Location: Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton
Cycle racing of all kinds thrives in the West Midlands and this season, more than ever, the Fred Williams Cycles Track League has attracted competitors from across the local clubs.
Lichfield City CC has recently acquired a new sponsor, a very attractive club kit and a rejuvenated committee. Jacob Kelly took third place in the Senior B category and could well have improved on that position if bad weather hadn't intervened and prevented racing for the final night. Luke Selibas and Will Hyde raced consistently well throughout the season and gained ninth and eleventh respectively.
Julie Cooper also had a good season, the first female rider for Lichfield, and not far behind the leading female riders. Isabelle Clarke also made a strong impression taking second female rider in Youth. Finally, and by no means least, Amy Selibas (sister of Luke) and Daniel Cooper put in some good racing in Freewheelers A.
The University of Birmingham has its own successful cycling club and competed in the league to great effect. Team captain Mark Brown had a particularly good season and came second in the Senior B. Lara Nyman made a very promising start in Senior B but was unable to continue after the university term ended, which was the same case for Xavier Disley who would definitely have been in the top three of Senior A had he been able to continue. Will Rudgard, however, did complete the racing starting in Senior B but transferring to Senior A half way through. Next season he will be an athlete to watch.
The host club, Wolverhampton Wheelers, were always going to gain the most achievement from the league but the competition generated by the other clubs and individuals lifted the bar for everyone and made for a far more entertaining and exciting season. The top wheeler in Senior A was Adam Lewis who took third place, he has just turned sixteen and has already tasted national success and surely has a great potential for the future. Fourth place went to Jason Colledge who also won the trophy for best Veteran rider. Richard Walkerdine took eleventh place and Tim Metcalfe whose riding has seen a marked improvement in the last twelve months took a well deserved fourteenth place.
Wheeler Andy Jones took the top spot in Senior B despite some strong competion from elsewhere but we need to go to eighth position before we find another Wheeler; Tony Deleon. Kate Evans had a good seasons racing, but missed the middle while on secondment in America. This was good enough, however, to gain her the Rachael Lewis Memorial Trophy for the best female Wheeler. Carl Hardwick just missed the top ten but still had a successful and personally rewarding season. Josh Burke also did well as did Mark Lewis.
In Youth Wheelers took the first three places with each race highly contested. Jack Escrit took first place, James Ireson second and Ryan Phillips third. Top female Wheeler youth rider went to Jessie Ansell again riding consistently. Freewheelers A and B were dominated by Wheelers but this is the breading ground for future competitors and credit to this careful nurturing of talent must go to Craig Ansell and the rest of the coaching team. Matty Lewis took first place in Freewheelers A with Georgia Hilleard second and Will Manfield third. First female Freewheelers A went to Claire Fielding. In Freewheelers B first place and first female went to Kate Britton with Dan Morris second and Harry Lewis third.
The overall winner of the league went to Halesowen rider Jack Hibberd. This is the second successive year that he has won and his racing has been strong, competent and intelligent throughout the season. This was a well deserved and popular win.
Mike Williams of the sponsor Fred Williams Cycles was on hand to award the trophies and prizes with organiser John Ireson officiating. The consensus is that John has done an excellent job in his first year of running the league and has already put in place plans for 2012. We all look forward to next year with great anticipation.