Event: 9 September 2012
Location: Herne Hill Velodrome
Report: Jason Cattermole/VC Londres
Crowds were drawn to a sunny Herne Hill Velodrome on Sunday for the Dave Creasy Memorial Six organised by John Scripps and VC Londres.
The main feature of the six hour program was a the men’s madison omnium, based on the continental six days. To go with the theme spectators were treated to fine Belgian beer, bratwurst and Euro-pop. There was also racing for women, a youth madison and other support races.
Before the racing got underway all 14 teams were paraded to the crowd with each pairing getting their moment to soak up the applause. Then it was straight into a points race with one rider from each team contesting the first two sprints before slinging their partner into the action for the final laps. Tony Lock (pair three) led out the first sprint but was narrowly beaten by Tony Gibb (pair two) on the line, with John McClelland (pair six) 3rd and Steven Bradbury (pair seven) 4th.
These four riders’ teams looked to be the ones to watch. Immediately after the sprint local rider James Solly (pair five) attacked from the group and quickly built a big lead, he took the next sprint ahead of Gibb, Andrew Snowball (pair 10) and McClelland. Solly’s teammate Jules Birks, took over still in the lead and just held on to take the next sprint to move into the race lead. Iain Cook (pair one) won the bunch sprint behind ahead of Rich St. Pierre (pair eight) and Will McFarland (pair 12). The attacks started again, with Jack Edwards (pair 11) and Symon Lewis (pair three) moving clear. Lewis won the final sprint to add to his team’s tally with Kristian Woolf (pair six) winning the sprint behind for 3rd and Tom Gallagher (pair two) picking up the one point for 4th, enough to move his team into 2nd place overall.
Next up was the 200m madison time trial. The early pace was set by the pairing of Briggs – McCullagh (pair nine) recording an 11.86, but their lead was short lived with St. Pierre – Martin recording an 11.77 in the next heat up. They held their lead until a superbly executed lead out and sling propelled Lewis and Lock to the win with an 11.35. This lifted them into the overall lead after two events.
Soon the track was filled with the noise of the dernys starting up for the first couple of motor-paced races. Henry Martin (pair eight) was the first to test the waters, before McCullagh and then Elliot Davies (pair 13) hit the front. As the race entered the closing stage Luke Anderson (pair 11) showed his class with a perfectly timed move over the top on the final lap to secure victory.
The second heat saw the top two teams overall pitted against each other: this year’s national derny championships bronze medallist Lewis versus multiple former medallist Gibb. Gibb went for it from a long way out dragging out a huge lead before the rest reacted. Lewis was steadily closing the gap for the rest of the race, but it was too little too late.
The madison elimination race was next, with all 14 teams on the track and one team being eliminated every other lap. Lewis-Lock were the last team to be earning them 3rd place, enough to hang on to their overall lead. Pairs two and seven were left to contest the final sprint with Bradbury beating Gallagher to the line before celebrating in style, to the appreciation of the growing crowd.
The 3rd derny heat saw a tight battle between Solly and Lock go right down to the wire. Solly was piling on the pressure on leader Lock for the last three laps, but couldn’t quite get round before the finish line. Lock winning meant that Gallagher would have to do all he could in the 4th to try to stay in touch in the battle for overall honours, but there was only ever going to be one winner. John McClelland used all his years of experience, waiting patiently before making a decisive move and taking the win. Gallagher came in 2nd to keep his team within touching distance of the overall lead.
Before the final 30km madison got under way there was the ‘Supersprint’. The riders were given a range of Condor Cycles goodies to throw out to the crowd, before a display of some serious track craft and Mexican waves. As the bell rang local favourite Andy Snowball took his opportunity to attack, with none of the big favourites wanting to commit to the chase he won comfortably.
So the stage was set for an epic finale, with Lewis-Lock leading on 70pts, Gibb-Gallagher on 61 and Bradbury-Wiecowski on 37. The first two sprints both went the same way with Gibb and Gallagher winning closely shadowed by Lewis-Lock. The next sprint came at 20km to go, Bradbury took the win ahead of Cook. The reason for the top two pairs absence from the 3rd sprint soon became apparent. Gibb launched a big move off the front of the group and quickly opened up a big gap that would define the race. Various attempts were made to ride across the gap, but there was no cohesive chase. Bradbury-Wiecowski and McClelland-Woolf consistently picked up points behind them to cement themselves into 3rd and 4th respectively. After the penultimate sprint Solly-Birks managed to bridge the gap and hook up with the leaders, securing 5th place overall. Gibb – Gallagher took 1st, with Lewis – Lock 2nd and Bradbury – Wiecowski 3rd.
In the women’s omnium Corrine Hall won from Jo Tindley and Sarah Brook. Louis Magnani and Max Steadman won the youth madison omnium from Joey Walker Joe Fry in 2nd and Oli Moors Jez McCann in third. Abi Dentus and Kim English won the girls madison, from Lucy Harper and Bethany Haywood in second and Rachel Jary Abi Van Twisk in third.