Summer arrived by the bucket full on Sunday for this annual Bank Holiday event and with a Sprint competition, a round of the National Endurance track league and a range of Senior and Youth races, it was a full on, action packed day in the sun.
The Bordeaux-Paris 50 km event is run as a two part competition, with a 20km scratch race where the top eight finishers go through to the second phase which is a 30km Derny race. With 51 starters this was going to be quite a tussle, especially with teams Planet X and Agisko-Viner fielding 4 or 5 riders, it was fairly tactical too!
No early attacks were made as the heat and the usual late charge to the line deterred any of the journeymen in the field but with 15 laps to go the real action blew the field apart.
A good field of top domestic track racers can cause much pain to the rest and eventually the eight though to the next round were a deserving group.
Riders like multi Derny National champ Bryan Taylor, his team mate Simon Lewis, the ever powerful Steve Legg, Agiskoviner rider John McClelland, Planet X fast men Richard Prince and Ian Cooper plus local rider Neil Cooper were just some of the talent.
The Derny Final , incorporating the Bill Bannister Memorial Trophy, saw a race dominated by Taylor and Lewis a they held fast tempo on the front, slowly and imperceptably winding up the pace, causing rider after rider to fall by the wayside and eventually with 5 laps to go it was Simon Lewis who put the hammer down, distancing himself from Taylor and a chasing Ian Cooper.
Lewis kept up the pace winning comfortably from
Simon Lewis, being paced by George Gilbert, winning the Bill Bannister Memorial Trophy.
The Youth and Womens Event, although slightly shorter, still produced a battle royal and sadly a twist in the tail.
With 28 of 33 laps gone it was Stephen Bradbury and William Macke who applied pressure to the pack, and with three to go they blew the field to bits as the group of eight became just two.
Current National Womens Derny Champ Janet Birkmyre was one of these casualties as a continuing lung infection has been causing her breathing difficulties and she sat up after chasing hard.
Back to the front of the race where with about three to go Bradbury put in a huge attack, opening a 25m advantage over the chasing Macke and, although the gap was closing, it looked all over as they came to the bell lap.
That was until Bradburys’ derny developed a fault, cutting out on the back straight leaving him to try and maintain enough speed to stay ahead of the derny paced Macke. Bradbury was out of the saddle sprinting as he hit the home straight but no amount of strength would save him from being overtaken, with a paltry 80 metres to go, by Macke and his 40 mile an hour derny pacer.
Bradbury was gutted but could suitably feel like the moral victor.
Third across the line was also first women, Emma Patterson, as she had kept a steady fast pace to maintain her field position throughout the race.
Un-paced rider Stephen Bradbury is passed with 80 metres to go by William Macke, being paced by George Gilbert.
Sprint competition – as with the Monday night track league format it was heats and then a single 5 up final with the heats producing some excellent battles and producing a fine group of finalists.
The final was controlled early on by top youth rider John Paul and his awareness skills showed as riders looked to make a move on the 200m to go line. First
Close tussle in the Sprint heats where
The Womens Sprint competition was a closely fought affair with Cassie Gledhill setting a torrid pace all the way to the line but being pipped by the fast finishing Janet Birkmyre.
Support events saw William Macke win the Under 16’s Youth Devil and the 10 lap Scratch race whilst Luke Drummond won the Youth Sprint competition . George Withers took a clean sweep in the Under 14s Devil/Sprint & Scratch events whilst Matthew Lansley won two of three events in the Under 10/12’s, firstly the Devil and then the Scratch race. George Needham finished top spot in the U12/10’s Sprint Comp.
The Senior support races saw Neil Cooper win the 10 lap A’s Scratch race, with Bob Moore winning the B’s race and the final race, the 20 Lap Scratch was won by a hard charging Dominic Jelfs.
A huge field of over 80 senior riders turned up for racing on this beautiful sunny day.
This is the first time in three years that the league haven’t had to postpone this event till later in the year and long may the good weather continue.
Thanks to our volunteer officials, Sean and sister Jane Bannister for providing the trophy and prize money and to everyone for attending.