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HomeTrack LeaguesReportsReading Track League 26 April 2010

Reading Track League 26 April 2010


In contrast to last week’s dark clouds and intermittent rain, the riders at Palmer Park in Reading for Round 2 of Reading Track League were treated to a glorious early Summer evening. With guest riders from as far afield as Barbados, the quality of the field – and of the racing – was again of the highest order.

Full results Photo galleries



Full results Photo galleries

Neil Cooper (AW Cycles) dominated the Senior A competition last week, but didn’t have it all his own way this time around. The opening event was a 10 Lap Scratch race – normally the easiest of all track races to understand – a bunch start and the first one across the line wins. To make life interesting for the judges, this evening’s scratch was run with the entire Senior field on the track – with the top three A and B riders and the leading Ladies placed separately for their respective season long competitions.
Cooper attacked in the closing stages of the race, with only Ian Greenstreet from Newbury RC responding and the veteran time trialler reeled him and to take the win, with Cooper holding on for second well ahead of team mate Matt Gittings who led home the rest of the field.

Cooper went one better in the Unknown distance race, winning from team mate Stephen Bradbury and Greenstreet to consolidate his overall championship lead and looked strong in the early stages of an enthralling 20k Endurance event, but faded towards the end – but more of that later.
Team Terminator’s John Williams was disappointed not to make the finals of last week’s Sprint competition, but must have been happier with this week’s Keirin competition. In his heat, he took the field completely by surprise with an unorthodox approach to the motor paced race. Lining up last behind the Derny bike, he flicked up the banking out of turn 1 on the last lap and began a perfectly timed attack – using all of the limited height of Palmer Park’s 13 degree banking to slingshot him past the rest of the field, just as the Derny pulled off. With the other riders caught napping, Williams cruised across the line to take his place in the final.

He was joined in the last six by his team mate Cam Swarbrick, qualifying for his first A final after moving up from the Bs as 2009. Having finished his heat right on Cooper’s wheel, the 16 year old’s youth gear restriction told in the final, where he was unable to match the pace of the experienced A riders. Coming out of the final it was Cooper who held the lead from his fast charging AW Cycles team mate Matt Gittings, with Williams tucked in behind Cooper. Gittings pulled away from Cooper down the home straight and Williams came through to take 2nd ahead of Eddy Sobieralski ( with Cooper eventually fading to 4th ahead of Swarbrick and Donal Linehan of Newbury RC.

Bradbury Junior is becoming something of an expert at the Devil take the Hindmost, repeating last week’s win in the opening round this week – leading home an AW Cycles 1-2-3, albeit a long way ahead of Gittings and Rob King.
As with Cooper in the As, last week’s dominant B rider Sam Grant (Beyond MBC) didn’t have everything his way this evening. Under 16 rider William Macke took his maiden Senior victory in the opening Scratch race, ahead of Richard Moss (GS Henley) and fellow youngster and Palmer Park Velo team mate George Withers.

Moss went one better in the Devil, winning from Macke, Tristan Natolie of AW Cycles, riding as a guest and another of the Under 16s mixing it with the Seniors, Frazier Carr of Palmer Park Velo. Moss took the Unknown distance event, too – as well as a place in the hotly contested Senior B Keirin final.
Grant lead out the sprint, but it was Moss that came through to take yet another win from Natolie, Trevor Bradbury, riding for Reading and Grant.
You had to feel for the Senior Keirin finalists, with the the finals run straight after the Unknown Distance, with the riders then getting straight back on the fence for the start of the 20k.

And what a 20k it was. The early laps didn’t have the same frenetic pace as last week’s opening round with the bunch seeming quite happy to allow Gavin Spiers of AW Cyles and young B rider William Macke to pull out almost half a lap. Eventually some of the younger riders got jittery and starting to reel them back in. Macke rejoined the bunch but Spiers stayed away, joined by Moss who then rode away alone and looked, at one point, as though he might take a lap. With Moss gradually reeled in, it was Greenstreet’s turn to attack next, with Swarbrick following behind. That attack was shortlived, but next to go was King, whose solo effort was ended when he was joined by Nick English (Reading CC) and Nick Abraham.

The three worked well together and with 10 laps to go it looked as though they might take the lap, but they slowed in the closing stages. With 3 to go, Moss broke away from the bunch again, with Swarbrick in pursuit. The front three were safe, but the B race was still up for grabs and a determined effort by Moss saw him hold on to take the B victory from Trevor Bradbury and Grant, who finished just behind Natolie for the second time.

