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Bell and Holl secure second national titles on the final day in Manchester

Bell and Holl secure second national titles on the final day in Manchester

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Jenny Holl and Lauren Bell both took their second titles of the weekend on the final day of the British National Track Championships at the home of British Cycling, while Team Wales and Team Inspired won the team pursuit and team sprint, respectively.

28 national champions were crowned over the three days at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, returning to the venue for the first time since 2020.

Women’s points race

Jenny Holl (Loughborough Lightning) secured her second title of the weekend in the women’s points race to round off a dream British National Track Championships.

Holl, who already claimed the gold in the scratch race on Friday, finished in fantastic form after a surprise attack that saw her hold on to take the win solo, as Kate Richardson (Lifeplus-Wahoo) and Frankie Hall (DAS-Handsling) secured second and third in a tight sprint finish.

Richardson was leading from the gun, taking the first sprint to win five points, before Holl won the second sprint to make it a battle of the Scots. Maddie Leech (Lifeplus-Wahoo) was storming coming into the bell lap for the third sprint, but was pipped on the line by Carys Lloyd (Tofauti
Everyone Active).

Holl looked on fire and went solo with 47 laps to go, as Hall and Richardson chased, coming together to form a front group of three with 44 laps remaining as Lloyd continued to chase hard behind.

As the front three gained a lap and claimed the maximum 20 points, Charlotte Hodgkinson-Byrne (DAS-Handsling) and Grace Lister (HESS) escaped off the front with 36 laps to go.

The peloton continued to keep on the pace and drew the pair back in, before Izzy Sharp (Lidl-TREK) and Hall got away together, with Hall attempting to make another attempt to get away solo, but was reeled back in by a steaming Richardson.

Cat Ferguson (Shibden) attacked with 14 laps remaining, as Holl, Rebecca Gardiner (LVY), Eilidh Shaw (Alba Development Team) and Richardson hunted her down.

Leech, Lister and Arabella Blackburn (Shidben) managed to get away, but a tiring trio saw Holl take advantage, sprinting past them into the final lap. Holl bridged the gap and went over the top to claim her second title.

Speaking after the race Holl said:

“To be honest I felt pretty shocking at the start and I didn’t feel great at any point during it, but I guess I felt better than everyone else. I didn’t pick anything up early on and towards the end I wasn’t riding to win, I was riding to keep myself in second because Kate seemed so strong and it all came together in the last sprint. I’m over the moon!”

Lauren Bell

Women’s keirin

Lauren Bell (Team Inspired) took her second win of the weekend as she was crowned the women’s keirin champion.

A thrilling final made up of teammates Bell, Rhian Edmunds and Iona Moir (Team Inspired), Amy Cole (Wales Racing Academy), Georgette Rand (Velo Club Lincoln) and Kirsty Johnson (Edinburgh RC) saw riders follow the derny in anticipation.

Bell and Edmunds battled it out coming into the bell lap, with Bell just edging out her teammate to claim her second gold of the weekend after dominating in the women’s sprint yesterday. Welsh rider Cole claimed the bronze.

Speaking after collecting her gold medal, Bell said: “I wanted to go into the race having learnt something, I decided to try some different things and I learned the keirin hurts!

“I think I needed to have a race like this to just enjoy myself with the crowd and have fun riding my bike and feel mentally refreshed.”

Fisher

Men’s scratch race

Sam Fisher (Wales Racing Academy) took a phenomenal win in the men’s scratch race, securing his second national title of the day after the men’s team pursuit earlier in the session.

Fisher, at just 17-years-old, timed his attack to perfection, making a ferocious sprint with four laps remaining and clinging on to take the overall win, while Archie Fletcher (360cycling) and Will Roberts (Saint Piran) took it to the line for silver and bronze.

Assessing the win, Fisher said: “I came into this weekend with a bit of an illness, and after getting lapped twice in the points qualification yesterday, I wasn’t expecting this at all. The race was wicked and the crowd were amazing, screaming for me over the last couple of laps. I couldn’t have asked for more. My goal for today was to stay in the group, so to win is totally unexpected.”

The 80 lap race started with yesterday’s points champion, Will Perrett (Spirit TBW), leading from the off, and was soon joined by Roberts, Nathan Hardy (Team PB Performance), Timothy Torrie (trainSharp Elite), Henry Hobbs (Willebrord Wil Vooruit), before being swiftly caught.

Liam Davison (ADDFORM - VIVE LE VELO) made a solo move off the front with 41 laps meaning, with Perrett chasing hard, before Finlay Tarling (Willebrod Wil Vooruit) made a surprise attack over the top of the peloton as the pair were caught.

Tarling managed to gain a quarter of a lap on the bunch, with Perrett and Andrew Brinkley (OVB) looking to bridge over, but was foiled as the peloton was caught.

Perrett went with nine laps to go, Henry Hobbs (Willebrord Wil Vooruit) and Ross Birrell (Mini Discar) hot on his wheel with Nathan Hardy (Team PB Performance) and Ben Marsh (HUUB BCC RT) chasing but all came back together with five laps remaining.

But it was a grand finale as Fisher sprinted with four laps to go, Fletcher attempted a chase but no one was catching Fisher.

