Track: The Dave Creasy Memorial Six

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Running an outdoor track meeting in the Autumn in Britain is always a gamble - running an outdoor meeting in Britain in the summer's enough of a gamble - and with storms heading in over the Atlantic, the chances of the inaugural Dave Creasy Memorial Six being affected by the weather were high.

VC Londres founder and President for the last 10 years, Dave Creasy died late last year and today's meeting - based around the format of the Gent Six which he loved - was conceived as a memorial to him and the fact that, thanks to a few last minute delays, it was the first to be run on the new track at Herne Hill seemed entirely fitting.

The meeting started in glorious sunshine - and a howling gale - a combination that was to dominate all but about ha indeed....if an hour of the day. The morning was devoted to the youth riders that Dave did so much to develop over the years with a Madison based Omnium competition for under 16 riders and a more conventional Omnium for under 12 and under 14, and under 8 and under 10 riders.

The youngest category saw a fierce battle between Oliver Freeston-Wilkes and Finlay Wellings with Freeston-Wilkes winning the three lap Scratch with Wellings second, Wellings taking the win in the Sprint ahead of Freeston-Wilkes. Tied going in to the final event - a three lap points race, it was Freeston-Wilkes turn to take top spot and the overall win with Wellings securing second in the Points race and second overall. Elizabeth Marvelli in third place overall has the highest placed of the girls.

The battle in the under 12-under 14 category was for second place with Joe Truman winning every single event (including ‘Mr Creasy's Danish Line Race', which wasn't part of the Omnium) to take the overall event. Fred Wright and Max Bergin tied for second with Bergin taking second place behind Truman in the four lap Scratch and the Devil and Wright taking the runner's up spot in the Handicap and the five lap Points race. Charlotte Cole-Hossain took the girls' prize and fifth overall.

The Under 16 competition was a dominated by three pairs of riders - with one par missing out on a perfect score by just two points! Jack Hoyle and Ashley Dennis took the opening Madison Scratch race from Rory Townsend and Oliver Plumley with Joe Crolla and Max Stedman in third place - a result that was repeated in a fast and furious Points race.

In the Madison Flying 200 - which featured a wide variation in technique - it was Hoyle and Dennis who were fastest with Crolla and Stedman second and Townsend and Plumley third. The Devil was a conventional one - with all riders involved but no Madison element - which allowed Hoyle and Dennis to take first and second places.
Going in to the final event - the Ploegkoers, or traditional Madison - Hoyle and Dennis simply needed to finish to take the overall, but Crolla and Stedman could, theoretically, still snatch second of they won and Townsend and Plumley failed to score. Far from failing to score, Townsend and Plumley took the win to secure second overall with Hoyle and Dennis securing the overall with a solid second place. Crolla and Stedman finished third in the race and overall.

And so to the main event. Twelve pairs of riders took to the track in their specially commissioned matching pairs of jerseys to be introduced to the sizeable crowd who'd returned from the cycle jumble - and the beer tent - to cheer them on. With each pair taking a the head of the line for a lap while being introduced by organiser and MC extraordinaire John Scripps, it was pair 14 of Joseph Wood (VC Londres) and George Holland (Brixton Cycles) in their red and black checkerboard jerseys who had the honour of being the first pair of riders to be introduced at a Dave Creasy Six.

Following the introduction, the pairs split to form up for the Klassementsprinten - a Points race where half the pair contest the first two sprints before slinging in their partner to contest the final two. The first drama of the afternoon came on the first lap and saw Doug Dewey of GWR Team-Swindon Cycles in the pink jersey roll the tub on his front wheel and come down hard.

He was quickly back in the race, though, with team mate Dave Sinclair and the fall didn't seem to affect them too much - with the pair taking the win with 14 points ahead of the dark green jerseys of Tony Gibb ( and Tom Gallcher (Welwyn Wheelers) and the
Planet X duo of Ian Cooper and Rich Prince - whose grey jerseys matched the sky for much of the afternoon) tied in second place on six points. Prince & Cooper took the points for second place by virtue of their position in the last sprint.

