The track surface was damp tonight at Preston Park and it was decided that normal racing could not take place. This was unfortunately the third meeting of the season to fall victim to the rain.
However, this did not rule out a celebratory lap of honour to mark Lee Povey’s victory in the National Masters 35-39-years Sprint Championship at the weekend and his silver medal in the kilo. The Team Terminator star, resplendent in his GB champion’s jersey, led the whole bunch of around 50 riders of all ages on one circuit of the track, to the applause of his many supporters on trackside.
In the hope that the track might soon dry for bunched racing, tonight’s chief commissaire Daniel Gerrey organised time-trials for all youth age-groups. First off, the Under 8 and Under 10 riders completed a 200-metre test against the clock, timed by Anthony Rogers, Andy Parle and Ben Gerrey.
Fastest of the Under 8s was Dominic Kazlauskas with a fine time of 24.82sec. Runner-up was Evelyn Parle with 27.51, and next came Oscar Denman-Gould with 38.23 and 4-year-old Freddie Davies with 39.42.
Douglas McCauley led home the Under 10s with a rapid result of 21.17, while just behind him came Joe Hill (21.70) and Bethany Lewis (21.98). Next in line were Cory Anderson (22.67), Harry Stacey (23.98), Richard Hoyle (24.54), Sam Barnes (28.01) and Stanley Earthrowl-Gould (29.04).
The Under 12s had to ride one complete lap (580 metres). The fastest of the lot was Amy Barnes, who posted an excellent time of 56.17sec. Spencer Thomas was next on 57.67, just ahead of Megan Lewis (59.61), Luke Stacey (1.00.29) and Ben O’Brien (1.01.54). The other results were Ted O’Brien (1.04.36), Drew Miller-Hyndman (1.05.36) and Celia Jenkins (1.08.48).
Jack Hoyle posted an excellent win in the Under 14 section with 51.07 ahead of Matthew Hill (53.02) and Sara Gent (55.61). Imogen Farlie was next (56.10), then came Jake Marley (56.16), Gabriel Parle (57.58) and Laura Cheesman (1.03.98).
Only four Under 16s were on the start-line. Pick of the crop was league leader Elliot Tabraham-Dowers with a superfast time of 46.72, then came recently-recovered Tom Jamieson (48.92), Michael Dixon (52.50) and Jack Oliver-Blaney (52.91).
When the time-trials were over, alas the track was still too damp for bunched competition. Several riders chose to get on with some training on the track, while others headed home, looking forward to the league points championships next week and – let’s hope – some better weather!