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East Midlands secure track victory at the Olympic Velodrome on the final day of the UK School Games

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After Yorkshire's victory on the road, the final day of competition in the UK School Games moved from the Redbridge Cycling Centre to the Olympic Velodrome for a full day of racing in front of a large crowd – many of them school parties being exposed to track racing for the first time. They won’t have been disappointed.


The racing kicked off with a Keirin competition – with the girls taking to the track first. The first of the A-B Finals was won by Eleanor Dickinson of the North West with Lucy Harper of Eastern second and Abby Mae Parkinson of Yorkshire third. The second saw favourites Ellie Coster of Wales and Hannah Blount of the East Midlands drawn together and it was Coster who took the win with Blount sitting up on the run in, safe in the knowledge that she had qualified.

In the Final Coster rode away from her rivals at the bell and was ten bike lengths clear at the line with Blount leading home the bunch, ahead of Dickinson.

Girls’ Keirin

GOLD COSTER Ellie Wales
SILVER BLOUNT Hannah East Midlands
BRONZE DICKINSON Eleanor NEW

4 PARKINSON Abby Mae Yorkshire
5 FAULKNER Sophie West Midlands
6 HARPER Lucy Eastern
7 FENWICK Jenna Scotland
8 LEWIS Megan South East
9 HUGHES Anna Marie Central
10 PILGRIM Molly South West
11 TURNER Charlotte South
12 BOAK Kirsty North East
13 MCKIVERIGAN Shenna Ulster

The heats of the Boys’ event were slightly more one-sided – Jacob Kelly of the West Midlands taking the first comfortably ahead of Crit gold medallist Matthew Gibson of the North West. Jack Hoyle of South took gold in the final however.

Boys’ Keirin

GOLD HOYLE Jack South East
SILVER KELLY Jacob West Midlands
BRONZE HOLT Joe Wales

4 MOODY Levi Yorkshire
5 CREW Harry East Midlands
6 TEGGART Matthew Ulster
7 TRUMAN Joe South
8 GIBSON Matthew North West
9 DONNELLY Rhys Scotland
10 DONCASTER Theo Eastern
11 KELLY Will South West
12 MORGAN Luke Central
13 AULD Scott North East

The more cautious approach of the Tandems in the 200m Time Trial is deceptive. Once they’re on the black line they really motor and Sophie Thornhill and Megan Boyd took the girls’ gold medal for the North West with an impressive 11.963 seconds – two seconds faster than Lydia Hayden and Ana Gill. Thornhill and Boyd’s North West team mates Joe Widdowson and Ryan Whatmough went a little quicker – 11.719 – to take the Boys Gold, although the margin was somewhat narrower; Jack Garner and Matthew Waters were less than two tenths behind on 11.890.

Girls’ Tandem 200m Time Trial

GOLD THORNHILL Sophie & BOYD Megan 11.953
SILVER HAYDEN Lydia & GILL Ana 13.974
BRONZE HAYDEN Alice & THODAY Emily 14.781

Boys’ Tandem 200m Time Trial

GOLD WIDDOWSON Joe & WHATMOUGH Ryan 11.719
SILVER GARNER Jack & WATERS Matthew 11.890
BRONZE WHITE Luke & MAXWELL Oliver 12.144

A number of riders tested the resolve of the bunch in the girls’ scratch race – including Kim English of South East, Bethany Hayward of Eastern, Abigail Dentus of Central, Melissa Lowther of Yorkshire and Charlotte Broughton of East Midlands – but none with any real purpose.

In the end, though, it came down to a gallop and it was Lucy Shaw of the West Midlands who held off Grace Garner of the East Midlands to take the Gold with Hayward following them home to take the Bronze.

