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HomeTrack LeaguesReportsReading Track League 27 June 2011

Reading Track League 27 June 2011

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With last week’s meeting coinciding with the opening day of Wimbledon it was, inevitably, rained off – and the forecast for Round 9 of the Reading Track League programme didn’t look much more promising. But as the riders warmed up, the storm clouds dispersed and we were treated to a pleasant June evening and some of the closest racing we’ve seen all season.

Full results and photo gallery

With both Senior championships separated by a handful of points every place counts and with Senior A championship leader Stephen Bradbury of AW Cycles not riding this evening, his nearest rivals – and team mates – Matt Gittings and Cam Swarbrick were determined to close the gap.

Despite that, the opening Hare & Hounds saw the Senior B riders come as close as they have for a long, long while to staying away to the end. In the event, after a steady chase, the As finally joined the back of the B train as they crossed the line at the bell. The Bs were still motoring, though, and as they exited the final bend there were still B riders in the first seven places – Joe Holloway of VC10 leading Jason Pitt of Palmer Park Velo on to the home straight.

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Martyn Harris of Banjo Cycles was the lead A rider and he was attempting to thread his way round the outside of the pack with, inevitably, Gittings and Swarbrick in tow. Things got a little chaotic on the run in with the three A riders weaving their way through the hard charging Bs. Harris and Gittings squeezed through to take the first two places, with Harriet Owen of Motorpoint Pro Cycling – and the Olympic Development Programme – outsprinting the male B riders to take the last of the points.

Gittings had moved to the top of the standings by a single point with Swarbrick still 3 points behind Bradbury in third. Now they could rest while the B riders took to the track for their Derny Paced races. The championship battle there was equally tight with Rikki Pankhurst of AW Cyles at the top of the pile, a point ahead of Pitt. Max Brown of Didcot Phoenix was two points behind Pitt with Trevor Bradbury of AW Cycles and James Pilgrim-Morris of GS Henley – both taking the night off after gruelling LVRC National Championship road races the day before – tied for fourth a further point behind.

Pitt looked favourite to steal the championship lead after his comfortable win in the first heat – Richard Moss of GS Henley and Brown also going through to the Final – but Pankhurst snuck through, too, taking third in the second heat behind Holloway and newcomer Glenn Duffy of VC Meudon.

And it was Pankhurst and pacer Gittings who took the early lead in the final before John Wann and Pitt eased passed, followed by Sean Bannister and Holloway and Dave Dentus and Brown – with Duffy, paced by team mate Pip Taylor, holding a watching brief.

It was Brown who seemed to pose the biggest threat to Pitt’s lead in the closing stages, but at the bell it was Duffy who made his move, easing past Pitt onto the home straight to take his maiden victory. The two points, though, was enough to move the Under 16 rider to the top of the B standings. The previous three Senior B champions have been Under 16 riders ‘riding up’ and Pitt looks well positioned to carry on the tradition.


In the Women’s Derny final a close battle between Owen and Ellie Gilham of Bournemouth Arrow was finally resolved in Owen’s favour when she eased away in the closing laps. Gilham held off Jayne Paine of Willesden CC – who’d been just off the leaders for much of the race – to hold on to second place.

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The Senior As had been back on track between the Derny heats and finals for a closely contested points race – with Swarbrick and Gittings picking up points in the early stages. Young Joseph Crolla of Palmer Park Velo – one of three Under 16s riding the Senior A championship – snuck away to take the penultimate sprint but at the bell it was Swarbrick ahead with 8 points and Gittings just behind him on 6 that lead into the final bend. Swarbrick couldn’t hold off his team mate’s charge and they both ended the race on 11 points, Gittings taking the win by virtue of finishing ahead of his rival on the final lap. Gittings now led the championship by four points, with Swarbrick still third, but now only a point behind Bradbury.

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The traditional ‘filler’ before the AW Cycles 20k Endurance race is the Unknown Distance and this evening’s was one of the longer races we’ve seen for a long time – a whopping 8 laps. Sam Sturgeon of Team Terminator went from the gun, but was soon hauled back by Harris and Swarbrick who dominated the race, watching each other and closing down moves by Owen, Dan Maslin of Prestige VC and Donal Linehan of Newbury RC. As they entered the final bend it was Peter Jenkins of New Zealand – based at Reading ahead of the World Masters Track Champs – who led with Swarbrick on his wheel. The AW Cycles rider came round him on to the home straight to take the win – and move into second place overall, two points behind Gittings and two ahead of Bradbury. Almost halfway through the season and we have had 3 leaders in three weeks and there’s still less than an evening’s points tally between them. Linehan came through to take second with Jenkins finishing third.

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Duffy was first B across the line – adding to his Derny win – and the judges couldn’t separate Holloway and Moss for second. Owen took another win in the Ladies event, ahead of Sarra Boyd of Clee Cycles KCNC and Gilham.

And so to the 20k. A steady start saw the large field strung out round the track for the first two thirds of the race, with an injection of pace from the usual suspects finally breaking up the field with 15 laps to go. By the closing stages there were nine riders in contention and that group stayed together until the end. Gittings, predictably, won the final sprint – but not by the margin he’s enjoyed of late – with Sturgeon a couple of bike lengths back in second. The decision for third was tight with Harris being given the nod from Greenstreet. Moss took the B win from Holloway with Simon Dawson of Inverse RT third. In the Ladies race Paine took maximum points from a gutsy Gilham with Boyd in third.

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Senior A & B

Hare & Hounds
1 Martyn HARRIS Banjo Cycles
2 Matt GITTINGS AW Cycles
3 Harriet OWEN Motorpoint Pro Cycling

Senior A

Points Race
1 Matt GITTINGS AW Cycles 11 points
2 Cam SWARBRICK AW Cycles 11
3 George WITHERS Palmer Park Velo 5

Unknown Distance
1 Cam SWARBRICK AW Cyclees
2 Donal LINEHAN Newbury RC
3 Peter JENKINS Levin NZ

AW Cycles 20k Endurance
1 Matt GITTINGS AW Cycles
2 Sam STURGEON Team Terminator
3 Martyn HARRIS Banjo Cycles

Senior B

Derny Paced Final
1 Glenn DUFFY VC Meudon
2 Jason PITT Palmer Park Velo
3 Joe HOLLOWAY VC 10

Unknown Distance
1 Glenn DUFFY VC Meudon
2= Richard MOSS GS Henley
2= Joe HOLLOWAY VC 10

AW Cycles 20k Endurance
1 Richard MOSS GS Henley
2 Joe HOLLOWAY VC 10
3 Simon DAWSON Inverse RT

Ladies

Derny Paced Final
1 Harriet OWEN Motorpoint Pro Cycling
2 Ellie GILHAM Bournemouth Arrow CC
3 Jayne PAINE Willesden CC

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

AW Cycles 20k Endurance
1 Jayne PAINE Willesden CC
3 Ellie GILHAM Bournemouth Arrow CC
3 Sarra BOYD Clee Cycles KCNC

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