Drizzle lingered in the air for the 13th meeting of the season. However, the ambient conditions meant any droplets dried quickly and racing could go ahead as normal.
The first event of the evening was the C riders 6 lap scratch race. 16 riders lined up at the start of the race and, as soon as the gun sounded, Cameron Thomson (Palmer Park Velo) made a break from the front from the bunch. Whilst he was able to retain an advantage for a number of laps, he eventually succumbed to the approaching peloton. However, his moved appeared to be one of strategy rather than fatigue: with the bell sounding, it was Pete Osborne who took to the front of the bunch but was overcome by Thomson in the sprint for the line. Osborne held on for second place, whilst Jacob Kilby took third. Lee Jones (Newbury RC) finished in fourth overall to take first place amongst the vets, with Amber Joseph (Palmer Park Velo) the best of the ladies.
Eight riders started the A riders’ 10 lap scratch race which followed. The group stayed in a well ordered bunch until two laps to go when Nick English (awcycles.co.uk) decisively broke away from the group. English managed to retain his lead until the final corner when he was swallowed up by the fast finishing peloton. Matthew Gittings (awcycles.co.uk) crossed the line first, with Matthew Lansley (RP Racing Team) taking second place and George Clark (High Wycombe CC) finishing just 0.06 seconds adrift of Lansley to take third.
The B riders’ 10 lap scratch followed with an identical sized field to the preceding A race. Although a fairly sedate pace was resumed from the start, the group remained in a neat peloton until the bell sounded. Daniel Lansley (RP Racing Team) and Tom Zittel (Willesden CC) led out on the final corner, and Lansley just pipped Zittel for the win. Trevor Bradbury (awcycles.co.uk) finished in third place.
The first of the keirin races was for the C league ladies. Amber Joseph powered her way through the bunch to take first spot whilst Claire Kitching (Newbury RC) gave the perfect lead out to her teammate Chloe Jones who took second place. Emma Clarke (Palmer Park Velo) finished in third spot.
Two heats for the C riders followed, with the A race then being run as a straight final. It was Gittings who, once again, put on a fine display of sprinting in the final straight to take the win. Josh Mitchell (RP Racing Team) rode well in the closing metres to take second place; his sprint good enough to pip teammate Matthew Lansley by less than four-hundredths of a second.
The B riders also had their keirin race run as a straight final and it was Daniel Lansley who crossed the line ahead of the other riders with a powerful sprint from the final bend. Tom Hemmant (BCPM) finished just 0.07 seconds adrift for second place, with Trevor Bradbury claiming third.
The devil races followed, and first up it was the C riders. 15 riders started the race and, with two riders eliminated each lap, there were four riders left to contest the final lap: Thomson, Osborne, Tim Clark (GS Henley) and Lee Jones. Thomson once again proved too strong for the rest of the bunch and finish over half a second ahead. Osborne took second place, with Clark in third.
With only seven riders starting the A devil race, the race was only five laps in length even with just a single rider being eliminated each lap. Gittings, Matthew Lansley and English were the three riders left in the final lap, with Gittings crossing the line first followed by Lansley and English.
The B devil was the final event of its type. Eight riders started the event and the remaining three riders were the same ones who had featured in the placings all evening. In the end, it was Daniel Lansley’s sprint which once again powered him across the line nearly half a second ahead of Zittel. Hemmant, realising he was out of the contest, rolled around sometime later to claim third place.
Unfortunately, in the junior riders’ race which followed, there was a bad crash. Whilst there were no very serious injuries, a number of riders suffered some nasty superficial injuries and were very shaken. We wish all of those caught up in the crash a very speedy recovery.
The rest of the evening’s racing was cancelled due to ambulances having to attend the scene – with exception to the West London CA kilo event which still went ahead. It was Peter Hansford Racing’s Ollie Hitchings who stole the show for the evening clocking a time of of 1:13.49 – enough for second place in the series so far. George Clark took second place with 1:15.84, with Frazier Carr (awcycles.co.uk) taking third place with 1:16.13 and Kevin Easterbrook (RAF CC/Odiham) finishing fourth with 1:25.47. Ian Greenstreet (Newbury RC) still leads the overall kilo championship with a time of 1:13.10, ridden on 23 June.