.25.754
Matthew Gibbson 100% ME 4.27.728
Oil Wood 100% ME 4.28.241
Mark Stewart 100% ME 4.29.022
Daniel Bigham Beeline Bicycles RT 4.33.382
Chris Latham 100% ME 4.33.819
Jake Kelly 100% ME 4.34.469
Angus Claxton Glasgow Cycle Team 4.35.042
Women’s 300m Pursuit Qualifying
Defending Women’s 3000m IP Champion Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l) qualifies quickest in the final heat for Gold play-off in a time of 3.31.327. Laura Trott set the bench mark in the previous heat taking three seconds off Archibald’s Team Mate Ciara Horne, whom had led at that point. Joanna Rowsell Shand will join them for the bronze medal playoff later this evening.
Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.31.327
Laura Trott Matrix Fitness 3.32.505
Ciara Horne Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.35.579
Jo Rowsell Shand Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.35.941
Elinor Barker Matrix Fitness 3.37.892
Emily Kay Team USN 3.40.736
Dame Sarah Storey Pear Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.41.370
Manon Lloyd Team USN 3.43.227
Para Cycling Time Trials
The first podiums of the event were the Mixed Para Cycling C1-5 Standing Start Time Trial Category.
Collecting the Gold Medal and the new National Champion was Kadeena Cox, FC2, Unattached setting a factored time of 1.00.534. It wasn’t what she expected, telling the audience afterwards.
Silver went to Lauren Booth, YBFC4, Carnac-Planet X with a factored time of 1.07.602.
Bronze went to Rik Waddon, MC3, Para-T with a factored time of 1.10.193
C1-5 Finals Result
Gold: Kadeena Cox (Unattached) 40.591 (factored time 1.00.534)
Silver: Lauren Booth (Carnac-Planet X) 41.152 (factored time 1.07.602)
Bronze: Rik Waddon (Para T) 1.15.185 (factored time 1.10.193)
The second podium of the event before breaking for the evening session was the Mixed Para Cycling BVI Standing Start 1000m Time Trial Category.
World Champions Sophie Thornhill and her pilot Helen Scott, both Performance Cycle Coaching collected the Gold Medal to become the new National Champions. Setting a factored time of 1.00.265. Both girls had given it all they had to clinch the title, afterwards they lay on the floor giggling with joy!
Silver Medal went to World Champions Neil Fachie and his pilot Peter Mitchell, both Black Line, setting a factored time of 1.02.631.
Bronze Medal went to Laura Cluxton, Road And Road Cycles and her pilot Lyndsay Carson, Team Thompson Cycles with a factored time of 1.07.710
BVI Mixed 1000m Finals Result
Gold: Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (pilot) (Performance Cycle Coaching) 1.08.709 (factored time 1.00.265)
Silver: Neil Fachie and Peter Mitchell (pilot) (Black Line) 1.02.631 (factored time 1.02.631)
Bronze: Laura Cluxton (Road and Road Cycles) and Lyndsey Carson (pilot, Team Thomson Cycles) 1.17.198 (factored time 1.07.710)
Day 1 Evening Session
3000m Women’s IP Finals
In a thrilling Gold play-off, Laura Trott, Matrix accelerated in the dying laps to reclaim the Women’s 3000m Pursuit Title from last years title holder Katie Archibald.
Ciara Horne, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l rode into the Bronze Medal position against team-mate Joanna Rowsell Shand.
Gold: Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness) 3.32.759
Silver: Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) 3.33.065
Bronze: Ciara Horne (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) 3.37.262
Joanna Rowsell Shand
Dame Sarah Story
4000m Men’s IP Finals
Timing his effort to perfection, Andrew Tennant, Team WIGGINS took the Men’s National 4000m Pursuit Title. Leading the race for Gold through most of the session, Germain Burton, 100% ME looked like he was going to pull the title out of the bag, but Tennant showed his experience, kept his nerve, and turned the gas up the closing laps to become the new National Champion.
Gold: Andrew Tennant (Team Wiggins) 4.23.583
Silver: Germain Burton (100% ME) 4.27.209
Bronze: Jonathan Dibben (Team Wiggins) 4.24.906
Men’s Keirin Finals
Matt Crampton, Unattached, takes the 2015 Keirin title.