Girls’ Scratch Race

GOLD SHAW Lucy West Midlands
SILVER GARNER Grace East Midlands
BRONZE HAYWARD Bethany Eastern

4 LOWTHER Melissa Yorkshire
5 JAMES Ffion Wales
6 TAYLOR Bethany South
7 BROUGHTON Charlotte East Midlands
8 DENTUS Abigail Central
9 ENGLISH Kimberley South East
10 BARKER Megan Wales
11 O'BRIEN Lauren Yorkshire
12 VAN TWISK Abigail South East
13 CLARKE Isabelle West Midlands
14 GORNALL Amy North West
15 EVANS Chloe Central
16 WILKINSON Jessica North West
17 SHEEHAN Alex South West
18 BARTLETT Lulu Scotland -1
19 BORTHWICK Emma Scotland -1
20 BRADY Emma North East -1
21 MAYNARD Rebecca Eastern -2
22 BULLER Shannon Ulster -3
23 MARTIN Erin South West -4
24 STOVES Rhianna North East -5

The boys’ scratch was more combative than the girls’ with more attempts to break clear – no more success. Charlie Tanfield of the North East tried to get away in the opening laps and Road Race gold medallist Ben Chapman of Central made an attempt – but neither stayed away for long. Tristan Robbins of South also tried early on, as did James Shaw of the East Midlands but to no avail.

Robbins, though, wasn’t finished and broke again with two and a half laps to go surging down the back straight into a twenty metre lead that he never relinquished. His fine solo win was followed home by his companion in the earlier attempt Joel Kelly of South West with Shaw taking the Bronze.

Boys’ Scratch Race

GOLD ROBBINS Tristan South
SILVER KELLY Joel South West
BRONZE SHAW James East Midlands

4 EVANS Joe West Midlands
5 CULLAIGH Gabriel Yorkshire
6 TANFIELD Charlie North East
7 CLOSE Fabio North West
8 MAGNANI Louis South East
9 WILTSHIRE Joe Wales
10 STEDMAN Max Central
11 PHILIPS Ryan West Midlands
12 CHAPMAN Ben Central
13 KING Jack East Midlands
14 TROTT James South West
15 BALFOUR Stuart Scotland
16 MCCANN Jez South East
17 FRY Joe Eastern
18 MODELL Louis Eastern
19 JONES Nicholas Wales
20 MULHOLLAND Declan Ulster
21 MCINNES Struan Yorkshire 2
22 WORTON Matthew North East 3
23 MCCOMB Harry Ulster 5
24 MILDON Matthew South 5
54 BRAYBROOKE Christian North West DNF

The East Midlands duo of Hannah Blount and Grace Garner checked before the race what the National Under 16 Record was for the Team Sprint – then went out and smashed it. Wales qualified second to join them in the Gold Medal ride with Yorkshire and the North West riding for Bronze.

In the Final, Blount and Garner broke the record again – taking it down to 36.701. Ellie Coster and Megan Barker couldn’t match that pace and clocked 37.546 to take Silver. Lauren O’Brien and Melissa Lowther were a second and a half off that pace but their time of 39.027 was good enough to see off the challenge of Eleanor Dickinson and Amy Gornall who did a 39.919.

Girls’ Team Sprint
GOLD East Midlands (BLOUNT Hannah, GARNER Grace) 36.701
SILVER Wales (COSTER Ellie, BARKER Megan) 37.546

BRONZE Yorkshire (O'BRIEN Lauren, LOWTHER Melissa) 39.027
4 North West (DICKINSON Eleanor, GORNALL Amy) 39.919

5 West Midlands
6 South East
7 Scotland
8 Eastern
9 Ulster
10 South West
11 Central
12 North East
13 South

A very close boys’ Team Sprint competition saw the South East team of Louis Magnani, Oliver Moors and Keirin gold medallist Jack Hoyle fastest in qualifying, ahead of James Ireson, Jacob Kelly and Joe Evans of the West Midlands. Wales and Yorkshire raced for Bronze.

There were no records broken in the boys’ event, but the South East took the gold in a very respectable 51.747 seconds – a tenth ahead of the West Midlands. Wales’ time was a fraction behind the West Midlands but seven tenths ahead of their bronze Medal ride opponents Yorkshire.