And so to the Ploegtidjrit or Madison 200m Time Trial where, if anything, there was more variety of technique than there had been in the Under 16s. Wood and Holland tried a conventional Madison sling which, with a time of 13.85 and twelfth place, probably wasn't the way to do it. Most - like the all black duo of Felix English ( and Symon Lewis (Elite Edwardes) tried some variation of a tight tandem 200m approach with a last minute reverse handsling to power the ‘live' rider down to the white line.

It certainly worked for English and Lewis with English storming round in 11.82 seconds to take maximum points. Another strong performance from Sinclair and Dewey who took second with a 12.06 and also from the Junior pairing of Stephen Bradbury (AW Cycles) and Jess Wieckowski (Team Nemesis GB) who posted a very creditable 12.16 in third place - just six hundredths ahead of Cooper and Prince.

The first of the 35 lap Derny heats saw four of the five riders take the lead at some point with Bradbury making the early running with James Hawkins of GWR Team-Swindon Cycles in lime green and Cam Swarbrick of AW Cycles in Gold tucked in behind them and Cooper holding a watching brief behind. Hawkins took the lead after ten laps or with Cooper moving through to share the work at the front. Bradbury took after at about half distance, with Swarbrick taking the lead - briefly - with 13 to go. With Swarbrick fading, Bradbury took over at the front with Hawkins on his shoulder and Cooper loitering behind but that order was reversed in the final lap with Cooper coming round Hawkins to take the win as Hawkins followed him through to take second.

The second heat, by contrast, saw Felix English then ride away from the rest of the field, looking for all the world as though he would take the win comfortably. The only person who didn't think so was Tony Gibb, who waited until the last five or six laps and surged through to take a very impressive win, with a fading English holding on for second ahead of the white jersey of James Holland-Leader (Agisko-Viner).

Before the second round of Derny Heats we had a Madison Elimination race - or Ploegafvalling, as they say in Gent - with one live rider being eliminated each lap - taking his partner with him - with handslings as required. Another first lap tyre problem saw the gold jersey of Harry Strudley (AW Cycles) drop out leaving his partner Cam Swarbrick to battle round on his own. By the time the wheel change was done, Swarbrick was out. Ahead of the mishaps in the minor places, the field was being thinned out - as often as not for the unfortunate timing of a change rather than poor positioning in the bunch - and it was Lewis and English, Sinclair and Dewey and Gibb and Gallacher who took the first three places with Gallacher the last man eliminated and English pipping Sinclair on the line.

More Derny heats next with Rich Prince riding a brilliant tactical race letting Scott Bugden of Team Corridori - riding in a yellow and black jersey which paid tribute to Dave Cresey's days with Polhill CC - set the early pace with Gallacher and Dewey also ahead of him. As Bugden faded, Gallacher made his move and still Prince waited - falling further back from the leaders. Dewey took control and then Prince made his move, easing his way through the field to take a narrow win as Dewey finally lost his Derny on the run in to the finish. Bugden recovered sufficiently from his early efforts to hold on to third.

In the final Derny race it was the orange jersey of Corrine Hall that made the early running, shadowed by Iain Cook of VC Londres in white. Conor Bunn riding in the VC Londres tribute colours over his normal VCL kit - cruised past Hall to take the lead for a couple of laps before Hall re-passed him with the gold jersey of Harry Strudley following her through. Strudley took over the front with 15 laps to go, with Symon Lewis on his shoulder and in the closing stages first Lewis and then Cook came past to fight for the win. Lewis held on to take with Cook second and Strudley third.

And so, to the final event - the 30km Ploegkoers - or Madison, to the non-Flemish speakers amongst you. Sinclair and Dewey continued their good form, racking up plenty of points early on, with Lewis and English and Prince and Cooper also showing well.