Matt had sat in the middle of the pack on the approach to the final lap and went around the outside to clinch the title from Oliva and Thomas Rotherham. Jason Kenny took fourth, Matt Rotherham fifth and Jon Mitchell sixth.
The Keirin had got off to a good start for Matt Crampton winning the first heat of the day. He then went on to win the semis too.
A huge crash in the second heat of the first round, saw four riders flying through the air bringing their Championship dreams to an end. Luckily they all got up from the track.
Gold: Matt Crampton (Unattached)
Silver: Lewis Oliva (Team USN)
Bronze: Thomas Rotherham (Sportcity Velo)
Women’s Sprint Finals
Katy Marchant claims her first National Sprint Title. Winning the European Title earlier on this year has build on that success, beating former double World Champion Becky James, Abergavenny RC in both rounds.
Victoria Williamson, VC Norwich beat Eleanor Richardson for the Bronze Medal in two straight sets.
Former National Sprint Champion Jess Varnish, Team V-Sprint Racing won the minor finals for fifth followed by Rachel James, sixth, Sophie Capewell, seventh and Neah Evans, eighth.
Gold: Katy Marchant (Unattached)
Silver: Becky James (Abergavenny RC)
Bronze: Victoria Williamson (VC Norwich)
Saturday 14th March 2015, Revolution 51
So we come to the end of another thrilling Revolution Series and what a treat it’s been, some of the worlds best sprinters and endurance riders mixing it up with top British Junior riders.
The finale of the season was held at it’s home track in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre where team Maloja Pushbikers stormed to victory in the Revolution Championship, Eleanor Dickinson and Rhys Britton took the young riders podiums in the HOY Future Stars Championships with consistent and tactical racing skills through this long season. The Championship crown didn’t go without a challenge, ORICA GreenEDGE were determined to upset the results with their bullish gutsy attacks and wins throughout the evening, Maloja Pushbikers had to work hard to remain on top. The nearest rivals to the HOY Future Stars top spot put in a fight too, Sophie Capewell and Fred Wright were in every attack with their teams.
The afternoon got underway much to the disappointment of the crowd with the absence of headline sprinting star Jason Kenny who adorned the cover of the race programme. Jason pulled out of the meet after feeling unwell earlier in the morning. There was still a cracking line up for the sprint competitions with the likes of John Paul (Scotland), Lewis Olivia (GB) and Charlie Conord of France in the mix, all of which made it through the afternoons qualifying races to proceeding to the evenings action.
Elite Championship Flying Lap Men
Alex Edmondson of Orica GreenEDGE posted the best time, winning in a time of 13.487, 2nd was Achim Berkart of JLT Condor in a time of 13.858, and the rest of the riders posted above the 14 second mark with Leif Lampater (Maloja Pushbikers) posting a time of 14.014 in 3rd place.
Elite Championship Points Race (30km) Men
Alex Edmondson @ORICA_GreenEDGE storms to a win in the with a lead of 7 points with one laps to go, 2nd is @Maloja Pushbikes Leif Lampater starting the day off strongly, 3rd Achim Burkart.
UCI Mens Hour Record Attempt
Before the evenings Championship events got underway we saw Gustav Larsson take on the Hour Record. He was running a 58:14 schedule for his hour attempt. With 10km raced he was 13.03 seconds down and 1min 18 secs adrift at the halfway point. Unfortunately the clock worked against him and he saw the UCI Hour Record slip away from him. 50.160km gave him a new Swedish Hour Record. You can view Gustav’s times by clicking here.
Hour Record Holders under the new Unified rules set in 2014. Starting the renewed interest in the hour record, recently retired German Pro Cycling Jens Voigt set the benchmark of 51.110, the oldest holder of the record on 18th Sept 2014. He was followed by:
Matthias Brandle (Swi) managed a time of 51.852 30 in Oct 2014
Jack Bobridge (Aus), attempted the record on 31st Jan 2015 in Melbourne but fell short.
The current Record Holder is Rohan Dennis (Aus), who set his time on 8th Feb 2015 in Switzerland, WR 52.491
Alex Dowsett, was meant to ride the hour on 29th Feb 2015, but it was postponed with a possible April date rumoured. Alex is on the mend since his collarbone break and is back in training to tackle the record. Suggestions estimate a 17.1s lap average to beat Rohan Dennis’s time, around 53Kmph.
