Numbers were down both in the youths and seniors probably due to the weather - several riders said they had driven through heavy rain and thunder - and the number of riders still recovering from their exertions at the Masters National Track Championships in Newport.
The fifth Preston Park meet of the season was marred by a crash which sent young Charlie Heffernan to hospital with a broken collar-bone. The evening had nevertheless begun promisingly with 68 riders signing on, despite the dark skies and the real threat of rain. Two-thirds of the scheduled racing took place before the accident brought an abrupt halt to the meeting.
The Individual Pursuit may now be the former Olympic blue riband event, but it can still provide an enthralling spectacle at any level. As well as the Final of the Men's competition, this week's meeting also saw the Ladies' Final and the first running of the Junior Pursuit. With just four seconds separating the Men's Finalists Bryan Taylor of VC Londres and Reading CC's Nick English, the final looked like it would be close...
The East Midlands eased in to the lead in the team competition after the first session of the British Cycling Inter Regional Track Championships at Newport. That lead's unlikely to last long, though, with North West riders Matt Rotherham and Jessica Crampton qualifying fastest in both the Boys and Girls Sprint competitions - although East Midlands' Ben Green will be trying to keep things on track.
The Senior A racing saw Joshua Roberts (Zappis Racing Team) have a good night placing in every race and out sprinting John McClelland (Bush Healthcare CRT) in the 10 Miler. McClelland’s performances on the night left him 85 points clear of second placed Frank Longstaff (Team Terminator) in the overall championship, with Keith Bryceland of Welwyn Wheelers 10 points further back.
With all weather forecasters predicting that Palmer Park would be bathed in rain showers for the second meeting of the Reading Track League, many riders would have undoubtedly started the day thinking racing would be called off. And, as if to tease riders even further, a heavy rain shower at 6pm meant some riders made a (sadly premature) decision to stay at home. However, those who did make it to Palmer Park were treated to a night of exceptional – and, mostly importantly, dry – racing.
Pictures by Guy Swarbrick
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.