Boys’ Team Sprint

GOLD South East (MOORS Oliver, HOYLE Jack, MAGNANI Louis) 51.747
SILVER West Midlands (IRESON James, KELLY Jacob, EVANS Joe) 51.824

BRONZE Wales (WILTSHIRE Joe, HOLT Joe, KERFOOT-ROBSON Dylan) 51.858
4 Yorkshire (GLEDHILL Leon, CULLAIGH Gabriel, MOODY Levi) 52.561

5 East Midlands
6 North West
7 Scotland
8 Central
9 South
10 Ulster
11 Eastern
12 North East
13 South West

The Tandem Kilometre went pretty much to form with Sophie Thornhill and Megan Boyd clocking a blistering 1:14.596 – second fastest time of the day – to take the gold some twelve seconds ahead of Lydia Hayden and Ana Gill.

Luke White and Oliver Maxwell had a disastrous start in the Boys race – from which they never recovered – which left us a two horse race with Jack Garner and Matthew Waters setting a time of 1:14.757 only for Joe Widdowson and Ryan Whatmough to go almost a second faster with a 1:38.807.

Girls’ Tandem Kilometre Time Trial

GOLD THORNHILL Sophie & BOYD Megan 1:14.596
SILVER HAYDEN Lydia & GILL Ana 1:26.841
BRONZE HAYDEN Alice & THODAY Emily 1:28.308

Boys’ Tandem Kilometre Time Trial

GOLD WIDDOWSON Joe & WHATMOUGH Ryan 1:13.807
SILVER GARNER Jack & WATERS Matthew 1:14.757
BRONZE WHITE Luke & MAXWELL Oliver 1:37.046

Harper’s exertions in the Keirin hadn’t taken everything out of the Eastern rider’s legs as she came over the top to take the first sprint from Parkinson, Emily Haycox of Wales and Charlotte Broughton of the East Midlands. A similar attack from Kim English of the South East secured the next set of points with Haycox picking up another three and third fourth places going to Lucy Shaw of the West Midlands and Charlotte Broughton of the East Midlands.

Maintaining the pattern of the race so far, Abigail Dentus of Central surprised the field and escaped to take Sprint three with Abby Mae Parkinson of Yorkshire second and Bethany Hayward of Eastern region third. Another point for Emily Haycox cemented her overall lead but when a three rider break got away she wasn’t in it.

Even if they couldn’t gain the lap, the three escapees – Hayward, Dentus and Parkinson – were all within a few points of Haycox and just allowing them to take the next set of points was too big a risk. Haycox and Lucy Shaw of the West Midlands made the jump and started to chase down the leaders. They closed the gap and the group of five started to bear down on the bunch. Hayward and Haycox tried to drop the other three riders but Dentus and Parkinson responded and the quartet rode away with Dentus and Hayward picking up two more Sprints en route. It was Dentus who was the first to take the lap, with Hayward, Haycox and Parkinson close behind. Shaw though had lost touch with the leaders and although she battled valiantly for another 5 or 6 laps – picking up the penultimate sprint win on the way – she eventually capitulated and dropped back in to the bunch.

Haycox had secured the gold with a second place behind Shaw but going in to the final sprint the race for silver and bronze was still wide open with Parkinson second on 29 points, Hayward third on 27 points and Dentus fourth on 26.

Haycox took maximum points to cap a fine win. She’d edged out Dentus with Hayward taking third place. That left Dentus, Hayward and Parkinson all tied on 29 points with their final positions determined by their finishing order on the last lap – Dentus taking the Silver and Hayward the Bronze with Parkinson just missing out.

