Reports: Day 4
The Men’s Sprint is always dramatic and it proved so once again on day four of the National Track Championships, the competition dominating the day’s packed schedule. Callum Skinner, riding for City of Edinburgh, took the title in this blue riband event after a dramatic final clash with Bristol Development Squad’s Lewis Oliva. The men's sprint was one of six national titles decided in a packed schedule on British track cycling's 'super Saturday.'
Skinner was impressive throughout, qualifying fastest in the 200m TT with a blistering 10.2, with only Lewis Oliva running him close. Skinner was untroubled throughout the first round, quarter finals and semis, not losing a match and looked calm and unruffled. However, come the final and Oliva was determined to rewrite the script, winning the first final match and sending shockwaves through the Skinner camp. The second match came and Oliva came off the better in a rough and tumble race and it looked like the title was going to the Bristol Cycling Development Squad rider. However Oliva was relegated for a sprinter’s lane transgression and suddenly Skinner’s title hopes were reignited.
The final race came and it couldn’t have been closer – a photo required to decide the title. But it was to be disappointment for the charismatic Oliva but a well deserved victory for Skinner. Bronze went to Matt Crampton beating Dave Daniell 2-0.
Grace Garner and Abby Mae Parkinson (RST-Trigon) took victory in the U16 Madison, claiming the first national champions jerseys of day four. Garner and Parkinson put together a perfect ride; the pairing winning all four sprints in the 80 lap event, Parkinson slinging the awesome Garner into the sprint at the perfect moment each time, with the rest of the pack having no answer to her devastating finish. Silver went to the pairing of Paige Milward (Lyme RC) and Lauren O’Brien (RST RT) in a tight scrap with Megan Barker (Cardiff Ajax CC) and Kimberley English (Welwyn Wheelers CC).
If the female U16 Madison was a tale of total dominance, the Male event was anything but, with just one point separating the top three teams after three of the four sprints. Ben Chapman (Corley Cycles) and Max Stedman (Palmer Park Velo) had scored in each of the sprints and lay in second place ahead of the final sprint to the line. An early lunge for the line by Tom Rotherham (Sport City Velo) was overhauled by Chapman on the bell lap at the head of a ferocious bunch, enough to ease Chapman and Stedman ahead of Tristan Robbins (Cardiff JIF) and Charlie Tanfield (Velo 29 Cycling Team) in the overall standings and take the title in thrilling style.
It was a case of opportunism and experience winning the day in the Women’s Scratch Race, which, apart from a few digs from Eileen Roe, was a poker match on wheels, threatening to play into the strong hands of the sprinters in the pack of which there were many; Emily Kay, Charlene Joiner and World Junior Road Champ Lucy Garner to name but three. With just three laps to go, Hannah Walker took her chances and 46 year old Janet Birkmyre (TORQ) slipped in behind her, using Walker to springboard to a popular solo victory, catching the bunch napping.
Sister act Rachel and Becky James claimed the Women’s Team Sprint title, the Welsh pairing, riding for Abergavenny RC producing three storming rides to see off their opposition. In qualifying they produced a 34.669 and went better in the semi finals – producing a world class 34.146. A poor start for Rachel in the final looked to derail their hopes but sister Becky came through in the second lap to produce a 34.424 and take the title, ahead of Edinburgh RC’s Eleanor Richardson and Lauryn Therin, with the Sport City Velo’s pairing of Jess Crampton and Megan Boyd taking bronze.
The day’s events were rounded off with the Men’s Team Pursuit with the 100%ME team of George Atkins, Owain Doull, Sam Harrison, Joe Kelly and Simon Yates taking the title. The Academy guys stormed through qualifying posting a 4:10, easily the fastest and faced Champion Systems in the final. The difference soon showed come the gold medal ride; 100%ME catching their quarry at just over half distance to take the title. There was a catch too in the Bronze Medal rideoff, with Hargroves Cycles overtaking Prestige VC to bag the medal.
Men's Sprint 200m TT Qualification
Men's Sprint 1st Round
Men's Sprint 1st Round Repechage
Men's Sprint Quarter Finals
Men's Sprint Semi Finals
Men's Sprint Finals
Men's Team Pursuit Qualification
Men's Team Pursuit Finals
Male U16 Madison Qualification
Male U16 Madison Finals
Female U16 Madison Final
Women's Team Sprint Qualification
Women's Team Sprint Semi Finals
Women's Team Sprint Finals
Women's Scratch Race Final