With just under 20 laps to go Anderson and Bugden went on the attack and pulled out a decent lead, but were caught just before the penultimate sprint. Cook amd Holland-Leader took that one ahead of Lewis and English, Cooper and Prince and Bradbury and Wieckowski. In the aftermath of that sprint, Gibb attacked and he and Gallacher pulled out more than half a lap.

The rules of the competition say that if a pair takes a lap on their own in the final Madison - and provided nobody else does - they take not just that event, but the omnium overall. That give Gibb amd Gallacher a huge incentive to take a lap but it also gave the chasing group a huge incentive to pull them back. Omnium leaders Lewis and English kept an eye on proceedings but let second placed Sinclair and Dewey and Cook and Holland-Leader do the bulk of the work. Even with the added assistance of the gale force wind, it wasn't enough to stop Gibb and Gallacher from taking the final sprint, but it was enough to stop them taking the lap.

What that late effort and final points win did do was bring Gibbs and Gallacher up to 22 points - a long way behind Sinclair and Dewey's race winning 40 - but exactly the same as both Lewis and English and Prince and Cooper. Gibbs and Gallacher took second by virtue of their win in the final sprint with Lewis and English finishing ahead of Prince and Cooper on the final lap to take second.

The final points tally can be a little confusing because - as at Gent, the final result is rolled into the final Madison result. While nobody took a lap in the race, two pairs - Lewis and English and Sinclair and Dewey - did accumulate over 100 points, so they're shown as a lap up. All the teams from Cooper and Prince in third down to Swarbrick and Strudley in ninth finished on the lead lap in the Madison, but didn't clear 100 points, so they're shown as a lap down and the remaining three teams have another lap added to the laps they were actually down in the Madison. Simple, really.

The net result of which is that the overall win - and handsome two-part trophy - went to Lewis and English, with Sinclair and Dewey second and Cooper and Prince third. Gibb and Gallcher's sterling efforts to take the lap in the Madison were rewarded with fourth place.

As is often the case with these events, there's a supporting cast that makes it all possible. Yes, there are judges and caterers and all the rest - but I'm referring to the riders in the support races who get up in between the feature races to keep the spectators entertained and give the Madison riders a rest. Three riders, in particular, did more than their fair share with Dan Snow of Glendene CC winning the 10 lap Scratch, Points and Devil to take the Omnium win overall, Jack Edwards of San Fairy Ann CC pulling off an impressive solo win in the 10km Scratch and Estelle Rogers of Rollapaluza who had a clean sweep in the Ladies Omnium and won the Ladies Derny Paced race.

The meeting was an enormous success and we look forward to next year's Dave Creasy Memorial Six. But what of the new track surface? One of the Senior A riders admitted that - despite the fantastic history of the place, he hated riding on the old, decaying surface. His verdict? "This is now the best outdoor track in the country."



1. Symon Lewis Team Edwardes & Felix English Science In 114 pts
2. David Sinclair & Doug Dewey GWR Team/Swindon Cycles/High5/Kalas/Giant/Joyriders 106
3. Ian Cooper & Richard Prince Planet X 98 pts -1 lap
4. Tony Gibb Cycling Team & Tom Gallagher Welwyn Wheelers 71
5. Iain Cook VC Londres & James Holland-Leader Agiskoviner Cycling Team 40
6. Stephen Bradbury AW Cycles & Jess Wieckowski Team Nemesis GB 38
7. Llewellyn Kinch & James Hawkins GWR Team/Swindon Cycles/High5/Kalas/Giant/Joyriders 26
8. Luke Anderson Wigmore CC & Scott Bugden Team Corridori 23
9. Cameron Swarbrick & Harry Strudley AW Cycles 22
10. James Solly & Conor Bunn VC Londres 18 -2 laps
11. Jake Martin Pendragon/Le Col/Colnago & Corrine Hall Team Corridori 13 -3 laps
12. Joseph Wood VC Londres & George Holland Brixton Cycles 12 -5 laps

