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HomeTrack LeaguesReportsReading Track League 11 April 2011

Reading Track League 11 April 2011

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After a scorching weekend, the first round of Reading Velodrome Racing’s 2011 season looked at risk as the morning’s bright start was replaced with thick clouds and blustery showers. Miraculously, an hour or so before racing was due to start, the skies cleared and the sun emerged again. The wind that had cleared the clouds remained, blowing hard down the back straight, but the risk of rain had gone.

This season’s programme has been revised slightly. It now starts with separate VIA International 10 Lap Scratch races for Senior A and B riders every week, except when the Derny paced races are on the programme, when the traditional A and B Hare and Hounds will replace them.

John_Coolahan_and_Sam_Sturgeon_of_Team_Terminator_dominate_the_inaugural_VIA_International_10_Lap_Scratch_for_the_Senior_As

No Derny races this week, though, so the evening kicked off with a brisk opener for the Senior As which saw Team Terminator’s new signing John Coolahan lead out the sprint with team mate Sam Sturgeon in close pursuit. The newly formed AW Cycles Junior Team had Frazier Carr, Harry Strudley and Cam Swarbrick present – all ‘fresh’ off the back of two days of the Tour of Bristol Junior National Road Race Series event. With all of them complaining of tired legs after three hours of climbing in the Mendips the previous day, the fact that Swarbrick – who rode for Team Terminator in 2009 and 2010 – went with Coolahan and Sturgeon – took everyone by surprise. And the fact that he held off Neil Rutter of Swindon RC and Martyn Harris of Banjo Cycles for third place was quite a shock. That, surely, was it for the evening…

The Senior B race was much more active with a number of attacks – notably from John Glaysher of a3 crg – but it was last year’s Under 16 Champion Jason Pitt of Palmer Park Velo – still a youth rider – who took the win from Stuart Stow of Hounslow and Rikki Pankhurst of AW Cycles. The Ladies race was won by Jayne Paine of Willseden CC with Sarra Boyd of Clee Cycles KCNC in second and Harriet Owen of Motorpoint Marshall’s Pasta and the Great Britain Olympic Development Programme in third place.

In the A Sprint heats, Rutter of Swindon RC took the first from Harris and Donal Linehan of Newbury RC. In the second, Sturgeon eased to the win as Swarbrick came round team mate Nick English to take second. The fastest of the three heats saw Coolahan qualify with Jun Aishima of Reading CC taking second and the fourth berth in the final.

In the A Sprint heats, Rutter of Swindon RC took the first from Harris and Donal Linehan of Newbury RC. In the second, Sturgeon eased to the win as Swarbrick came round team mate Nick English to take second. The fastest of the three heats saw Coolahan qualify with Jun Aishima of Reading CC taking second and the fourth berth in the final.

Sam_Grant_of_Beyond_MBC_took_the_Senior_B_Sprint

In the Bs, Dave Dentus of Team Quest marked his return to racing with a comfortable win in the fastest of the B heats, securing a place in the final for second placed Pankhurst. Sam Grant of Beyond MBC joined them in the final, beating Stow  to progress. And Reading CC’s Paul Cooper took the last of the Finals slots, leading home Callum Robertson of Maidenhead & District CC.

The Ladies had a straight final and it was Owen that cruised home ahead of Boyd and Paine.

Cam_Swarbrick_of_AW_Cycles_in_the_closing_stages_of_the_Devil

Next up was the Devil – an even given new found respectability with its inclusion in the Omnium event at the Olympics and the World Championships. The Senior As event was a thriller, too, which came down to a four up sprint between Swarbrick, English, Rutter and Harris. Swarbrick was third as they entered turn three but found some legs – and a gap – from somewhere and powered through on the inside to take the win from Rutter and Harris.

In the Bs it was young Jason Pitt of Palmer Park Velo who dominated the race, winning the final dash by most of the length of the home straight from Glaysher and Paul Stedman of Reading CC. Owen was the last of the Ladies to be eliminated with Boyd taking second and Paine third.

In a short Unknown Distance race to get the legs loosened up before the 20k, it was a break of three riders who tied up the places with Linehan taking it on the line from English, with Swarbrick not far behind. The front end of the chasing bunch was dominated by the B riders with Stow taking the honours ahead of Pankhurst and Pitt. Owen was again the fastest of the Ladies, ahead of Paine and Boyd.

