Location: Herne Hill
Event: 24 September 2011
Report And Photography: Guy Swarbrick
The National Derny Championships - rained off on at Welwyn on August 20 - reconvened at Herne Hill on Saturday. The winner of the only completed heat from the first running - Matt Gittings of AW Cycles - flew to the US the day after the first running to begin a cycling scholarship at Marian University in Indianapolis. He has already become a three-time US Collegiate National Champion, but he was unable to return for the re-arranged date, so the competition was re-started from scratch.
Three very strong heats in the Men's competition each qualified four riders for the Final, with the remainder going to a Minor Final. And the three heats could hardly have been more different.
The first 33-lap heat was dominated by two Agiskoviner riders - Alex Wise led for much of the race with pacer Sean Bannister before he was overhauled by Jack Kirk and ace German Derny rider Peter Bäuerlein. In the closing stages, Kirk still lead from Wise with Jack Hibberd of Halesowen A&CC and Doug Pinkerton, Symon Lewis of Elite Edwardes and Tony Hibbert, and Oliver Davies of Dinnington RC bunched up behind them. On the back straight on the final lap, Kirk lost touch with his pacer and Wise moved back into the lead. Hibberd and Davies moved through, but Lewis lost his pacer, too. Kirk carried on solo and, though Lewis & Hibbert got back together, the Derny-less Kirk held on to take the fourth Final berth.
In the second heat David Jack of Twickenham CC made much of the early running with pacer David Scott with Robert Cox of Cambridge CC and pacer Clive Sturgeon at the head of affairs behind. As Jack's challenge faded, pre-race favourites Adam Duggleby of scienceinsport.com and pacer Alex Wharton, Dale Appleby of Cyclepremier.com-Metaltek and pacer Simon Layfield, Agiskoviner's James Holland-Leader paced by Graham Bristow and Ian Cooper of Planet X with Pinkerton pacing moved past Cox to take control of the race. In the closing stages Duggleby and Wharton took control at the front with Appleby & Layfield behind but it was Cooper and Pinkerton who came round outside to take the heat win. Holland-Leader & Bristow cruised home some way behind to take the fourth slot in the Final.
In the last of the heats, the pair tipped to provide the biggest challenge to Duggleby and Wharton - Appleby's team mate Matt Rowe and his pacer Courtney Rowe - sat at - or just off - the back of the race until the final third of the race, cruising through to take control inside the last 10 laps. It was a confident performance and, although John McClelland and Derek Marloe came past them on the home straight to win the heat, it looked as though the Final would be between Duggleby and Rowe.
McClelland & Marloe had led for much of the race - ahead of James Notley of Planet X and pacer Richard Notley - but it was Notley's team mate Rich Prince with Pinkerton pacing that took the last place in the Finals, coming in alongside third placed David Martin of thebicycleworks.com and pacer Dave Urquhart.
The Women's Championship saw a straight Final over 33 laps and a gutsy ride from Hannah Walker of Motorpoint Pro Cycling, paced by Bäuerlein. Walker lead for most of the race, taking control early on and heading Corrine Hall of Team Corridori and pacer Marloe, and Clare Newland of Welwyn Wheelers and Scott. Walker started to pull away from Hall and Newland while her team mate Harriet Owen sat just off the leaders with pacer Sturgeon, waiting for the right time to make their move - and make it they did, although Sturgeon admitted afterwards that it was probably a couple of laps too soon.
Owen & Sturgeon cruised past Newland and Hall and started to reel in Walker. Newland was able to go with the move but Hall faltered and, as she reached her team mate, so did Owen, leaving Newland to challenge Walker for the win. She gave it everything in the final few laps - losing the Derny at one point, before getting back on and attacking again - but Walker was having none of it and eased away on the final lap to take the title with Newland taking Silver and Hall recovering to take the Bronze.
The 66 lap Men's Final demonstrated that, sometimes, the simplest of tactics are the most effective. With most of the riders gearing up after the heats to take advantage of the smooth, fast new surface, Duggleby & Wharton and Kirk and Bäuerlein took to the front from the gun with, initially, the Rowes and Appleby & Layfield sitting in wait in tandem behind. They wound up the speed and held it, breaking their challengers one by one.
Holland-Leader & Bristow dropped back to the pack with Kirk and Duggleby, and Rowe and Appleby circulating in two pairs but with the gap between then widening every lap. Rowe then started to fade fast with Appleby also dropping back as Holland-Leader & Bristow got into their stride and started to look like the ‘best of the rest'.
Kirk and Duggleby, though, were in a class of their own and set about lapping the field time and time again. By the finish Holland-Leader - a couple of laps up on the rest of the field, was two laps down on the leaders.
Duggleby was widely fancied for a podium; late entry Kirk was more of an unknown quantity and, while he'd looked strong when he passed his team mate Wise in the Heats, he clearly hadn't shown all his cards. From a distance, some might have though Duggleby was being canny - letting Kirk set the pace at the front and waiting for the right moment to pounce. Up close, Kirk looked comfortable on the front, lap after lap. And as they came inside ten to go Kirk upped the pace again and Duggleby could no longer hold his pacer's wheel, blowing up spectacularly and losing two laps on the run-in. The Silver medal was safe, but it was Kirk who would take the title with Holland-Leader - flying round at 60kph and lapping everyone else - taking the Bronze.
Mens National Derny Championship
1 Jack KIRK Agiskoviner Cycling Team, pacer Peter Bäuerlein
2 Adam DUGGLEBY scienceinsport.com, pacer Alex Wharton
3 James HOLLAND-LEADER Agiskoviner Cycling Team, pacer Graham Bristow @ 2 laps
4 Dale APPLEBY Cyclepremier-Metaltek, pacer Simon Layfield @ 4 laps
5 John McCLELLAND, Agiskoviner Cycling Team, pacer Derek Marloe
6 Oliver DAVIES, Dinnington RC, pacer Tim Read
7 Jack HIBBERD, Halesowen A&CC, pacer Doug Pinkerton
8 Richard PRINCE, Planet X, pacer Richard Notley
9 Matt ROWE, Cyclepremier - Metaltek, pacer Courtney Rowe
10 David MARTIN, Thebicycleworks.com, pacer David Urquhart
Womens National Derny Championship
1 Hannah WALKER, Motorpoint Pro Cycling, pacer Peter Bäuerlein
2 Claire NEWLAND, Welwyn Wheelers, pacer Dave Scott
3 Corrine HALL, Team Corridori, pacer Derek Marloe
4 Harriet OWEN, Motorpoint Pro Cycling, pacer Clive Sturgeon
5 Janet BIRKMYRE, XRT-Elmy cycles, pacer Graham Bristow
6 Estelle ROGERS, Rollapaluzza, pacer Tony Hibbert
7 Nicci MEADOWS, AW cycles, pacer Doug Pinkerton
Mens National Derny Championship (Minor Final)
1 Cam SWARBRICK, AW Cycles, pacer Derek Marloe
2 Johannes ROUX, Giant CC, pacer Graham Bristow
3 Trevor BURKE, Finchley RT, pacer Tim Read
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.