Other possible contenders this year include:
Bradley Wiggins – June 07th London
Elimination Race Women
Elimination womens race Brit Tate was first out. The race continued to drop riders off the back with 5 riders left in the womens elimination race Laura Trott appeared to be comfortable in her favoured style of riding (dangling off the back until she’s required to move to save her skin). After dropping some of the big names (Kay, Rowsell, Curtis & Barker) the final sprint for the line was between Laura Trott & Leire Olaberria of Spain, Laura won comfortably, it seems sitting on the devils tail suits Laura just fine.
Elite Championship Scratch Race (15km)Men
22 riders lined up for the mens Scratch race with vital Championship point up for grabs it was a two team race with Orica and Maloja fighting over the last few scraps of the championships spoils, Maloja Pushbikes lead the competition with 243 points. The Orica boys really needed Christian and Leif to struggle but there was no sign of that, there appeared to be tactics at play from Maloja, only making an effort when required and often sitting near the back and moving forward when there was a danger of Orica getting away. A change of tactics with 25 laps to go 11 riders broke off the front and gained half a lap. 4 riders break free from this lead group with Christian Grasmann leading them. At the 20 lap to go mark Joel Partington retires. Christian’s team mate Leif Lampater takes control on the front for a period with every move being watched by the Orica GreenEDGE boys who appear to have blistering speed to react to manoeuvres. At the 9 lap mark Trodden & De Ketele breakaway but to no avail.
The menace of Orica GreenEDGE’s Alex Edmondson & Miles Scotson force riders to react, along with Maloja’s Christian Grasmann they force all the riders to the top of the track as they get ready for the final sprint.
The form of Alex Edmondson is apparent as he looks like a pure sprinter as he attacks, Leif Lampater responds but has to settle for 2nd in what was a thrilling finish to the Scratch Race, unfortunately Orica didn’t really want to take Leif to the finish line with them as they just offset the valuable Orica points for the Championship, this was going to be a hard fought night of cycling and the Aussies meant business!
HOY Future Stars Scratch Race (5km) Boys
Going into the boys competition Rhys Britton was leading the championship with 400 points with 2nd placed rider Fred Wright on 354 points so it was all to play for. It was a high octane race, with 6 laps to go Anthony Anderson went off the front followed by Jamie Ridehalgh in a bid to win from the front, unfortunately the tactic didn’t work and the pack came back together with Fred Wright winning ahead of Matthew Draper and 3rd place was mopped up by Tom Piddock.
HOY Future Stars Scratch Race (5km) Girls
It appeared it was going to be an attacking evening of racing in all competition levels, but with 14 laps to go Sophie Capewell was striking out the peloton but the pack were carefully watching each other. It was a twitchy race. At 9 laps to go Monica Dew Hope took to the front for team Ignitr. In the closing laps of the race Esme Niblett for Madison Genesis held the front with the most active riders of the race sat on her wheel. When it came to the sprint for the line Sophie Capewell crossed the line first with Anna Docherty and Jess Roberts on her wheel taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Revolution Longest Lap (24 riders) Men
Joel Partington of Madison Genesis decided he wanted to hug the start line at the top of the track and take the risk of being close to it until the gun went, it was a tactic that paid off, he managed to use his position and height to comfortably sprint to the finish with 2nd and 3rd placed riders breaking away with him. Joe Holt 2nd for Team USN and 3rd pace was Alex Edmondson of Orica GreenEDGE who was fast becoming the elite rider of the evening, he made sure he was in the mix in every one of his races.
UCI Scratch Race (10km) Women
The 40 lap race was all set to be a zinger, Jo Rowsell attacked 10 laps in and with a small group following her broke away. Jo managed to shake of the riders with her and went on to gain half to three quarters of a lap but she couldn’t break the elastic between her and the chasing pack. Laura Trott was sat in the wheels for the majority of the race as the crowd waited for her to attack, unfortunately for Jo she was drawn back into the peloton and the attack was left late by the riders and the race was taken by Ellie Coster, Laura only managed 3rd place with Katie Curtis taking 2nd, certainly not what the crowd expected but it was a brilliant tactical ride by Ellie Coster.