John_Coolahan_of_Team_Terminator_takes_another_win_-_this_time_in_the_Senior_A_Sprint

The A Sprint final was extremely close with Coolahan just pipping Rutter on the line in the A final, with Sturgeon tucked in behind in third place. Grant had a slightly easier time of it in the Bs, winning by a bike length from a very closely matched Dentus and Pankhurst – the AW Cycles rider just getting the nod from the judges.

The most exciting race of the evening – by far – was the AW Cycles 20k Endurance race. After an early solo attempt to slip away by Stow faded,  a group of four went away and started to pull out a gap. By lap 15 the quartet – Linehan, Harris, Swarbrick and young Josh Ansell of Palmer Park Velo – had almost half a lap on the bunch. By half distance they were struggling and Ian Greenstreet of Newbury RC and English were off the from of the main group, steadily eroding the gap to the leaders. Ansell blew first, just failing to get a wheel during a change he couldn’t claw his way back and decided to ease off and rejoin the main group. Linehan started to fade, too and fell back in to the gap between Harris and Swarbrick and the chasing English and Greenstreet. In the meantime, Carr and Strudley had slipped off the front and were chasing hard to join the leaders.

Then Swarbrick – who’d been visibly suffering for a while – couldn’t stay with Harris and fell back to join Linehan. As Greenstreet and English joined them, Swarbrick couldn’t hold the pace and also fell back and joined the bunch, as did Carr and Strudley. Harris took the lap shortly afterwards, with Greenstreet, English and Linehan joining him a couple of laps later.

Harris had ridden for half the race in a break – half a dozen laps on his own as he battled to make the junction – and had nothing left for the sprint, finishing towards the front of the pack. English and Greenstreet, who’d taken their lap at a steadier pace – and Linehan who’d eased off and joined them – were a little fresher and the
three of them contested the final sprint with Rutter. It was English that prevailed – by the narrowest of margins – taking the win ahead of Greenstreet. Rutter took fifth overall, crossing the line just ahead of Linehan, who secured third thanks to his lap advantage.

All in all, a great night’s racing and a fantastic start to the new season.

Senior A

VIA International  10 Lap Scratch
1 John COOLAHAN Team Terminator
2 Sam STURGEON Team Terminator
3 Cam SWARBRICK AW Cycles

Devil
1 Cam SWARBRICK AW Cycles
2 Neil RUTTER Swindon RC
3 Martyn HARRIS Banjo Cycles
4 Nick ENGLISH AW Cycles

Sprint
1 John COOLAHAN Team Terminator
2 Neil RUTTER Swindon RC
3 Sam STURGEON Team Terminator
4 Jun AISHIMA Reading CC

AW Cycles 20K Endurance
1 Nick ENGLISH AW Cycles
2 Ian GREENSTREET Newbury RC
3 Donal LINEHAN Newbury RC

Unknown Distance
1 Donal LINEHAN Newbury RC
2 Nick ENGLISH AW Cycles
3 Cam SWARBRICK AW Cycles

Senior B

VIA International 10 Lap Scratch
1 Jason PITT Palmer Park Velo
2 Stuart STOW Hounslow
3 Rikki PANKHURST AW Cycles

Devil
1 Jason PITT Palmer Park Velo
2 John GLAYSHER a3 crg
3 Paul STEDMAN Reading CC

Sprint
1 Sam GRANT Beyond MBC
2 Rikki PANKHURST AW Cycles
3 Dave DENTUS Team Quest

AW Cycles 20K Endurance
1 Jason PITT Palmer Park Velo
2 Stuart STOW Hounslow
3 Rikki PANKHURST AW Cyles

Unknown Distance
1 Stuart STOW Hounslow
2 Rikki PANKHURST AW Cyles
3 Jason PITT Palmer Park Velo

Ladies

10 Lap Scratch
1 Jayne PAINE Willseden CC
2 Sarra BOYD Clee Cycles KCNC
3 Harriet OWEN Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta

Devil
1 Harriet OWEN Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta
2 Sarra BOYD Clee Cycles KCNC
3 Jayne PAINE Willseden CC

Sprint
1 Harriet OWEN Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta
2 Sarra BOYD Clee Cycles KCNC
3 Jayne PAINE Willesden CC

Unknown Distance
1 Harriet OWEN Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta
2 Jayne PAINE Willesden CC
3 Sarra BOYD Clee Cycles
KCNC

AW Cycles 20K Endurance
1 Jayne PAINE Willesden CC
2 Sarra BOYD Clee Cycles
KCNC

Under 14/Under 16

AW Cycles 20k Endurance
1 Max STEDMAN Palmer Park Velo

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