trackcycling Test Team member Cameron Swarbrick followed in his sister’s footsteps on Sunday, taking the British School’s Cycling Association Under 16 National Track Championship in Portsmouth. Representing The Emmbrook School – as Holly did when she won the Under 16 Girls last year – Cam clinched a title previously won by Beijing Olympic Gold medallists Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas.
The title is decided by an Omnium event which consists of a 2km Pursuit, a Sprint competition and an 8km Scratch race, with the title going to the best placed rider across the three disciplines.
In the Pursuit, Cam caught his opponent – reigning Under 14 BSCA National Champion Sam Broughton of Countesthorpe in Leicsetershire – on the line to finish in 2 minutes 58 seconds, 8 seconds ahead of fellow local rider and former team mate Frazier Carr of Maiden Erlegh. Maintaining his momentum in the Competition, he cruised through to the Sprint final with easy wins in the heats and semi-finals.
In the Sprint final, he took the front of the race and controlled the pace, constantly watching his rivals and waiting for one of them to jump. It was Herschel Stevens of Leeds who made the first move but Cam reacted immediately, taking his wheel before coming round his rival on the last corner and taking the win by a bike length from Stevens who just edged out Broughton. Carr took fourth place.
Traditionally his weakest event, he had to work to keep the race together and with nobody able to get away, the bunch sprint started on the back straight on the final lap. Cam, Stevens and Brock Duncomb-Rogers of Brighton came into the home straight in line abreast, with Cam using his sprinting ability to good advantage. With 75 metres to go and the overall title secure, he eased up as Duncomb-Rogers came through to take the win.
Second place was enough to take the title by 6 points from Stevens. Carr finished 3rd overall, while Cam also took the South Region Sprint and Omnium titles.
The title was a perfect end to a tough weekend which began the previous day at the same track with Round 2 of the BC Youth Track Omnium Series. With another 26 rider field – including a couple of strong riders who had missed the first round – Cam got off to a flying start, setting a very respectable time in the 1km Time Trial. For a while it looked as though he would make it through to the A Sprint final with the fourth best time, but a correction to one of the other times dropped him to fifth, still his best of the Series so far – and quickest of the first year Under 16s and the fastest non-Talent Team rider. He was only beaten by the top 3 finishers overall in Round 1 and Oliver Rossi, who would go on to take Round 2.
In the Points he rode a similar race to the previous round, but this time was in contention for more of the sprints – just missing out on points on a couple of occasions. Again, he was first non-points scorer over the line on the final lap, clinching 10th place.
In the Sprint, Cam rode a good tactical race, controlling things from the front and reacting well to the jump but ended up leading out Welwyn’s Ben Bailey who just edged past him on the line to drop Cam to 6th place.
Then disaster – another pulled wheel in the Scratch race meant that he had to drag his bike around for 17 laps, off the back of the group but managing to stay on the same lap. The 19th place finish, though, dashed his chances of bettering his 8th position of the previous round – but only just, finishing 9th – equal 8th on points.