With no Jason Kenny in the line up the competition wasn’t as spicy but the riders present put on a real show for the crowds. the Semi final was a match up of Lewis Oliva vs Jonathan Mitchell, Lewis knocked Jonathan out in two rounds after Mitchell was relegated for not holding his race line, no need for a decider. The face off between Charlie Conord of France and John Paul, went to just two rounds with Charlie being the victor in both to take him through to the race for gold with Lewis Olivia. In the end John Paul beat Jonathan Mitchell to the bronze without too much fuss.
The final ended up with Conord and Olivia taking a race each, it came to a decider. Not to be outdone the sprinters decided to show the crowd their track stand, it led to a frantic finish and the Frenchman won by a slim margin of 9cms on the line, it was confirmed on the velodrome screen to cheers from the crowd.
HOY Future Stars 6 Lap Dash Boys
The boys didn’t hold back with the race living up to it’s name, Rhys Britton and Fred Wright winding up the last few laps to fight for their valuable championship points, Rhys Britton won with Fred Wright 2nd and Matthew Draper 3rd, there seemed to be a group of usual suspects heading the peloton in the boys races for the evening.
HOY Future Stars 6 Lap Dash Girls
The 6 lap Dash was won by the consistently great Sophie Capewell ahead of Eve Jefferies and Megan Chard, Ellie Dickinson came in a close 4th.
Elite Championship Madison Time Trial Men
The mens Madison is always a favourite of mine and it didn’t disappoint. Alex Edmondson actually struck quite an intimidating figure with his very strong riding style throughout the evening, he was like the Terminator on a bike, he and team mate Miles Scotson didn’t disappoint with their unbeatable time in the Madison TT, posting a time of 56.181, Team Maloja Pushbikers came in 2nd place but over one second down (57.862) JLT Condor were a whole second off their place (58.817) with the rest of the teams scattered between 58.896 and 1:00.840.
HOY Future Stars Points Race (5km) Boys
20 laps of the track and Fred Wright managed to get himself into every sprint earning valuable points. Rhys Britton managed to contest some points too stopping Fred from running away with all the goodies. Other riders who put in strong rides were Turnbull, Walls, Longstaff and Stewart, all contesting more than one of the sprints. The final race results where: 10 points to Fred Wright, 8 to Britton and 5 each for Longstaff and Stewart.
HOY Future Stars Points Race (5km) Girls
Another triumphant win for Sophie Capewell, the cherry on her championship cake, she won the first and final sprints of the race giving her an unassailable win of 10 points. Eleanor Dickinson came 2nd with 6 points and 3rd was Rebecca Raybould with 5 points, a close 4th was taken by Emily Tillett who also got 5 points but on count back hadn’t featured in the more than one sprint which was in the middle of the race to earn her points. Raybould.
Elite Championship Team Elimination Men
The elimination came down to the two teams of the evening and series, Maloja Pushbikers and Orica GreenEDGE. Int the final sprint Orica had more fuel left in the tank, no idea how since Alex Edmondson seemed to be over every move in every race of the day. A great win for Orica GreenEDGE who came away with the most points on the evening but sadly not enough for them to topple the consistency high scoring Maloja Pushbikers team of Christian Grasmann and Leif Lampater.
The last final of the 2014/15 Revolution Series was the UCI Keirin. It appeared the earlier racing had taken it’s toll on Charlie Conords legs as he came in 6th. The Czech rider Tomas Babek won with GB riders Lewis Olivia and John Paul jostling for position, coming in 2nd & 3rd respectively.
You can view the full Revolution 51 and final Championship results here.
The Revolution returns back to Freeview Television this series. The highlights will be shown the Saturday morning after the event on Channel 4. Then on 4OD catch-up on line.
Catch up with the highlights on Saturday 21st March at 7.00am. Presenting the one hour show will be Matt Barbet, Sian Welby, & Rebecca Charlton with Guest Presenter
The next round of Revolution, Season 13, will be back later in 2015 with Race 52.
It looks like there will be some changes to the Revolution Series for the 2015/16 season as it continues to evolve and dominate the track season in the UK, so watch this space for more information as it’s released!
