Preston Park Track League July 21
Story posted July 26, 2010; Week 15 of Track League | Report by Gavin Smith, photos by Dan Dunbar, Sally Page & Pauline English
After the disappointment of last week’s rained-off meet, it was business as usual at Preston Park with the usual mix of entertaining racing in all categories. First up, the league points championships, then a full and varied supporting programme of events.
League leader Felix English was back with a vengeance tonight having missed two meetings due to riding the Junior Tour of Ireland and the European Junior TT and road-race championships. He had well and truly taken the Irish tour by storm, winning two stages and going home with the “King of the Mountains” jersey, and he was obviously in top form for his return to the Brighton track.
English wasted no time before breaking away in the 25-lap senior Points championship. The echoes from commissaire Daniel Gerrey’s starting whistle were still reverberating when English launched his attack, immediately creating a significant gap and taking the 5-point maximum five laps later. With English ploughing a lonely furrow upfront, efforts from Brock Duncumb-Rogers, Ashley Dennis, Jack Oliver-Blaney, Drew Holmes, Sam Cheesman, Andy Edwards and Charlie Burrell failed to make inroads into the Irish international’s lead.
Nick Smith tried bravely to break away from the pack at mid-race, but to no avail, as English continued to eat up the laps alone and took the next two maximums untroubled. Nick Jepson, Richard Bailey, Ben Miller and Matt Davies tried vainly to shake up the peloton, but with five to go it was yet again English bagging the five points and aiming to gain a lap, with the others vying only for runner-up spot. Indeed, with just two laps to race, English lapped the field and he came home as an exceedingly worthy champion. In the tight battle for runner-up spot, Duncumb-Rogers did just enough to salvage silver and Oliver-Blaney bagged bronze. Burrell, Dennis and Cheesman took the next three placings.
Immediately after the medals ceremony, the seniors were back on the track for an 8-lap race. The early animators were Oliver-Blaney, Edwards, Rupert Rivett and Steve Kane, but they failed to create a gap and at mid-race it was Duncumb-Rogers ahead of the pack with Richard Bailey. As this duo was duly caught and the bunch hesitated, Martin O’Brien tried his luck. He gained a maximum of 100 metres and stayed out front for two laps, but on the final circuit, English rocketed from the peloton to take another convincing win, followed home by Jack Hoyle, Duncumb-Rogers, Oliver-Blaney, Dennis and Mark Turner.
Well-known photographer Rupert Rivett showed he is equally snappy on the bike, developing a breakaway from the start of the B-cat dash. Despite his well-focused attitude and the encouragement of spectators, he faded out of focus, leaving the way for a massive sprint won in style by Hoyle. Next past the flag (if there had been one) would have been Burrell, Kane, Nigel Burrows, Matthew Butt and Turner. In the A-cat dash, Matt Davies timed his move to perfection, rocketing away just before the bell and staying away for a fine win, Duncumb-Rogers, Smith, Oliver-Blaney, Dennis and Paul Barnard filling the other points-scoring placings.
An exciting unknown distance race rounded off the meet. English dominated, taking all three £5 primes and spending much of the event dangling off the front. Duncumb-Rogers, Burrell, Davies and Edwards were prominent in the bunch, ensuring that English’s lead was kept down to manageable proportions. After his earlier successes, English could be pardoned for allowing the bunch back up to him and as the bell rang, a bunch gallop was inevitable. English seemingly had the sprint under control, but Duncumb-Rogers was moving up on his right and pipped him by a tyre’s-width, though English was relegated for raising an arm along the finishing straight. Second place went to Holmes and he was followed by Edwards, Andy Parle, Smith and Dennis.
The weekly youth award went to Jake Deakin for his relentless attacking in all the U16 races.
Both the U16 and the U14 title-races took place jointly, with a healthy field of 16 riders battling for the six medals available in the 15-lap event. U14 Jack Hoyle, who usually rides with the seniors, put up a stupendous performance, posting all five maximums to take the U14 title, with Matthew Hill coming second and Jake Marley third. The U16 title went to Jack Priddle, with Sara Gent winning silver and Imogen Farlie going home with bronze.
Matthew tried his luck with a breakaway attempt right at the start of the 4-lap scratch, but Kimberley English and Jake Marley kept the bunch tempo high and ensured Matthew’s attempt was doomed. It all came down to a bunch sprint, in which new rider Jake Deakin was first over the line, but his no-hands salute led to an inevitable DQ, leaving U16 Jack Priddle in first place. Next came U14s Matthew, Jake Marley and Kimberley, and the next two U16s were Imogen, and Sarah Cooper. Jake Deakin kept his hands well and truly on the bars when winning the later handicap event, in which Laura Cheesman took second and Imogen was third.
Amy Smith won every maximum in the points championship to convincingly take the title, and she was followed by Isaac Wright and Ben O’Brien. She also won the 2-lap scratch, in which Ben was runner-up and Isaac came third. Amy rounded off a perfect evening by winning the handicap contest, where Isaac came second and Ben finished third.
U10 / U8
Rahul Fortescue-Talwar dominated the U8 points championship to take the title, and there was a close contest for the silver medal, which was eventually won by Ben Battle from Rory Burke. Noah Ridgway-Brown took the equivalent U10 championship, where Bethany Lewis grabbed the silver medal and Stan Abbott-Stacey bagged the bronze.
Rory Burke fell at the start of the U8 1-lapper, but he was gamely straight back on his bike for the re-start. Rahul won the sprint to take victory, followed in by Ben and Rory, with Oliver Brooker fourth. Noah won the exciting U10 one-lap scratch race, while Bethany again came second and Stan finished third. The U8 handicap race saw Ben, Rahul and Rory cross the line in that order, while in the U10 event George Turner led home, with Stan Abbott-Stacey and Miranda Wright just behind him.