Girls’ Points Race

GOLD HAYCOX Emily Wales 37
SILVER DENTUS Abigail Central 29
BRONZE HAYWARD Bethany Eastern 29

4 PARKINSON Abby Mae Yorkshire 29
5 SHAW Lucy West Midlands 7
6 HARPER Lucy Eastern 7
7 ENGLISH Kimberley South East 6
8 BROUGHTON Charlotte East Midlands 2
9 MELLOR Amira Yorkshire 0
10 BOTTELEY Sian East Midlands 0
11 EVANS Chloe Central 0
12 WILKINSON Jessica North West 0
13 CLARKE Isabelle West Midlands 0
14 CHEESMAN Laura South East 0
15 SHEEHAN Alex South West 0
16 STEMBRIDGE Hester South West 0
17 ATKINSON Jess North West 0
18 JAMES Ffion Wales 0
19 PRIESTLEY Hayley Ulster -40
DNF FENWICK Jenna Scotland
DNF BRADY Emma North East
DNS ALLEN Erika Scotland
DNS STOVES Rhianna North East

The boys’ points race was run at a frantic tempo with the bunch strung out in a line for most of the race and gradually reducing in size. No laps were gained – although a group of nine riders came close around the mid-way point. Nine riders scored points with no less than six different riders winning sprints – and none won more than two.

The first went to Gabriel Cullaigh of Yorkshire who headed home James Shaw of the East Midlands, team mate Fabio Close and Charlie Tanfield of the North East. Shaw took the second with Tom Baylis of the South West leading him out and taking second, Joe Fry of Eastern third and Close the final point. Fry was looking sharp after a disappointing couple of days but fell victim to unfortunate accident early in the race that left him with a suspected broken collar bone.

Tanfield took Sprint 3 from Cullaigh with Max Stedman of Central third and Tristan Robbins of South fourth. Shaw failed to score but it was already starting to look as though the Tanfield, Cullaigh and Shaw would be splitting the medals between them.

It was Tanfield’s turn to not score next - Shaw took Sprint 4 with Cullaigh second and Robbins third. The winner of the Scratch Race was on a late surge and took the penultimate Sprint but with Tanfield and Cullaigh both picking up points the best he could hope for was a bronze. Tanfield on 8 points still had a shot at silver but he’d need to get at least a second place and hope Cullaigh finished behind him. The Yorkshire rider on 11 points could win it but he’d need either a second place with Shaw not scoring or a win with Shaw no better than third to snatch the gold.

He did everything he could – taking the five points on the line – but Shaw wasn’t going to let him get away and took second to secure the gold. Tanfield’s third confirmed his bronze medal.

Boys’ Points Race

GOLD SHAW James East Midlands 17
SILVER CULLAIGH Gabriel Yorkshire 16
BRONZE TANFIELD Charlie North East 10

4 ROBBINS Tristan South 8
5 CLOSE Fabio North West 7
6 STEDMAN Max Central 2
7 CHAPMAN Ben Central 1
8 EVANS Joe West Midlands 0
9 BAYLIS Tom South West -17
10 KING Jack East Midlands -20
11 MODELL Louis Eastern -20
12 MCCANN Jez South East -20
13 DIDSBURY John North West -20
14 CARRICK Hamish Scotland -20
15 KELLY Joel South West -20
16 MORGAN James North East -20
17 MCINNES Struan Yorkshire -20
18 MILDON Matthew South -40
19 PHILIPS Ryan West Midlands -40
20 MULHOLLAND Declan Ulster -100
21 JONES Nicholas Wales -120
DNF FRY Joe Eastern
DNF NOON Sean Scotland
DNF MCCOMB Harry Ulster
DNS HOLT Joe Wales
DNS HOYLE Jack South East

A much closer competition than on the road saw the East Midlands take the win by 14 points from Yorkshire with the West Midlands two points further back on 134. Wales and the North West – who have dominated the last few Inter Regional Track Championships – were back in fourth and sixth places. Battle recommences at the 2012 Inter Regional Track Champs in September and this time the teams don’t have to be picked to compete on the road as well as the track.

Overall
1 East Midlands 118
2 Yorkshire 132
3 West Midlands 134

4 Wales 163
5 South East 171
6 North West 191
7 Central 194
8 Eastern 211
9 South West 242
10 Scotland 269
11 South 273
12 North East 278
13 Ulster 308

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