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HomeTrack LeaguesReportsReading Track League 19 April 2010

Reading Track League 19 April 2010

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Despite one or two regulars being stranded overseas, the turnout for the first round of the Reading Track League at Palmer Pak velodrome was excellent and it was rain, not volcanic ash, that threatened to disrupt the meeting. Dark clouds rolled in with an hour to go and a few spots of rain fell during the warm-up, but the Youth programme began on time at 7pm.

Full results and pictures

UPDATE : Youth Results and report now added

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The opening Senior event was a slightly damp Hare & Hounds, with the Senior Bs given a half lap head start on the chasing Senior A riders. This is always a close race and, with fresh legs and a new injection of youthful enthusiasm, the Bs fought to hold off the chasers. A small group of As, led by Nick Abraham, did manage to reach the back of the B train going in to turn 3 for the last time, but it wasn’t enough and Sam Grant of Beyond MBC took the win ahead of Neil Rutter (Swindon CC) and AW Cycles’ Rikki Pankhurst.

The next scheduled Senior event was the Sprint heats, but the consensus among the riders was that the track was too dangerous to sprint on. And appeal to the Chief Commisaire saw the Sprints moved back down the programme – in the hope that the rain would ease off and the track dry put.

The next event on the rearranged schedule was the the Devil-take-the-hindmost – an event that’s always been considered a ‘training’ event, but which will now form part of the Omnium – cycling’s decathlon – at the Olympics. A large Senior B field saw two riders out every lap and six riders left in for the final lap sprint. George Withers of Palmer Park Velo – one of the first year Under 16s riding up in the Senior B League this year – opened his account with an excellent 2nd place behind Rutter with Martyn Harris of Banjo Cycles in third.

The Senior A race was more conventional, with a single elimination per lap and it was Stephen Bradbury who took the victory over his AW Cycles team mate Matt Gittings with Abrahams in third place.

The evening, though, belonged to Neil Cooper (AW Cycles) who started by winning the Senior A Unknown Distance race on a rapidly drying track from Gittings and Steve Legg (RT 316) – and going on to continuing unbeaten from that point onwards.

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Cooper took the rain delayed Sprint final – again ahead of Gitting and a fast paced 20k Endurance race. Averaging 45km/h – 28mph – and despite frequent attacks, many of them instigated by Reading CC’s Nick English – the bunch stayed together until 3 laps to go. Cooper chased down a late break and surged past to win comfortably.

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The Senior B racing was slightly more balanced with Rutter following up his win in the Devil with another in the Unknown Distance, ahead of Paknhurst and Harris. Hare & Hounds winner Grant took the Sprint final from Rutter with Trevor Bradbury – father of Stephen – 3rd for Reading CC. With a 2nd and a 3rd already under his belt, Pankhurst took the B honours in the 20k, ahead of Under 16 rider Will Macke from Palmer Park Velo and Harris.

Youth Report by Chris Macleod

The first event on the Youth programme up was a Flying 200 with U14 Daniel Lansley posting a very impressive time to best the field by half a second with Abi Dentus fastest girl.

Immediately following the 200s came the Hare & Hounds. With riders spread out around the track and groups working together to animate the race it was a fast and frantic affair with the younger riders battling to hold off the charging U14s and U16s. As the groups merged the canny younger riders latched onto the back to show their class towards the finish. As he was to show throughout the evening, the diminutive Max Steadman raced with great guile and strength to claim an excellent second behind Jason Pitt with Joseph Linehan taking a very creditable third. Of particular note was the endurance of Joe McGuinness who, as a first year U10, showed many of the older riders a clean pair of wheels to take his first, but not last, category victory of the evening.

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After a brief rest to allow the adults their first chance at early season glory the youths battled it out in age category 500m sprints.

First off were the U8/U10s with Callum Macleod taking a very comfortable win from Joe McGuinniess with Max Reed in third.

Things started to get very interesting in the U12s. For the most part these riders have all been coached at one or more of the DHL sprint schools, and didn’t it show with tactics becoming as important as outright speed. After a cagey first 200 meters first to kick was Carl Jolly with Joseph Linehan coming off his wheel to take fi
rst in the run to the line with newcomer Sam Oliver working hard for his third.

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Next up were the girls in another enthralling encounter. Led out by Toni Griffiths, Katie Metalli and Abi Dentus rode eye to eye until Abi produced the decisive kick, reminiscent of her father in his pomp, to claim victory from Katie and Toni.

The U14s continued the tactical theme but in the end the raw power of Daniel Lansley was too much for second placed Max Steadman and 3rd placed Reg Pay.

The U16s was taken by a well-timed kick from Jason Pitt with Max Brown second and John Ellis third.

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The final youth race of the evening, the 10 lap Scratch, again showed the skill of these young riders. For much of the race the field worked well together in a fairly large group. But as the race picked up in pace, and younger riders were dropped then lapped, the race-craft, care and skill of the faster riders was clearly evident. Jason Pitt took an excellent second win of the evening with Daniel Lansley second and Max Steadman in third. Final rider home was the only U8 Euan Macleod. If ever there was an example of total commitment this was it! The rousing applause, which greeted him on completion, should remind us that sometimes it is the taking part that matters and not just the winning.

Next week sees the sprinters in action again, with the first outing for the Derny bikes as the season long Keirin competition gets under way.

Full results

Senior Gallery

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Youth Gallery

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