Location: Palmer Park Stadium, Reading
Event: 20 May 2013
It may have been another grey night at Palmer Park Velodrome, but the riders lit up the track with some close, hard racing.
The opening Hare & Hounds saw the Senior A riders chasing down the Senior Bs and, in their determination to stay away, Tom Sefton of Palmer Park Velo, Josh Mitchell of Bicester Millennium, Sean Gorvy of GS Henley and Stuart Stow of Hounslow and District Wheelers dropped the rest of the lead group.
With Nick English and Max Stedman of AW Cycles and Stephen Bradbury of PCT Tomacc, driving the chase on, it was inevitable that the catch would be made, but the B riders weren’t finished and while English rode away to take the win, Sefton held on to take second with Mitchell third and Stow fourth.
In the main event of the evening, the Senior B Derny paced races there were some very close races in the heats with the Dernies still two abreast on the home straight in the last lap. Emily Mellor of VO2 Development team took the Ladies race and favourites Sefton and Mitchell both qualified for the Final.
It was Mitchell – paced by Matt Gittings – and Matt Lansley – behind Keith Wilmott - who made the early running and when Sefton had to stop for a puncture, it looked as though his race was over. He rejoined within his three lap allowance though and began a charge through the field.
By the time he reached the front of the race, Lansley had faded and the race was between Sefton and Mitchell. Mitchell was ahead – just – at the bell but Sefton and pacer Chris Macleod had judged it perfectly and the Palmer Park Velo rider swept past onto the home straight to take the win from Mitchell with Stow taking third place.
English took a relatively comfortable win in the Senior A points race, taking the first to sprints and holding his nerve. Bradbury and Nick Abraham took second and third place, tied on 6 points.
Joe Crolla of AW Cycles took Senior A honours in the Unknown Distance with a well-judged ride, Hugh Knudsen taking the Senior B win with Emily Mellor winning the Ladies' race.
Which left only the AW Cycles 20k Endurance event which was dominated by English and Gittings who broke away and appeared to be in control at the head of a fragmented race. A group of half a dozen riders – including run away Endurance series leader Abraham – stuck at their task, though and the finish came down, as it so often does, to a last lap dash.
It was Gittings who was clear at the line with Abraham taking second to consolidate his series lead ahead of Rob King. Matt Lansley took Senior B honours with Mark Shepherd of Banjo Cycles second and Knudesn third. Sam Harding of Palmer Park Velo was the first of the Under 16 riders, ahead of team mate Joseph Linehan.