Heald Wins National Grass Track Title

Heald Wins National Grass Track Title


Location: Roundhay Park, Leeds
Event: 31 July 2011
Report: Kim Meadows

A sunny Roundhay Park in Leeds was the setting for the National 400m Champs, National Endurance League and BSCA National Grass Track championships on the, with spectators treated to a fun, exciting and dramatic day of track racing.

The main event was the National 400m Grass Track sprint event, which saw an exciting final where Dave Heald (VC St Raphael) displayed a convincing ride to take the honours with local rider and WRTL regular Lewis Meadows (Cottingham Coureurs RT) delivering a storming ride to seize second place just holding off the charge of Bruce Croall (City of Edinburgh RC).

They were so closely matched that the commissaries had to look back at the photo finish and deliberate for some time to decide the two medal placings, but it was local favourite Meadows who was agreed to have taken the silver.

Meadows commented: "The track was the fastest I've ridden all year and the support from the local crowd really spurred me on to get a medal. Roundhay really is one of the best grass tracks to ride in the country."

The National Endurance Round 8km Grass Track race also had a strong field with many attacks coming from Lewis Meadows (Cottingham Coureurs RT) who gained an early break which took the other riders six laps to catch him, however he had gone a bit too soon with a further 10 laps of the race remaining. It was then the turn of Howard Heighton (Ferryhill Wheelers) to attack away from the group and he gained over half a lap on the rest of the field who were looking around at each other to chase.

With only three laps of the race remaining it looked like Heighton had the race sewn up until an attack from Matthew Fenton (Cottingham Coureurs) came from the group and the chase began. A nail biting last few laps saw the group catch back Heighton and swallow him up with only one lap remaining.

Then it was down to who had the freshest legs, Jordan Hargreaves (Team Wallis) proved the strongest with a well timed and executed finishing flourish to take the win, with Matthew Fenton (Cottingham Coureurs) in second followed closely by Jason Streather (VC St Raphael).

The National BSCA champs also saw some exciting racing from up and coming youngsters from around the country. Riders took part in a sprints, pursuit and scratch omnium to decide the medal placings.

The other events of the day were a women's omnium, which was won by Lauren Brown (Border City Wheelers CC), various fixed wheel races for the seniors and some freewheel races for the youngsters some of whom had never raced previously.

Senior sprinter Rowan Elliot even entered the juvenile slow race showing great skill until his team mate and crowned National 400m teammate Dave Heald decided to catapult him over the finish line in order to make things fair for the kids. It was left for a battle between two skilled U14 riders, Joel Partington and Joe Parker only for Joel to pass the line next leaving Joe Parker to take the win.

The day was a great success and organiser Mandy Parker hopes to hold another National event at Roundhay next year.

Organiser Mandy Parker concluded: "This was the first time a national had been held at Roundhay since the 1980's and the West Riding Track league decided to run a national event as the Park staff had worked hard over the last few years to bring it up to standard.

"The league has grown in popularity over the last three years with ever increasing numbers of riders, both young and old and we are confident it will continue to grow."