Jim Varnish – father of GB Sprinter Jess and former World Cycle Speedway Champion – launched his new V-Sprint Pro Team at Revolution 36 on Saturday and new recruit Pete Mitchell told trackcycling how they got on.
Revolution 36 was the final round in the 2011-12 season of this popular series and the debut of my new team for the 2012 season – V-Sprint Pro Racing. Just a few months ago, myself, Dave Daniell and Philip Hindes were approached by V-Sprint, to try to create a team that would enable us to deliver world class times and performances on domestic duty. As well as this, it will make elite track sprinting much more accessible to people and sponsors who wish to get involved with and support the sport.
The day of the Revolution itself began with a 200m qualification time trial, where I posted a time of 10.230 seconds – a Personal Best – to place me third behind Sir Chris Hoy and Matt Crampton. Jason Kenny was a close 4th at 10.238 seconds followed by Dave in 10.25. Philip rode 10.56. With such strong qualifying, we knew that anyone of us had a strong chance of progressing to the semi finals and the evening sessions where, with the sell out crowd screaming you down the finishing straight, anything can happen.
Come the 1st round, Hoy, Crampton and myself progressed through to the semis, but Dave narrowly missed out to newly crowned World Champion Kenny.
The evening session delivered everything we hoped for – a packed out stadium full of fans and enthusiasts excited to see who would prevail. After a sharp tactical move, Kenny crossed the line first knocking Hoy out of the competition. In my ride against Crampton, I tried to take a strong lead from the front, but he proved to be too strong and won the dragrace to the line by a wheel. Despite this, I was still pleased with my ride as Crampton is enjoying great form at the moment. This ride on top of my personal best time in qualifying, made for a very successful sprint competition.
There was little time to savour the moment as 15 minutes later the three of us were on track again for the keirin. The V-Sprint riders had been pitted against the GB representatives for the evening and I decided on an early move to the front and then try to hold off any attacks that were launched. I gave it everything from one lap out and was still in the lead with 20 metres to go but Dave came with massive speed from the back to beat me ont he line. Dave told me afterwards he hit 73.8kph in coming passed me, which is pretty fast whatever way you look at it. Still, a 1-2 for V-Sprint kept the crowds and team manager happy. All that was left now was the final event of the night, the team sprint.
It was gone 10pm by the time we raced, and a long day, erratic eating and a fair few races were all telling on the legs. As a man one specialist, the team sprint was Philip’s main focus of the night – and he delivered with a sterling time of 17.82 for his opening lap. Needless to say, that was a massive challenge to keep up with for both me and Dave but three laps later, the clock stopped at 45.3 seconds, placing us second overall, ahead of both Great Britain and France. Sky took the win in 44.3.
As a first outing for a recently developed team, the night was a complete success. I think that on that night we put V-Sprint on the map as one of the two track teams that are going to dominate sprinting in Great Britain throughout this Olympic year.
To keep up to date on the team’s progress over the coming year you can follow @Vsprintracing, @PeteMitchellGB, @DaveDaniell and @Philip_Hindes on Twitter – as well as @trackcycling, of course!