Above: A crash ends Science in Sport's title hopes in the Men's Team Pursuit.
The final day of the 2010 National Track Champs saw drama on and off the track, with Chris Hoy withdrawing from the competition due to illness, leaving Ross Edgar to claim the Keirin title. Pendleton took gold in the women's keirin, while Sarah Storey led Horizon Fitness to gold in the Women's Pursuit. There was high drama in the Men's Team Pursuit, with catches and crashes punctuating proceedings. And to cap it all, a blistering Junior Madison which saw another big performance for the hard-charging Simon Yates, joined atop the podium by Adam Yates.
VC St Raphael's ‘A' team won the national pursuit title in a dramatic final against the scienceinsport.com team. From the start, it was clear that SIS were attempting to catch the VCR team and finish the job early, with paracyclist sprinter Jody Cundy putting in an opening lap that would have looked more at home in a kilo. Cundy pulled off, leaving the three remaining SIS riders to finish the job.
And it looked like the gamble was going to pay off, with SIS winching themselves to within spitting distance of VCR's wheels. Then, disaster struck as wheels touched in the SIS squad, Tim Lawson falling heavily, meaning that SIS were down to two men and out of the competition. The gun was fired and VC St Raphael took the gold by default, as SIS's Tim Lawson remained on the apron attended by paramedics.
The Horizon Fitness team of Sarah Storey, Dani King and Alex Greenfield took the national team pursuit title in a fast, faultless ride. The trio comfortably topped the leaderboard in qualifying, a full ten seconds ahead of their nearest rivals, Orbea For Goodness Shakes. They made this numerical advantage pay in the final, catching their opponents just 2 ½ minutes into the Gold Medal ride.
Ross Edgar won the national keirin title in explosive style in a thrilling final which featured four of his Sky Track Cycling teammates. The news off the track was just as hot as the action on it, with Chris Hoy announcing his withdrawal from the competition due to illness.
Edgar reached the final in unassuming fashion, coming second in his heat and slipping into the final almost under the radar, with all eyes on the blistering Jason Kenny and Keirin specialist Matt Crampton. Indeed, come the final, it looked as if Kenny had it in the bag, taking first wheel behind the derny and gapping the rest of the field, in the company of surprise package Chris Pritchard of SIS.
The bell came and Kenny still appeared to be in charge. Then Edgar burst from shadows like a bullet, to the soundtrack of a few thousand gasps from the audience, to take the win and with it the national title. Kenny held on for silver while Pritchard held station for bronze.
Victoria Pendleton, riding for Sky Track Cycling, took her 6th Keirin title and 29th national title in typically dominant fashion. The Halesowen team-mates of Jess Varnish and Helen Scott took silver and bronze respectively, with Helen Scott battling through the repechage to earn her place in the final. Pendleton comfortably won her heat to progress to the final, easily gapping second placed Charlene Joiner of City of Edinburgh, with Varnish tussling with Motor Point Marshall's Pasta rider Becki James in her heat.
Come the final, Pendleton was out in front from the start, taking first wheel behind the derny and never letting go, despite a late charge from Varnish. Becki James, who came over the top a few laps out, looked good for a medal, but faded to finish fifth, whilst Scott timed her effort to perfection to bag the bronze.
The Maxgear RT pairing of Simon and Adam Yates took the 2010 Junior Madison title in a close fight with the GB development squad and the pairing of Hargroves and Maclay from Hargroves Cycles. The Yates duo struck early, gaining maximum points in the first sprint and scoring again in the second, putting them a point ahead of the GB and Hargroves teams, who shared second place on 6 points apiece.
Following the second sprint, the three aforementioned teams broke clear of Planet X and Manx Telecom, who lost a lap and dropped out of medal contention. Sprint three came and once again, Maxgear were dominant, pulling three points clear of the GB development squad, who in turn put daylight between themselves and the Hargroves pairing. As the lapboard ticked down, Planet X's team of Minting and Hayes stirred into life and attempted to regain their lost lap, much to the appreciation of the sell-out crowd.
However, the three teams ahead were beginning to wind things up for the final sprint, putting paid to any hopes of the Planet X guys getting back on the same page. Hargroves won the final sprint from the GB development pairing, with Maxgear picking up just one point, enough to hold on to the overall lead and the gold medal. However, confusingly Planet X were awarded 5pts in the final sprint, despite not regaining their lap. The scoring error made little difference to the final positions, GB and Hargroves holding on to silver and bronze respectively.
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