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Reading Track League 5 July 2010


July is Central Division Championship season at Palmer Park. Last week saw the Team Pursuit, later this week sees the Individual event and this week’s Reading Track League programme incorporated the Team Sprint heats and finals – as well as a full range of events to suit the sprinters and the endurance riders.

Full results and photos

Of late, the sprint events have been dominated by endurance riders and that looked set to continue as last week’s all conquering AW Cycles Team Pursuit squad also provided the team of three for the Team Sprint competition – of which, more later.

The AW squad of Rob King, Neil Cooper, Matt Gittings and Alex Peterson qualified for last Tuesday’s final with a time of 5 minutes 1.56 second for the 9 lap, 4.131km event – over 16 seconds faster than their nearest rivals Reading CC ‘A’.


With the result of the final a foregone conclusion, the AW foursome set out to break the 5 minute barrier and with it the track record, which they did – by a quarter of a second. Credit is due to the Reading squad of Nick English, Trevor Bradbury, Jun Aishima and Stephen Bale who knocked 3 and a half seconds off their heat time to finish within 15 seconds of the winners.

Credit, also, to the Palmer Park Velo quartet of George Withers, Jason Pitt, Frazier Carr and William Macke. All under 16s – two of them, Withers and Pitt, first year Under 16s – they finished 5th, but less than two seconds off 3rd.

Back to this week’s meeting, which kicked off with a very fast paced Senior A & B Hare and Hounds. Breaking with recent tradition, the As chased down the Bs very quickly and a group of six A riders – the AW Cycles trio of King, Gittings and Bradbury plus Nick English of Reading CC, Bryan Taylor of VC Londres and Neil Rutter of Swindon RC – and one B rider – Trevor Bradbury of Reading CC – emerged from the combined bunch. The escape was quickly pulled back and, although the younger Bradbury had another good attempt to get away, it was Taylor who took the win from King and Dan Maslin of Hillingdon Slipstreamers.

With a number of non-starters, the Central Division Team Sprint Championship was, unfortunately, reduced to just four teams and two heats. T
he first saw defending champions Team Terminator (albeit with just one of last year’s line-up) face the youngsters of Palmer Park Velo. Withers, Macke and Carr from last week’s Team Pursuit line-up faced John Williams, Sam Sturgeon and Cam Swarbrick and put in another very creditable performance, losing out by less than a second.


The second heat saw the AW Cycles trio of King, Stephen Bradbury and Gittings up against a Reading CC squad consisting of Steve Dowding, John Wann and Trevor Bradbury. Dowding went off like a rocket, leaving Wann and Bradbury struggling to get back on, but the AW trio were, once again, like a well-oiled machine and surged round to book a place in the final with the fastest time of the night – 49.76 seconds.

They couldn’t quite match that pace in the final, fading to 50.20, but it was just enough to edge out Team Terminator, despite the men in black shaving a third of a second off to record a 50.76.


Gittings – third man in the AW Team Sprint squad – has dominated the Sprint and Keirin competitions this season, but, at last, that dominance was broken tonight – and broken by a Sprinter. True, Eddy Sobieralski of wasn’t involved in the Team Sprint, so on paper had fresher legs. But he’s also on top form having taken a very close 3rd place in the National Masters Sprint competition this weekend and clocking a stunning 11.697s for the 200m in qualifying. And, having qualified comfortably ahead of Gittings in the heats, he beat him by a country mile in the final, with Matt’s team mate Bradbury sneaking in to take second. In the Bs, a very strong performance by Sam Grant of Beyond MBC prevented young George Withers continuing a Gittings-like run in the B sprint disciplines, with Joe Holloway of VC10 taking 3rd spot.


The packed programme also included a Devil – Taylor took the Senior A win from Oliver Newlan of Twickenham CC and Rutter, while Withers won the B event from Carr and Macke – and an Unknown Distance – that man Taylor again, by a whisker for the second time on the night from King with Maslin third in the As and Kevin Holloway (VC10), Aishima and Macke in the Bs.

The evening ended, as it always does, with the AW Cycles 20k which was a frantic, fragmented race which started, as it usually does, with English off the front. The race ebbed and flowed but finally settled in to a rhythm with a reasonably large lead group of a dozen or so which included most of the riders who’ve won the event this season. It was English who broke the group up, again, taking King and Bradbury with him. King went back and was replaced by Macke. As that trio came back to the group it was Bradbury who went again, this time taking Abraham, King and Ian Greenstreet of N
ewbury RC with him. King looked as though he might have finally broken free from Taylor to take his first win of the night, but it was Abraham who clinched it, comfortably in the end, from Bradbury with King settling for third. Bradbury Senior went one better than his son, taking the win in the Bs from Macke and Holloway Senior.


The Ladies events saw another Olympic Talent Team guest rider, Melissa Bury of Sportcity Velo, swapping the fast boards of the Manchester Velodrome for the smooth tarmac of the ‘Mellowdrome’. Bury followed AW Cycles’ Emma Grant home in the Keirin and the 20k and picked up a third, behind Nicci Meadows (AW Cycles) and Sarra Boyd (Mildenhall CC) in the Devil.


Finally, another mention for Palmer Park Velo rider Jason Pitt who not only took top spot in the Sonim Under 14-Under 16 Endurance competition, ahead of team mates Duncan Lawrence and Daniel Lansley, but looked comfortable in the lead group for the duration of one of the fastest 20k races of the season.

Full results

Picture Galleries

Central Division Team Pursuit Championship

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