Points race
1. David Sinclair & Doug Dewey GWR Team/Swindon Cycles/High5/Kalas/Giant/Joyriders 14 points
2. Ian Cooper & Richard Prince Planet X 6
3. Tony Gibb Cycling Team & Tom Gallagher Welwyn Wheelers 6

200m Madison Time Trial
1. Symon Lewis Team Edwardes & Felix English Science In 11.82
2. David Sinclair & Doug Dewey GWR Team/Swindon Cycles/High5/Kalas/Giant/Joyriders 12.06
3. Stephen Bradbury AW Cycles & Jess Wieckowski Team Nemesis GB 12.16

Derny 1
1. Ian Cooper
2. James Hawkins
3. Stephen Bradbury

Derny 2
1. Tony Gibb
2. Felix English
3. James Holland-leader

Derny 3
1. Richard Prince
2. Dave Dewey
3. Scott Bugden

Derny 4
1. Symon Lewis
2. Ian Cook
3. Harry Strudley

1. Symon Lewis Team Edwardes & Felix English Science In
2. David Sinclair & Doug Dewey GWR Team/Swindon Cycles/High5/Kalas/Giant/Joyriders
3. Tony Gibb Cycling Team & Tom Gallagher Welwyn Wheelers

Final Madison
1. David Sinclair & Doug Dewey GWR Team/Swindon Cycles/High5/Kalas/Giant/Joyriders
2. Tony Gibb Cycling Team & Tom Gallagher Welwyn Wheelers
3. Symon Lewis Team Edwardes & Felix English Science In

Support Races

Omnium Overall
1. Daniel Snow 30 points
2. Richard St Pierre 22
3. Tom Phillips 14
4. Matthew Theobalds 12
5. Chris Cole 11
6. Robert Moore 10

10 Lap Scratch
1. Daniel Snow
2. Richard St Pierre
3. Chris Cole

12 Lap Points
1. Daniel Snow
2. Richard St Pierre
3. Robert Moore

1. Daniel Snow
2. Matthew Theobalds
3. Tom Phillips

10km Scratch
1. Jack Edwards
2. Tom Phillips
3. Richard St Pierre


10 Lap Scratch
1. Estelle Rogers
2. Sarah Brook
3. Maria Stefano

1. Estelle Rogers
2. Sarah Brook
3. Maria Stefano

1. Estelle Rogers
2. Sarah Brook
3. Maria Stefano

10km Scratch
1. Estelle Rogers

Under 16

Madison Omnium Overall
1. Jack Hoyle & Ashley Dennis 56 points
2. Rory Townsend & Oliver Plumey 39
3. Joseph Crolla & Max Stedman 26
4. David Barnes & Kieran Laurie 14
= Henry Dawson & Jack Plumley 14
6. Andrew Bradshaw & Jacob Kennison 2
= Lucy Harper & Bethany Hayward 2
8. Abbie Dentus & Megan Lewis 1
= Joshua Cole-Hossain & Harrison Coombes 1

Scratch Madison
1. Jack Hoyle & Ashley Dennis
2. Rory Townsend & Oliver Plumey
3. Joseph Crolla & Max Stedman

1. Jack Hoyle & Ashley Dennis
2. Rory Townsend & Oliver Plumey
3. Joseph Crolla & Max Stedman

Madison Flying 200m
1. Jack Hoyle & Ashley Dennis
2. Joseph Crolla & Max Stedman
3. Rory Townsend & Oliver Plumey

1. Jack Hoyle & Ashley Dennis
2. Rory Townsend & Oliver Plumey
3. David Barnes & Kieran Laurie

1. Rory Townsend & Oliver Plumey
2. Jack Hoyle & Ashley Dennis
3. Joseph Crolla & Max Stedman

Under 12 and Under 14

1. Joe Truman 40 points
2. Fred Wright 26
= Max Bergin 26

Under 8 and Under 10

1. Oliver Freeston-Wilkes 28 points
2. Finlay Wellings 26
3. Elizabeth Marvelli 12