After last night’s short Pursuit and Sprint pre-qualifying session, the competition proper kicked off today with Women’s Sprint, Women’s and Men’s Individual Pursuit and the Men’s Team Sprint.
In the Para Championships, we saw the Men’s and Women’s Tandem Sprint Qualifying – with the Women’s event concluding in the opening session. With just one entrant, the Men’s event consisted of Qualifying alone. And the final event on the programme was the Para Mixed Scratch.
The Women’s Sprint Qualifying went right to the wire with Rhian Edmunds of Wales jumping ahead of the 17 previous competitors to take the lead with a 10.945, ahead of Emma Finucane on 11.032.
That left just one rider – Sophie Capwell of Team Breeze – who was the only other rider to go under 11 seconds, but her 10.968 wasn’t quite enough.
Emily Burgess, Anna Whitworth-Hay and Jodie Taylor progressed from the 1/16 finals, but the seeding ensured that they all exited the competition in the 1/8 finals, at the hands of Edmunds, Capewell and Finucane.
Those three were joined in the Quarter Finals by Lauren Bell, Lowri Thomas, Luisa Steele, Serena Natt and Milicent Tanner.
All the Quarter Finals were concluded without the need for a decider, with Edmunds, Capewell and Finucane progressing along with Lowri Thomas.
Thomas’ reward was an all-Welsh Semi-Final meeting with Edmunds which was also done in two rides. Not so the other Semi which saw Capewell take the opener against Finucane – before being relegated in the second race to take the match to a decider – leaving the crowd some hope of an all-Welsh Final.
It wasn’t to be, with Capewell taking the decider. A Welsh ride was guaranteed a Bronze, though, and it was Finucane who took it, beating Thomas in both Bronze medal riders.
In the Gold medal Final, Edmunds put her self on pole position with the opening win, but Capewell levelled up the match. The crowd got behind the local rider in the decider, which she won to take the Gold.
Men’s Individual Pursuit
The seven heats were split into two seeded groups, with the first group of four seeing Thomas Day (4:22.020), Tom Ward (4:20.823), William Roberts (4:16.756) and Michael Gill (4:13.789) win their heats, with Gill ultimately progressing to the Bronze Medal final and Roberts to the 7th-8th ride.
The final three heats were the key ones in terms of the seeded riders and in the first of them Dan Bigham put down a marker with a new National Record of 4:05.274, with his opponent William Perrett ultimately riding for 6th.
The penultimate heat saw Charlie Tanfield join Bigham in the final, recording a time of 4:08.953, with Jonathan Wale 5th fastest.
Which left Kyle Gordon to clock 4:08.953 to book his Bronze medal ride against Gill, with John Archibald only able to record the 8th fastest time, securing the last of the places in the finals.
In the Minor Finals, Archibald beat Roberts with a time of 4:14.450 – two seconds up on his Qualifying performance and nine ahead of his opponent – while Perrett rode alone, with Wale not starting. His time of 4:16.036 was enough to take 6th behind Archibald.
The Bronze medal ride saw Kyle Gordon take the medal with a time of 4:14.589, two seconds clear of Gill – both riders a couple of seconds adrift of their times from the morning.
In the Final, Tanfield improved on his Qualification time, while Bigham slipped a little – but the 3.7 second gap only closed to two seconds, with Bigham taking Gold with a 4:05.962 to Tanfield’s 4:07.972.
Women’s Individual Pursuit
The Women’s competition again saw an initial four heats and then a second batch of three and it was Grace Lister (3:41.205). Kate Richardson (3:33.085), Francesca Hall (3:39.257) and Ella Barnwell (3:33.488) taking victory in their heats, but it’s the times that count.
Hall, Barnwell and Richardson would all end up riding again, with Richardson in the Bronze medal final, Barnell in the 5th-6th and Hall in the 7th-8th.
In the first of the remaining three heats, Jenny Holl edged out Victoria Smith by four tenths with a 3:38.545 – which was enough for Holl to makre the 5th-6th Final and Smith the 7th-8th.
The sixth heat saw Sophie Lankford almost seven seconds clear of Maddie Leech on 3:33.173 – joining Richardson in the Bronze medal ride, with Leech just missing out. The fastsest – and closest – of the heats was the last, with Neah Evans just 0.09 seconds clear of Anna Morris – setting up a mouth watering Gold medal final.
The Minor Finals so Barnwell on top – six seconds clear of Hall and Smith, with Holl another six seconds back in 8th.
Richardson took the Bronze in a very close race against Lankford – winning by just over half a second – while Morris ran Evans close again in the Final – although not as close as in their First Round heat – the Scot takig the title from the home rider by a just over a second in the end.
Men’s Team Sprint
The Men’s Team Sprint Qualifying round saw two teams – Team Inspired and Team East Midlands – break the 45 second barrier – with a 44.661 for the East Midlands and Inspired on 43.738.
With 8 slots in the First Round it was only the two slowest teams Glasgow Track Racing Team C and PDQ Cycle Coaching, that missed out.
The first heat of the First Round was the closest by far – Enhanced edging out Glasgow Track Racing Team B by just over four tenths, with Glasgow Track Racing Team A beating Black Line to the other slot in the Bronze medal ride. Team East Midlands had a comfortable win over Di Mascio to take the first berth in the Gold medal ride.
The final heat saw two teams which had qualified eight seconds apart in the morning session on the track together, with the crowd treated to the very rare sight of a catch in a Team Sprint. Despite the disruption which saw the squad a second down on their Qualifying performance, Team Inspired were through to the final.
The two teams in the Bronze medal ride had been around a second apart in both their earlier rides and that form was repeated in the final, with the Scottish squad taking the medal in a time of 46.821.
The two Gold medal finalists have been four hundredths apart in the First Round – at least in part because of the catch – having been a second apart in Qualifying. Normal service was resumed in the Final, with Team Inspired – Jack Carlin, Ali Fielding, Joseph Truman and Hamish Turnbull across the three rides – taking the win with a 43.852.