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Reading Track League 1 June 2009


Full results and photos available

Another glorious night of weather and racing occurred at Palmer Park this Monday evening and to start off the report we’ll tell you about the 10 Lap youth scratch race, which produced some fine attacking racing from a range of ages, but a well timed acceleration from William Macke (U16’s) saw him open up a half lap lead and he comfortably took the solo victory with Harry Strudley the best of the rest.

The first U14 was George Withers, the U12’s victor was Joeseph Linehan, with Emma Pitt winning the U10’s. The E cat race saw Euan Macleod give his all on the tinyest of bikes to finish first.

William Macke on his way to victory in the Youth Scratch race.

The Seniors began their evening with a 10 lap Hare & Hounds. The Hares were caught with 4 laps to go and so it was a mad dash of 60 riders, who responded to the sound of the bell lap. On the line, it was George Olive, normally a regular at Welwyn Track League on Friday nights, who held off the fast finishing Bryan Taylor for the win.


George Olive (yellow bike) pipping Bryan Taylor in the Hare & Hounds.

Bryan Taylor then joined Ian Greenstreet on the pursuiting line for a league’s Pursuit competition final. With Taylor in the home straight and Greenstreet the back, it was Greenstreet who took an early lead, as they completed lap one of nine. By the third lap, Taylor had clawed his way steadily and methodically into the lead, opening up the gap by about 10 metres a lap and as they crossed the line for the final time, he had won by about a quarter of a lap (which at Palmer Park is about 115 metres). His time of 5min15.8 secs was 5 seconds faster than qualifying and Ian Greenstreet’s effort of 5mins 25.7, was two seconds faster than his qualifying, so both riders stepped up their game for the final.


Bryan Taylor(left) and Ian Greenstreet in the leagues Pursuit final.

The Seniors continued their evening of racing with a Keirin competition and the battle in the B’s final saw a royal dingdong between veteran Dave Dentus and the young U16’s Dan Maslin.

About 27 years separate these two gladiators and both seemed on a mission to defeat the other as they left the rest of the finalists in their wake. Dentus led the field, as the derny pulled off the track and he controlled the pace, until Maslin attacked midway down the back straight. Dentus responded quickly and held Maslin on his shoulder as they rounded the bend, both fighting their bikes for more speed. It was neck and neck all the way to the line but Dentus held on for the win.

The Seniors A final was another royal spectacle, as any one of the 6 riders showed in the heats they could win. As they pulled off the derny, Lee Povey was leading with Sam Sturgeon just laying off his wheel. A powerful early surge, from the back of the pack, saw Drinkwater scythe through the group, running underneath Sturgeon and round Povey to take the lead. Mayhem ensued as, on the other side of Sturgeon; Drinkwater had gone one way and Eddy Sobieralski had gone the other, but as he had accelerated hard out of the saddle, his foot unclipped from his pedal, sending him sidewards and scaring the living daylights out of Sam Serruya and Tom Sparkes, who were on his wheel.

This gave Drinkwater and Povey and good lead as they hit the home straight with Povey saving his final acceleration for 80 metres out, passing Drinkwater. Serruya, having recovered his composure, gave chase and made up loads of ground to catch Drinkwater before the line but not in time to get to Povey. Great ride all the same.


Senior A Keirin Final – Lee Povey (in Grey) beginning his charge to the line with Rob Drinkwater ahead

The Womens Keirin final saw Cassie Gledhill lay off the back and up the banking and she made a charge as the derny pulled off. It looked to be a great move but her timing was seconds out because, as she started making her way through the rear of the pack, Emma Patterson put on her burst of acceleration from the front. With Harriet Owen on her wheel they left Gledhill too much ground to make up and she would finish third.

Up front Harriet Owen had too much finishing speed for Patterson and she took the victory comfortably.

The Seniors then got up quickly for a massive Devil Take the Hindmost. It set off at a pace that caught out the un-suspecting and the size of the field cause riders to be blocked in riders, so that it was not long before the bunch, which was whittled down two at a time, to be just a group of five. From this smaller pack we saw another battle royale between George Oliver and eventual winner Bryan Taylor, as they hit the line within millimetres of each other. Matt Gittings, who had an excellent win in the Herne Hill Derny Festival on Saturday, followed up for third place.

The Final Race of the evening as always is the AW Cycles 20km Endurance Scratch race, and a huge field of 70 plus riders, including some Under 14’s and 12’s, rolled away to get the starting gun on the back straight. There was an immediate attack from Stephen Bradbury, who was followed by David Jack. This move got little response from all but Sam Sturgeon and Nick English, who set an early pace that blew the field apart, with stragglers everywhere and the sprinters going home for early showers.

The four then set about opening up a massive gap, which at one point reached three quarters of a lap, but with English putting on powerful efforts every time he hit the front it caused his breakaway compatriots to suffer too much and instead of a cohesive unit; they became disjointed, losing Jack after 16 laps and Bradbury became a passenger.

The toll of these efforts caused the break to lose impetus, just at a time when the field was chasing hard and with 30 laps gone they were back in the main pack. English and Sturgeon were not done yet and both made late charges in the last few laps to escape the clutches of the field, but they were to be denied as the pace of the field rose to over 30 miles an hour on the final lap.

Watching from the finish line we could see a late move from Ian Greenstreet, as he surged through the pack, but he was too early as George Olive had saved his effort for the finishing straight and he blasted home to win from Matt Gittings and Stephen Bradbury.

Actually Nick Abraham was second over the line, but as he had ridden off the track and underneath Gittings to get to there, he was disqualified. An easier mistake to make if you find yourself on the wrong side of the wheel and Nick took the DQ fairly.


George Olive (left) winning the AW Cycles 20km Scratch race with Nick Abraham (soon to be relegated) sneaking up on the inside of Matt Gittings (Red/white bike) and the charging field behind.

All WLCA affiliated clubs – the WLCA Sprint competition – which is usually held at the end of the season, is now being held on the 27th of July. This is due to the running track being ripped up and the consequent closure of the velodrome during this time. Get your entries in by the Monday beforehand, so that the draw and seeding can be organised.

Cheers and good racing


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