NEXT SEASON TICKETS
A reminder that tickets for next season will go on sale on Monday 13th April exclusively to past customers – these will be available at a special discounted price to say thank you for your support again this season. Tickets will then go on sale a week later to British Cycling members and customers who pre-register for tickets here . Tickets will be on general release on 1st May.
©Alex Broadway/SWpix.com – 2014 British Cycling National Track Championships – Day 4 – Men’s 30km Points Race Final.
Results from day four of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where Jess Varnish’s perfect week continued as she and Dannielle Khan successfully defended their team sprint title, Laura Trott took victory in the women’s scratch, Callum Skinner made it three titles in three days with his keirin win and Mark Stewart won the points race title. Lewis Oliva also took a dramatic tumble in the semi final of the Men’s Sprint against Matt Crampton, Matt did amazingly well to stay upright.
British Cycling Sprint Championships presented by FIAT – Men
Gold: Callum Skinner (The Rigmar Racers)
Silver: Matthew Crampton
Bronze: Philip Hindes (Sprint-Team)
Women’s Team Sprint
Gold: West Midlands (Dannielle Khan and Jessica Varnish) 33.969
Silver: North West A (Katy Marchant and Victoria Williamson) 34.142
Bronze: North West B (Rachel James and Helen Scott) 34.998
Gold: Laura Trott (Wiggle Honda)
Silver: Emily Kay (Team USN)
Bronze: Danielle King (Wiggle Honda)
Gold: Mark Stewart (Spokes RT)
Silver: Mark Christian (Team Raleigh-GAC)
Bronze: Jonathan Mould (NFTO Pro Cycling)
The championships conclude on Sunday 28 September. Tickets are available on the door at the National Cycling Centre. Competition starts at 10:30am with the women’s keirin, men’s team sprint, women’s points race and men’s scratch race titles being decided.
©Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – The Rigmar Racers’ Callum Skinner wins Gold in the Men’s 1000m Time Trial final.
Results from day two of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where Jess Varnish successfully defended her 500m time trial title and Callum Skinner became national kilometre time trial champion. There were also gold medals for Jonathan Gildea in the para-cycling pursuit (C1-5 mixed) and Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall (pilot) (Matrix Fitness – Vulpine) in the para-cycling pursuit (BVI mixed).
Women’s 500m Time Trial
Gold: Jessica Varnish (Team V-Sprint Racing) 34.419
Silver: Victoria Williamson (VC Norwich) 34.897
Bronze: Katy Marchant (Unattached) 35.012
Men Kilometre Time Trial
Gold: Callum Skinner (The Rigmar Racers) 1.01.843
Silver: Matthew Crampton (Srint-Team) 1.02.636
Bronze: Matthew Rotherham (Sportcity Velo) 1.03.497
Gold: Jonathan Gildea (Seamons CC) 4.49.589 (factored time 4.49.589)
Silver: Jaco van Gass (Team Battle Back) 5.05.162 (factored time 5.00.798)
Bronze: Louis Rolfe (Cambridge CC) 4.13.464 (factored time 5.02.433)
Gold: Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall (pilot) (Matrix Fitness – Vulpine) 3.39.860 (factored time 4.17.119)
Silver: Rhiannon Henry (Abergavenny RC) and Lauryn Therin (pilot) (Bonito Squadra Corse) 3.49.629 (factored time 4.28.122)
Bronze: Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby (pilot) (Wheelbase MGD) 4.30.313 (factored time 4.30.313)
The championships continue tomorrow and over the weekend. Tickets are still available for a selection of sessions across Friday 26 – Sunday 28 September at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/britishcycling
©Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 24/09/2014 – Wiggle Honda in action (Laura Trott, Dani King, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell) Women’s Team Pursuit qualification.
Results from day one of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where the Wiggle Honda quartet of Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker successfully defended their team pursuit title, the 100% ME team of Germain Burton, Chris Latham, Chris Lawless and Oliver Wood took gold in the men’s team pursuit and there were victories for double para-cycling world champions Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James (pilot) in the para-cycling time trial (BVI mixed) and 13-year-old Lauren Booth in the para-cycling time trial (C1-5 mixed).
