Report: Garrie Tillett
The final round of the Icebreaker series 2013 saw deep snow blanketing much of the country although Newport was clear. Bike riders are hardy souls and over 100 riders turned out for the racing.
Normal service began with the Youth C riders in the morning providing some excellent racing. The C girls started us off and Elynor Backstedt, Caitlin Peters and Megan Williams resumed their battle from previous rounds with Elynor taking wins in all races and Megan taking second spot in all races bar the devil where she was caught out early but maintained her second spot overall. The pair of new riders from Towy Riders, Ella Barnwell and Emma Finucane, were straight into the mix after having come through the Welsh Cycling supported Under 12 Improver sessions at Newport Velodrome to take some good finishes and see Ella take 3rd spot from Caitlin Peters in 4th. Lauren Booth of local club Newport Velo took a fine 5th after good showing in the devil and points race.
The boys started with their scratch race and provided the first shock of the day with strong series leader Lewis Askey being relegated after the first race for crossing the finish line on the Cote d’azure. This was confirmed by Photofinishing equipment. Lewis went on to win all the other races and hold on to 3rd overall for the day. Owain Roberts provided the most consistent performance of the boys winning overall and proving that omnium racing is all about consistency and not having any poor events. Zack Bridges of local club Newport Olympic had 3 good races but a poor result in the devil which saw him take 2nd overall.
The afternoon’s racing started with another shock relegation when Sophie Williams was adjudged to have caused a crash that brought down several of the top riders just as the bell rang for the final lap of the B girls scratch race. Jessica Roberts, Lucy Nelson, Pfeiffer Georgi and Emily Tillett suffered the usual burns and torn shorts with Emily withdrawing due to a heavy impact to her elbow. I am reliably informed that she was still able to send text messages so no permanent damage done!
The girls bounced back with a replayed scratch seeing Jessica winning and not being challenged for the overall win although she was beaten into second by Sophie in the devil. Sophie Jo Wylie Morris had a good day with strong finishes in the first 3 races and she held on for 2nd overall despite a strong challenge from Lucy Nelson at the finish.
The B boys saw a reduced number of riders probably due to the conditions outside and Cardiff JIF riders Rhys Britton, Sam and James Tillett and Oscar Mingay mixing it with Fred Wright of VC Londres, Matthew Burke of Newport Olympic and Charlie Cox of Lichfield City CC to share the spoils at the top. Rhys ran in unopposed winner of all races with Fred taking 2nd all day. The brothers Sam and James shared 3rd and 4th with James taking 3rd step on the podium mainly due to a good break in the points race that his team mates did not contest.
In the A girls it was Emily Haycox again taking top spot overall although she would have been pushed all the way by Megan Chard apart from a relatively poor showing in the devil. She still hung on for 2nd overall. 3rd spot was taken by Emily Capewell only one point ahead of Victoria Kinrade and Hetty Niblett proving that there is real competition in the A girls with 3rd spot decided by the final points race.
The A boys rounded things out with Joe Holt of Team Tredz taking unopposed wins from Jack Escritt and Joseph Truman taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. Super skills and commitment shown by the A boys resulted in great racing. Special mention goes to Hefin Evans of Towy riders who didn’t have the best day but made up for it by a storming 3rd in the final points race proving that youth racing is all about having a go and trying to make it happen. Da Iawn Hefin!
My thanks to all of the riders and parents who supported the series once again.
My thanks also to all of the volunteers from Newport Olympic CC, commissaires, Newport City Council and Welsh Cycling for making another successful series. Thank you to Bikepure for sponsoring the overall series trophies. If anyone fancies taking on the running of theses events next year please let me know!
Published: 05 February 2013
Report: Garrie Tillett
The first round of the ever popular Icebreaker series for 2013 nearly didn’t start this year with high drama unfolding just minutes before the racing was due to start!