Keirin

Men’s keirin

Hayden Norris (Team Inspired) took the men’s keirin final after a dramatic photo finish.

In the much anticipated final, Norris edged his wheel ahead of Niall Monks (Glasgow Track Racing Club) and Harvey McNaughton (Wales Racing Academy) to take the title.

The championships saved one of its closest finishes until last, bringing the sell-out crowd to its feet as the pack stormed around the final bend of the race with the front group three abreast.

McNaughton and Monks appeared to have muscled in front with the line approaching, but a terrific final lunge saw Norris take the win.

Norris had been in close finishes all day, pipping Oliver Pettifer (Enhanced) to win his heat before sneaking through to the final behind Monks and Harry Ledingham-Horn (Team Inspired).

Of his stunning victory, Norris said:

“I thought the race was going to kick off really early with it being such a stacked field. I was looking over my shoulder with two laps to go and with nothing happening, I thought ‘someone’s gotta do it’, so I put my head down and went for it. I had no idea who had it but I was over the moon to clinch it. Keirin is so out of your hands and so much can happen, but I’ve put a lot of work into it and I think it shows."

Silver and bronze positions were deservedly picked up by Monks and McNaughton, respectively.

  Team sprint

Women’s team sprint

Inspire’s Emma Finucane, Georgette Rand, Milly Tanner and Sophie Capewell clinched gold in the women’s team sprint, beating teammates Team Inspired.

Sprint world champion Finucane, Rand and Tanner qualified fastest in a time of 49.193, just ahead of Team Inspired’s Rhian Edmunds, Iona Moir and Rhianna Parris-Smith.

In the gold medal final, which saw Capewell in for Finucane, Inspire took a commanding lead from the gun, with Team Inspired hot on their heels, responding well on lap two and three after clawing back almost half a second. However, Inspire’s strong start proved decisive as they managed to maintain their pace to claim gold.

After their win, Tanner said:

“It feels really good to take the title. We all had quite individual targets to come away from this and we had not actually ridden together as a team so to win feels great. It is amazing to be home here at the home of cycling and the support is always brilliant.”

wales

Para-cycling men’s B sprint

James Ball (Private) and Steff Lloyd (Wales Racing Academy) retained their men’s B sprint national title after a fantastic battle against world champions Neil Fachie (Black Line) and Matt Rotherham (ESV Manchester).

Having qualified fastest on 9.928, Fachie and Rotherham sailed through their opening matches to face defending champions Ball and Lloyd in the gold medal ride off.

The opening heat saw Ball and Lloyd leading from the front, holding off the charge of Fachie and Rotherham to take the first win, posting a time of 10.425. Ball and Lloyd’s power proved unmatchable in the second contest as they took a high line, churning up the pace before dropping in front of the world champions and securing the overall title, once again dipping well under 11 seconds.

Taking in the magnitude of the win, Ball said: “This was essentially a world championship final between two elite bikes. Training together, we always learn a lot from each other, although we had no idea what each team was going to do in the race. We tried to take the front - it didn’t really work but I was confident we would have the power to pass them over the top and have enough in the tank to finish.”

Speaking on the return to the National Cycling Centre, Lloyd said: “The crowd here are amazing. As Welsh lads, it’s been nice to be down in Newport the past few years, but this is the home of British Cycling and it’s great to be back.”

To secure the bronze medal, Thomas Wing (Private) and Josh Dunham (VC St Raphael) fought off Mason Bradley (Born to Bike RT) and Sean Sleigh (Born to Bike RT) in three rides to take the final spot on the podium.

team pursuit

Men’s team pursuit

Team Wales stormed to the men’s team pursuit title, with Sam Fisher, Will Roberts, Will Salter and Finlay Tarling taking the gold medal after a close battle with WKG - WardPerformanceUK.com.

After a false start in qualifying, the composite team of Sebastian Garry, Michael Gill, Will Perrett and Tom Ward (WKG - WardPerformanceUK.com S/B Kyle Gordon) stormed to the fastest time, clocking 4:02.959.

The gold medal final saw Team Wales begin the race looking the more dominant side, leading by over a second at the halfway point.

WKG - Ward Performance began to close the gap in the final kilometre, and eventually taking the lead coming into the final few laps, but Team Wales showed their grit to squeeze on and clinch the win, crossing the line as nationals champions in a time of 4:01.548.

Speaking on their win, Roberts said:

"It was really nice to win with this team and it was the first time we have ridden together, we weren’t focusing on the other team at all. The crowd was roaring and my family were in the crowd so it’s really nice to win in front of them.”

Para-cycling C1-5 mixed team sprint

Jody Cundy, Blaine Hunt and Matthew Robertson of The Avengers took on Guardians of the Galaxy made up of Archie Atkinson, Finlay Graham and Rebecca Newark for the win in the C1-5 mixed team sprint. The Avengers had qualified fastest with a time of 51.626. They dominated from start to finish and took the gold in a time of 51.390.

The Justice League made up of Sam Davies, Callum Deboys and Jacob Smith faced Wayne Harrod, Christopher Scott and Ben Wood defeated The Incredibles for third place. The Justice League qualified two seconds faster and prevailed in the final.

Day three photo gallery

Results

Women's results

Women's para results

Men's results

Men's para results