Women’s Team Pursuit
Gold: Wiggle Honda (Elinor Barker, Danielle King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott 4.27.324
Silver: Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International (Katie Archibald, Ciara Horne, Dame Sarah Storey and Anna Turvey 4.33.657
Men’s Team Pursuit
Gold: 100% ME (Germain Burton, Christopher Latham, Christopher Lawless, Oliver Wood) 4.09.120
Silver: NFTO (Jonathan Mould, Russell Downing, Samuel Harrison, Adam Blythe) caught in 2.57.483
Bronze: The Rigmar Racers (Alistair Rutherford, Philip Trodden, Finlay Young and Ryan Fenwick 4.38.457
Para-cycling Time Trial
C1-5 Mixed 500m/1000m
Gold: Lauren Booth (Newport Youth Velo CC 40.654 (factored time 1.06.784)
Silver: Jonathan Gildea (Seamons CC) 1.09.835 (factored time 1.09.835)
Bronze: Jaco van Gass (Team Battle Back) 1.13.131 (factored time 1.12.085)
BVI Mixed 1000m
Gold: Sophie Thornhill (Performance Cycle Coaching) and Rachel James (pilot) (Aberygavenny RC) 1.09.804 (factored time 1.01.225)
Silver: Neil Fachie (Performance Cycle Coaching) and Peter Mitchell (pliot) (Performance Cycle Coaching) 1.01.953 (factored time 1.01.953)
Bronze: Laura Cluxton (Rock And Road Cycles) and Louise Haston (pilot) (City of Edinburgh RC) 1.14.032 (factored time 1.04.933)
The championships continue. Tickets are still available for a selection of sessions across Friday 26 – Sunday 28 September at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/britishcycling
Newport Velodrome – ©Dave Gratton AKA SunflowerDave (on Flickr)
For someone who always has a lot to say for himself, thinking what to write about is more difficult than I thought! I should hasten to add, that’s not because I can’t think of anything, it’s because I’ve got so many ideas running around in my head it’s so difficult to chose.
So my decision has been made for me because for the first time in weeks I have an hour or so to spare to put pen to paper (yes, I am actually writing this on paper) as I’m sitting in the stands watching my daughter Ffion take part in a Welsh Cycling youth track session. So the subject: the importance of good cycling facilities, specifically Newport Velodrome.
The difference this sporting facility has made to Wales is difficult to quantify, but if you look at the numbers of riders both before and after this facility was built who are at or on their way to the top of the cycling tree, it’s obvious that its impact has been massive! The same can be said of Manchester Velodrome and I am sure it will be the case with the Olympic Velodrome; we should also consider Herne Hill and the riders that have benefitted from that facility. What it shows it that good facilities really do make a difference to the progression of riders coming through the ranks, whatever their cycling discipline. Of course we also need champions to inspire youngsters into the sport, but we’ve got such a conveyor belt going at the moment there is no worry about these facilities being under used.
So what memories have I taken from Newport Velodrome over the last 8 or 9 years that I’ve been making the 30-minute drive from Abergavenny to get here?
Well I might as well start with my number one memory and also because “why shouldn’t women’s cycling be given priority over men’s for a change?” If I can find the photo to accompany this when I next go hunting in the attic I’ll post it at a later date, as even now I find it quite hard to believe. Picture this: a women’s keirin with six riders on the start line. In amongst the six, the current senior World Champion wearing her stripes Clara Sanchez. Also on the start line I think it was Sandie Clair. Next up to them, a few star struck young girls from the UK including two from Wales, my 13-year-old daughter Becky and Katie Curtis. I can’t recall another current senior world champion ever racing in Newport, so that line-up is implanted very firmly in my head. By the way, it was France first and second with Becky coming in third to the disbelief of the French coach, especially when finding out Becky’s age.
As for other memories of female competition in Newport, between 2006 and 2007 the Youth and Junior Track National Championships had such strong fields the racing really was fantastic to watch. Seeing Becky, Lizzie Armistead, Joanna Rowsell, Jess Varnish, Laura Trott, Dani King…(I could go on) racing against each other with Hugh Porter getting very excited on the microphone really was brilliant. Looking back now I honestly think you could see then who was going to make it to the top and they weren’t all winners. The look of determination in a rider’s eyes is something I believe is what sets them apart and that is something you can spot at a young age. If someone happens to win a Youth National Championship on the way to the top that’s nice, but ultimately you need to look at the bigger picture and remember it’s not a sprint, it takes a lot of time and effort to win at elite level. And that’s what people will remember; senior champions not 11-year-old ‘superstars’!