I recieved a message from the operations Team at Newport Velodrome at 0940 to say that there was a suspected gas leak in the boiler room under Turn 2. Needless to say I thought the timing of their little joke was very good and “would they mind if I got on with the racing?” but the manager was clear that we needed to evacuate promptly while the Fire Brigade and Gas engineer attended and ensured all was safe. Thanks to all who left the building calmly and quickly and made their way over to the Tennis Centre for some coffee and to hope that racing would not be too badly affected.
Good communication and prompt assessment by the engineer and Fire Service meant we were able to return to the centre after 1 hour and racing started at 1115, only just over an hour late. We managed to run almost a full program with just the dashes affected and were able to finish on the planned time of 1600. Well done to all the volunteers and officials for keeping to a tight schedule to allow this to happen. I am confident that all the riders had a good days racing and were tired at the end.
The Under 12’s raced in the morning as in previous rounds and showed some excellent skills and determination. Cardiff club Maindy Flyers had some great representation from Elynor Backstedt and Ellie Shaw but Caitlin Peters from Fareham Wheelers was determined not to let them have it all their own way having travelled some distance to compete. The final result showed a fine set of wins for Elynor with Caitlin preventing a Maindy one-two by taking second from Ellie.
In the Under 12 Boys, there was a clear rider at the top continuing his good showing in Icebreakers with Lewis Askey from Lichfield City CC taking wins in all races and a lap in the points race to reinforce his dominance. Jamieson Blain from Halesowen put in excellent second places in the devil and points to take 2nd overall and local boy Zack Bridges took a fine third for local club Newport Olympic.
In the Under 14 Girls there was the usual strong rivalry between the Welsh girls who managed to fill three of the top four places in the end. Jessica Roberts from Towy Riders has continued excellent form in 2012 both indoors and out with a set of wins today to run in first place. Sophie Williams from Cardiff JIF ran in a close second with Rachel Jary of VS Londres rewarding a long trip for her family with 3rd.
Under 14 Boys appear very strong as a group at the moment and so it proved with some very exciting racing from many strong and skillful riders. Rhys Britton of Cardiff JIF proved the class of the field with three wins and 1st overall. Three boys could have taken the remaining podium places with the points race to go but it was the VC Londres rider Fred Wright taking second froim Dan Tulett from Hargroves Cycles. Welsh pair Tomos Owens of Brooks Cycles and Oscar Mingay of Cardiff JIF showed some track skill by both keeping it upright after a clash of wheels left both with broken spokes but this put paid to any ambition Tomos may have had for the day.
It was great to see 20 riders in the Under 16 Girls fighting it out with some great finishes in individual races but those who were most consistent took the podium places. Emily Haycox of Cardiff AJAX and Sophie Capewell from Lichfield City CC battling to the wire with Emily coming out on top in the points race in the end and taking the overall. Sophie came 2nd with another Welsh rider Ffion James of Abergavenny RC in 3rd.
The Under 16 Boys provided the final race of the day and going into the points race there were several riders looking to take two of the podium slots but it looked like Jack Escritt from Velocity WD-40 was going to take the top spot. It is not easy to dominate in older category racing with spoils being shared about more than in younger categories but Jack held on for a fine win overall. Jack Plumley from Welwyn Wheelers CC put in a solid points race after a fine win in the scratch but a disappointing 9th in the devil, to take 2nd overall from George Jary of VC Londres in 3rd. Sympathy goes to Seb Dickens who was lying second going into the points race but cramp saw him slip back and out of contention.
From an event organisers persective, I thoroughly enjoy these events and seeing the young riders show the skills, fitness and competitive spirit that they have. I noted some handshakes and pats on the back from both winning and losing riders which goes a long way to reminding us that sportsmanship is essential and is why we enjoy bike racing. Thank you for the many positive comments I received on the day and by email. I take these on behalf of all those who contribute into making the events a success. Some do small jobs and some are much more visible but in the end it is everyone’s contribution that makes for a winning day. Special thanks go to the volunteers from Newport Olympic CC who are out to make an impact in 2013 with some excellent riders coming through and a keen team of volunteers to ensure these Icebreakers go from strength to strength.
See you on Saturday 23rd February for Icebreaker 2!