The Dernys were out again at Palmer Park as Round 12 of the Reading Track League programme saw the Senior Bs and Youths in action in the Derny Paced Championship.

Full results and picture galleries

The first event of the evening was the Senior Hare & Hounds and, for the first time this season, the As looked as though they meant it. Slick and well organised, they steadily reeled in the B string which was fragmenting as the riders desperately tried to keep up the pace.

As_and_Bs_together_as_the_final_gallop_kicks_off_in_the_Senior_Hare_and_Hounds

With 3 to go the race was back together and it was Bryan Taylor of VC Londres who led the field home with Matt Gittings of AW Cycles second and Ian Greenstreet of Newbury RC third. Jayne Paine of Willesden CC took maximum points in the Ladies event, ahead of Sarra Boyd of Mildenhall CC.

The first heat in the Senior B Derny Paced Race started cautiously with AW Cycles’ Steve Clarke leading Joe Holloway of VC10 and William Macke of Palmer Park Velo while Paul Stedman of Reading CC a little way back.

Clarke, paced by Dave Dentus – sans knitwear on this humid July evening – opened a slim lead over Holloway until Macke and Sean Bannister turned up the wick and breezed past the pair of them in the closing stages to win comfortably.

Heat 2 was much more frenetic with Mark Macleod and pacer Gittings (who, incidentally, lapped the field in his more familiar role behind the derny at last weekend’s Welwyn Derny Fest) taking up the pace early on, with Reading CC’s Paul Cooper, and Martyn Harris of Banjo Cycles behind and Frazier Carr of Palmer Park Velo and Sam Grant of Beyond MBC bringing up the rear.

Carr, Grant and Harris moved through to the front and as Harris and pacer Bannister picked up the pace they dropped Grant. They couldn’t get rid of Carr, though and he and pacer Chris Macleod applied the pressure, keeping it up until Harris broke and began to lose touch with the motorcycle on the last lap. Carr pounced to take the win and book his place in the final alongside team mate Macke as heat winners.

The Ladies final saw Paine and Boyd take on Under 14 Girls Toni Griffiths and Abigail Dentus. It was the two Palmer Park Velo riders who made the early running with Griffiths out in front until Paine swept past Dentus and then took the lead. Boyd made her way through into second as Dentus moved past Griffiths into third as they entered the third lap and the order remained the same until the finish.

Jayne_Paine_of_Willesden_CC_-_Ladies_Derny_Winner

Before the Derny final, the A riders managed to squeeze in what was to be their second – and penultimate – race of the evening. The pace was frantic, with Cam Swarbrick of Team Terminator picking up the last of the points in the first sprint, behind Taylor, Nick English of Reading CC and Dan Maslin of Hillingdon Slipstreamers but pulling out of the race before the second sprint. Taylor took that one, too, from English, Donal Linehan of Newbury RC and Gittings. In fact, Taylor took maximum points in all four sprints, to take the win from Gittings, whose two second place finishes were enough to keep him ahead of Maslin, who took third.

The B Final, unfortunately, turned into something of a Derny Demolition Derby – albeit through mechanical mishaps rather than collisions. Gittings’ Derny failed pretty much from the start, leaving team mate Clarke without a pacer. Then Andrew Pitt’s steed stuttered, forcing Martyn Harris to latch on to Joe Holloway’s wheel.

Gittings’ bike eventually restarted, allowing Clarke to rejoin the race after a lap (or three) out, but Harris wasn’t so lucky. Sat on Holloway’s wheel for the first half of the race, he started to see the leaders edge a way and decided to swap his shared Derny of another, trying to cross the gap to third placed Macke’s wheel. After almost a lap out of the slipstream, though – having failed to get much further than alongside Holloway’s pacer, he thought better of it and dropped back on to the young VC10 riders’ wheel.

William_Macke_of_Palmer_Park_Velo_-_Winner_of_the_Senior_B_Derny_Paced_Final

Macke, meanwhile, was waiting patiently behind Carr and race leader Grant. Carr came round Grant and Macke initially dropped off the lead pair slightly but, as the pace rose towards the closing stages, Grant finally lost touch with the back wheel of Dentus’ Derny and Macke closed in for the kill. Biding his time, he came alongside Carr on the back straight on the final lap and passed him as they entered turn 3, opening out a couple of lengths by the time he and pacer Macleod crossed the line.

With the Derny races having taken longer than planned, the Unknown Distance race was dropped and the riders went straight in to the AW Cycles 20k.

The attacks were fewer and further between than in recent weeks, but the pace was hot enough. Harris had a few laps off the front early on and English, as usual, had a few attempts to break away, but the bunch was having none of it.

Martyn_Harris_of_Banjo_Cycles_out_in_front_early_in_the_AW_Cycles_20k

Nobody could make anything stick until 3 to go when Macke and team mate Harry Strudley went off the front and quickly opened up a lead the length of the home straight. It looked as though they might hold on, but as the bell sounded the pack surged towards them, swamping them half way along the back straight.

William_Macke_of_Palmer_Park_Velo_checks_to_see_the_gap_he_and_team_mate_Harry_Strudley_are_opening_in_the_20k

In one of the closest finishes of the season, Greenstreet won the bunch sprint from English, with Nick Abraham just behind them. Paine led Boyd home in the Ladies race and only Jason Pitt of Palmer Park Velo remained to take points in the Sonim Under 14-Under 16 20k Endurance category, again managing to stay with the bunch until the last lap.

Full results.

Youth

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Seniors

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