Track – 16th November

Post date: Nov 21, 2016 10:6:55 AM

The sixth Track Racing session for 2016-17 attracted 19 riders, maintaining the good record for attendance so far this season. The evening was warm and initially looked like providing perfect conditions for racing. However, the wind was unpredictable, initially light then strengthening suddenly for the second race and later moderating, but swirling around the velodrome.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race was very competitive. Antony Bishop had a first outing with the track group, reinforcing a group of strong riders in A grade. The race unfolded with several riders trying attacks from time to time. However, no one was allowed to get away. The nett effect of the abortive attacks was to raise the pace to a ferocious level by Lap 6. At the end of this lap, Antony Bishop made an early burst for the finish. Steve Jones and Michael Langdon hitched on with the trio gapping the field by 6 – 8 metres. Antony’s lead out set up Steve Jones perfectly for the sprint win. He was closely followed by Michael Langdon with Antony taking a well deserved third place.

The 8-Lap B grade scratch race started at an easy pace. Dominic Rideaux soon took the front, acting as derny for the group and holding a good steady pace over several laps. The race became interesting approaching lap seven. The pace suddenly surged with riders jockeying for a good position at the start of the bell lap. The race transitioned to a classic bunch sprint from which Phil Anderson emerged victorious over Ross Scutts and Steve Dean. The win set up a good night, overall, for Phil.

The next event was a 200 metre flying time trial. This event is a flat chat sprint over 200 metres from a flying start. It is quite technical with the acceleration and positioning approaching the start being critical. It is a quick, fun event. Most of the A grade times were clustered between 14 and 15 seconds. Antony Bishop and Steve Jones went under 14 seconds with Antony taking first place in 13.28 seconds and Steve following in 13.40 seconds. Ben Robey did a great time of 14.05 seconds, taking third from Michael Langdon by just one hundredth of a second. The B grade times were mostly clustered between 15 and 16 seconds. Two riders went under 15 seconds with Steve Dean taking a win at 14.36 seconds and Steve Hirsler taking second in 14.66 seconds. Both riders love this event and it shows. Phil Anderson took third for B grade in 15.21 seconds.

Michael Langdon Attacks from the Front as the Bunch Relax

The third event was a 10-Lap Snowball. The event had a points sprint every two laps. This event is similar to a points race, except that the sprint points increase progressively through the race, making tactics crucial. In A grade, Peta Brill took the first sprint and established a break with Ben Robey. Ben and Peta held on to take the next two sprints in turn. By Lap seven, the bunch had caught the breakaways, with Steve Jones taking the next two sprints. The final points wash up for the event was Steve Jones (9), Antony Bishop (6), Peta Brill (5), Ben Robey (5), Michael Langdon (5), Kerry Knowler (5). It was interesting to find four riders on equal third points.

In the B grade Snowball, Steve Hirsler showed the initial enterprise to take sprint 1. He was soon chased by Phil Anderson and eventually Ross Scutts. Steve held on to take the first four sprints. In the final sprint Ross Scutts finally overpowered Steve. Additionally, Phil Coulton struggled up to third place with a gutsy effort. The final points wash up for the event was Steve Hirsler (8), Phil Anderson (6), Ross Scutts (5), Phil Coulton (3), Steve Dean (2).

The track session closed with the usual, all-in, Italian pursuit. There were 8 riders on each team. The outcome was difficult to predict as Team 1 appeared to have better anchor riders and Team 2 appeared to have a stronger line up for mid race. The race ran largely to script with Team 2 establishing an early lead and Team 1 chasing this down. By Lap 6 both teams were even. However, a big effort by Steve Jones and Antony Bishop brought it home for Team 1.

Major place getters were as follows:

8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade): Steve Jones, Michael Langdon, Antony Bishop (B Grade) Phil Anderson, Ross Scutts, Steve Dean.

200m Fly Time Trial: (A Grade): Antony Bishop (13.28s), Steve Jones (13.40s), Ben Robey (14.05s) (B Grade) Steve Dean (14.36s), Steve Hirsler (14.66s), Phil Anderson (15.21s).

10 Lap Snowball: (A Grade) Steve Jones (9), Antony Bishop (6), Peta Brill (5), Ben Robey (5), Michael Langdon (5), Kerry Knowler (5) (B Grade) Steve Hirsler (8), Phil Anderson (6), Ross Scutts (5), Phil Coulton (3), Steve Dean (2).

Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Graeme O’Neill, Steve Dean, Ross Scutts, Steve Hirsler, Andrew Peel, Domenic Rideaux, Antony Bishop, Steve Jones).

Current Points Score Leaders: Steve Jones (113),Michael Langdon (107), Ross Scutts (87), Phil Anderson (81), Alec Millett (80), Steve Hirsler (72), Kerry Knowler (66), Ian Drayton (65),Andrew Peel (65).

Graeme O'Neill