On that last point, some really bad memories for me have been watching young girls of Under 12 and Under 14 level attempting to break a National Record as if it was the be all and end all. They have been all kitted out with the best equipment money can buy and their parents have been shouting so loudly at them as if they were doing it themselves, but why? Many of those I have watched are either no longer riding or just riding now and again. And why provide the best equipment at such a young age? Good equipment yes, but keep the very best as a reward and as an incentive when they are racing at international level. I really would like to see some sort of equipment specification cap on all youth riders to make it more of a level playing field and to give them something to aim for.
While I’m in the process of airing my concerns, the other thing that really worries me is that young riders seem to be specialising on one cycling discipline at ever-younger ages and training to the detriment of their education. Youth sport should not be like that. If I could single out one young rider who has got the balance right and sets an example for other to follow it is Elinor Barker and look where she is now! Elinor has given most forms of cycling a go, but over the time I’ve known her and the family her education has come first. She’s obviously had coaching, but it has been Elinor’s drive and determination to succeed that has won her the Junior World Time Trial and of course her supportive parents (I believe there could be another reason and the same applies to Becky as well; both Graham, Elinor’s dad and myself are ardent Newcastle United followers and maybe it’s because the girls have never seen us celebrate the winning of a trophy that they are doing their bit to cheer us up!).
On the male side of things, at the same time as that outstanding crop of girls I mentioned the boys’ fields were also amazingly strong and they provided fantastic racing to watch. Jason Kenny, Peter Kennaugh, Alex Dowsett, Luke Rowe, Adam Blythe, Andy Fenn…(once again, I could go on) are just a few of the names that cycling fans would recognise from the Olympics and pro-peloton this last year. Despite many outstanding races and individual performances the one that stands out still after these years is Andy Fenn’s Youth 500 metre time trial. Here was someone mixing it up with the best youth riders this country had to offer in all the circuit races around the country and he was winning the endurance and pursuit events on the track. In the 500 metre time trail he was up against all the best youth sprinters in the country including current BC Academy sprint member Peter Mitchell. I can still picture him going around the track now. I seem to recall I was sitting in the stands next to Iain Dyer, National Sprint Coach and Trevor King, father of Dani and a few others and the first thing that came to my mind was that here was the person to follow in Jason Kenny’s footsteps. Well I was wrong on that front, but I really think he has the potential to be the next big road sprinter from GB. I am not saying that Andy will be another ‘Cav’, because I am not sure there’ll be another in my lifetime, but I am sure that he’ll be winning many races and stages over the next few years. Another rider I’ve watched in Newport in a similar mold to Andy is Sam Harrison, although he’s got a few years to catch up yet.
As recent as last winter I was sitting in the stands of Newport Velodrome watching the annual ‘Winter Track League’, which mixes all abilities up into different races, both male and female. In Wales we are very lucky indeed to not only have Elinor Barker coming up into the senior ranks, but we also have Amy Roberts. To see both Elinor and Amy mixing it up with the men in the ‘A’ league really is a great sight and I am really excited about the prospect of those two girls representing Wales and GB around the world over the next few years. The girls often found themselves riding in amongst elite men, well not just elite, but professional riders. Last year watching Luke Rowe, Magnus Backstedt, Jonny Bellis and many more on a Tuesday night with the rain hammering down on the velodrome roof, whilst sipping a cup of tea, is fascinating, enjoyable and a relaxing time in amongst my hectic lifestyle.
I have never been in Newport Velodrome with a full stand of spectators, but with the success of this last season and the accessibility of cycling stars to the general public I think I might get to see that over the next couple of years. What Newport needs is the right event to fill the stands, something that has got my mind running wildfire again! Now, if that event gives equal precedence to the women riders or better still star billing, wouldn’t that be amazing?
…Next time, whenever that will be, I’ll probably write about organising my first ever hill-climb and also about the importance and thrills of cyclocross.
Thanks for reading.