The A honours were settled half a lap earlier, with English powering away to take the win ahead of Abraham and King.
This year has also seen the introduction of a combined Under 14 and Under 16 category within the gruelling 20km closing event of the evening and Max Stedman has, so far, pipped Jason Pitt to the top spot in both rounds.
Next week sees the traditional Bordeaux-Paris meeting, with 8 Dernies pacing the top Senior and
Youth qualifiers from scratch race heats. Action starts at 1pm on Sunday and, as a result, there will be no meeting on Monday 3rd May.


With the season’s regional youth omniums commencing at Portsmouth this Saturday, this second Reading Track League meeting was a good opportunity for racers to hone their early season form. With balmy April weather greeting another reasonable field of twenty-two riders the racing was sure to be hot. It didn’t disappoint.

Kicking off the evening was a 1 lap time-trial. Special mention must be given to the whip and timekeepers. As ever, this was an exceptionally slick operation with riders firing off at, what seemed to be, 20 second intervals thus keeping the meeting on-time and fluid.

Times between the Under 16s and Under 14s ran close with Jason Pitt showing his strength in posting the fastest time of the night. Of equal note was the time posted by fastest girl Abigail Dentus who showed that, along with her obvious technical skills, she’s developing power too. Jospeh Linehan and Callum Macleod were clear winners of their age categories posting times that would have seen them placed well in the age groups above their own. The fiercest competition was between the Under 14 boys with the first three, Daniel Lansley, Jamil Gaida and Max Steadman being separated by under a second.


Next up was the unknown distance race. With a staggered handicap-style start the younger Under 8 and Under 10 riders led off, followed by the Under 12s with Under 14s and lastly the Under 16s. Fairly quickly the groups started to merge and alert Under 12 Emma Pitt managed to latch on to her hard charging elder brother Jason. Pitt senior held a reasonable pace, but not full gas, allowing the race to regroup before attacking sharply for a second time. This time two Under 12s, Carl Jolly and Joseph Linehan anticipated the attack and held on while Pitt senior tried to ride them off his wheel. For the next two laps Pitt, with the two youngsters pinned to his tailcoat, rode in anticipation of the bell yet none was forthcoming. Finally, with the bell ringing out for the start of the final lap the only question was, could Pitt hang on for the win? Entering the final 200 meters all was still to play for. Joseph Linehan made his race winning move coming late out of the final corner dragging Carl Jolly past a rapidly tiring Pitt for a Linehan, Jolly, Pitt; one, two, three. The actual race distance remains unknown to me, as I suppose it should.

With the two stroke tones of the derny motor ringing out round the stadium the Keirin sprints were next up.

The first heat saw the pocket-sized Under 8 Euan Macleod taking the motor with the older Under 10 riders filing in behind. As the derny left the track Callum Macleod attacked gapping his pursuers. But 300 meters is a long way for a full-on sprint so with 100 meters remaining Damon King sensed his chance rushing the gap to come within a tire-width of taking the win. Anna Linehan rode a clever race coming in a close third.

Joseph Linehan took the honors in the Under 12, Heat 2, with Carl Jolly placing second and Emma Pitt, showing good leg-speed, taking third.

Heat 3 saw the Under 14 girls battle it out with Abigail Dentus taking her third win of the evening followed by Katie Metalli in second and relative newcomer Toni Griffiths in third.

Heat 4, the Under 14 boys, was an interesting affair with George Needham making a well-timed outside move to take the other riders somewhat by surprise as the derny exited the track. As the season winds on a move such as this will see George compete for a place but on the night he was overrun in the charge to the line. A charge that saw clever positioning by Max Stedman push first placed Daniel Lansley all the way with Jamil Gaida taking third.

The Under 16s, Heat 5, was taking by Jason Pitt followed by a lean looking Jack Smith with John Ellis in third.


The final two scratch races ran mostly to form. Joseph Linehan and Callum Macleod capped their excellent evening with category wins in the combined Under 8, Under 10 and Under 12 race, while Jason Pitt all but lapped the field in a super final 10 lap youth scratch. Abigail Dentus confirmed her form by leading home the Under 14 girls and Jamil Gaida rode with stamina and cunning to secure the Under 14 category win.

It would be easy to assume that a pattern of race winners is developing already but with close racing in all categories, and looking at the time-trial times, I anticipate a few surprises in the coming weeks.

Full results

Senior Gallery

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Youth Gallery

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