Welwyn Dernyfest and Women's Omnium
17th July; Welwyn Garden City; by Peter Waghorn
Despite the gusty wind, the riders in the Women's Omniun and the Dernyfest enjoyed a great afternoons racing at this famous British track. The field in the five event Women’s Omnium was boosted by five additional entries on the day and after completion of four events, there were five points between the top three riders overall.
Janet Birkmyre won the opening 500m Time Trial from Vicky Williamson and Emma Grant and she added the 16 lap Scratch for good measure with Emma Grant and Elizabeth Steel in the minor places. The four lap Pursuit changed the picture which Emma Grant won with Steel second and Claire Newland third. Birkmyre finished down in seventh spot. The Sprint also caused a few upsets as Vicky Williamson put out Janet Birkmyre in their heat and went on to win the final with Steel second, Grant third.
Thus, with the Points race remaining, Elizabeth Steel had 13pts, Emma Grant 9 and Janet Birkmyre 14. Next best rider was Emma Patterson with 22 pts. In the final race of the competition, after the first two sprints, a group of four riders went away; Jayne Paine, Claire Newland, Elizabeth Steel and Emma Williams leaving the rest a ‘pointless’ chase.
Steel dominated the Sprints but punctured with two laps left but had gained sufficient points to take top spot in the Points race with Williams second by a point. This gave the overall victory in a hard fought series of races to Elizabeth Steel from New Zealand by one point over Emma Grant with Janet Birkmyre third.
The Dernyfest was set up to have three 9-up heats with the top three going through to the final and the next group of three going to two Minor Finals.
In each of the three heats, the pace was wound up in the last few laps which soon saw the major contenders coming to the fore. Max Pendleton won the Minor Minor Final paced by George Gilbert with a well judged attack in the last two laps whilst the Minor Final went to Johannes Roux followed by Robert Cox and David Baker.
The Final, run over 30km, saw Matt Gittings (George Gilbert) attack from the gun along with Simon Lewis (Graham Bristow) and the two opened up a substantial gap. The battle for the minor placings developed between Chris Bush, Tom Gallacher, Alex Wise and John McClelland. Meanwhile, Matt Gittings had dropped Simon Lewis and proceeded to lap the whole field including Simon Lewis with 10 laps to go. A masterly performance by Matt Gittings/George Gilbert which was roundly applauded by the spectators.
1. Matt Gittings (AW Cycles) / George Gilbert
2. Symon Lewis (Sigma Sport) / Graham Bristow
3. Chris Bush (VC St. Raphael) / Doug Pinkerton
4. Tom Gallacher (Welwyn Wheelers) / Francis Gallacher
5. Alex Wise (Agiskoviner) / Dave LeGrys
6. John McClelland (Agiskoviner) / Sean Bannister
7. Richard Prince (Planet X) / Martin Fry
8. Sam Sturgeon (Team Terminator) / Clive Sturgeon
DNF. Ian Cooper (Planet X) / Tony Hibbert
1. Johannes Roux (Giant CC) / George Gilbert
2. Robert Cox (Cambridge CC) / Doug Pinkerton
3. David Baker (Police Sport UK) / Martin Fry
4. Anthony Bristow (San Fairy Ann) / Graham Bristow
5. James Holland-Leader (Agiskoviner) / Tony Hibbert
6. Neil Fraser (Hitchen Nomads) / Francis Gallacher
7. Jeff Baird (GS Metro) / Clive Sturgeon
8. Gavin Mitchell (Twickenham CC) / Sean Bannister
DNF. Mike Westwell (RAF CC) / Dave LeGrys
Minor Minor Final
1. Max Pendleton (Mildenhall CC) / George Gilbert
2. David Scott (Welwyn Wheelers) / Martin Fry
3. Iain Young (Scunthorpe Poly) / Tony Hibbert
4. Glen O'Brien (CC Luton) / Clive Sturgeon