The Welsh pair of Ella Barnwell and Josh Tarling delighted the Newport crowd with emphatic victories at the British National Track Championships, as 13 more national champions were crowned on the penultimate day of competition.
Reigning champion Barnwell retained her Women’s Scratch Race title in a close-fought battle, edging out Anna Morris and last night’s Women’s Individual Pursuit champion Neah Evans.
After also winning her qualifier earlier in the day Carmarthenshire’s Barnwell showed great poise to hold off her rivals in the closing stages and secure a fourth senior national title.
Afterwards she said:
“It feels like such an honour because you've got a Welsh crowd, so it's like home winning the stripes here. It's amazing really.
“My big aim is representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games, hopefully on the track, but it would be great to do road too - I'd like to go for the win for that.”
Despite only turning 18 last month Joshua Tarling rode fearlessly throughout the 120 lap Points Race, building up an early lead by scoring points in the first five sprints. Charlie Tanfield briefly took the lead after lapping the field, but was then lapped himself to quickly restore Tarling to pole position.
In total Tarling scored in eight of the 10 sprints and took a lap on the field on his way to a winning total of 53 points, and try as they might the pair of Oscar Nilsson Julien (39 points) and John Archibald (38 points) found themselves unable to close the deficit.
“I knew it would be fast because there are quite a lot of people on really big gears and there are some big engines here. I was going to ride a little bit of a smaller gear and I just wanted to get the jump, so I thought I'd go early while I was fresh. Luckily I won two sprints and that gave me that lead, then I could sit on for a bit.
“When John went and I was on him, I knew he's got such a big engine. I was parking it every time, but I just knew I had to stick with him.”
Fin Graham made it two national champion’s jerseys in two days with a commanding victory in the Men’s C3 Pursuit, enjoying a victory margin of more than 20 seconds over Ben Hetherington and Henry Urand. This was Hetherington’s first para-cycling race on the track since a serious injury sustained competing in a club 10 time-trial in 2019, and his delight was clear for all to see.
In the C1-2 Matthew Robertson proved too strong for Ryan Taylor and Sam Ruddock to take the title, while in the C4 Martin Hailstone got the better of Nicholas Fairfield. Will Bjergfelt was the winner in the C5, with Blaine Hunt second and David Murphy third.
In the Women’s C1-3 Pursuit Daphne Schrager stormed to victory in a time of 4:05.004, with Amelia Cass second and Katie Toft third. In the C5 classification Morgan Newberry took the gold ahead of Emma Tod.
In the Para-cycling B Pursuit races Chris McDonald (piloted by Chris Latham) took the men’s competition convincingly, with Brad Gauntlett (piloted by Tim May) and Nadeem Mughal (piloted by Alex Cook) completing the podium. In the women’s event Sophie Unwin (piloted by Jenny Holl) set an impressive time of 3:28.828 in a non-national championship race.
Matt Rotherham won an entertaining Men’s 1,000m Time Trial competition, with less than a second between the three podium places. Rotherham set a blistering time of 1:01.008 to sit in pole position ahead of Harvey McNaughton (1:01.919) with just Jonny Wale left to ride.
While Rotherham waited nervously, defending champion Wale fell just under three tenths of a second slower to take the silver.
Team Inspired claimed the top four spots in the Men’s Sprint competition, with Jack Carlin adding a national title to the Olympic bronze he secured in the same event last summer, after beating teammate Joe Truman in straight legs in the final. The imperious Carlin qualified fastest and didn’t lose a single sprint all day en route to victory. In the battle for bronze Hamish Turnbull defeated Hayden Norris.
Ellie Stone was a surprise winner of the Women’s Keirin, riding brilliantly in the final to surge ahead of Emma Finucane and Sophie Capewell for a first senior national title.
Stone required the repechages to progress to the semi-final, where she finished third, behind Capewell and last night’s Women’s Sprint winner Rhian Edmunds, but caught the field off-guard in the final and victory never looked in doubt from then on.
In the Women’s Team Pursuit competition, the Brother UK-Orientation Marketing quartet of Ellen Bennett, Grace Lister, Holly Ramsey and Isabel Sharp caught their Liv CC – Halo Films opponents (Katie-Ann Calton, Ella Jamieson, Matilda McKibben and Awen Roberts) in 2:33.850.