Report: Reading Track League

Round Six of the Reading Track League Schedule saw the Senior and Junior Individual Pursuit titles decided on a glorious early summer’s evening at Palmer Park Stadium.

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Guy Swarbrick writes: As a warm-up we saw a lively Senior B 10 Lap Scratch race which saw several attempts to break away from the main body of the race. Jason Pitt of AW Cycles, Stuart Stow of Hounslow and District Wheelers and Rob Richardson of Chippenham Wheelers tried first and – as Stow and Richardson faded – Pitt was then joined by Reading CC’s Jun Aishima and Mid Oxon Racing Team’s Simon Drewett.

Drewett has been on top form in the 10 Lap event over the last couple of weeks with last lap charges from the bunch. The early attack didn’t suit the big sprinter, though and it was Pitt and Aishima who were 50m clear at the bell. The bunch had reacted and the breakaway pair had to work hard to stay away, with Pitt dropping Aishima on the run in to take the win. Asihima held on for second and Aishima’s team mate Paul Cooper led the charge for third.

Sam Sturgeon of AW Cycles leads the 10 Lap Scratch. Photo Guy Swarbrick

The delayed Men’s Individual Pursuit Final saw Nick English of AW Cycles start strongly and build up a 4 second cushion in the opening couple of laps. Ian Greenstreet of Newbury RC fought back and held him, but couldn’t eat in to the lead and, as the laps ticked down, the lead held steady.

English finished just outside his personal best at 5:11.18 to take the title with Greenstreet recovering slightly to stop the clock at 5:14.55.

In the Junior Final Frazier Carr of AW Cycles went off like a rocket and had caught his team mate Jason Pitt for quarter of a lap within the opening third of the race. Pitt was never close enough to draft but was able to use Carr to pace himself and, after the initial damage done at the start, held the gap for the remainder of the race. It was enough to secure him second – just – ahead of Harry Strudley – also of AW Cycles. Strudley took the Bronze with a 3:42, just over a second back on Pitt’s 3:40.71 while Carr knocked a second a lap off his 2011 time to win with 3:31.05.

Frazier Carr of AW Cycles wins the Junior Individual Pursuit. Photo Guy Swarbrick

With the Pursuits out of the way, the Senior As were on track for their 10 Lap Scratch and as the lap counter ran down the pressure went on at the front. In the closing stages the lead group contained Sam Sturgeon, George Withers and Steven Bradbury of AW Cycles, Marlon Moncreiffe of Oakwood Racers Cycling Team, Donal Linehan of Newbury RC, Martyn Harris of Banjo Cycles and Gawain Bailey of Zappi’s.

Moncreiffe and Bailey faded and the group was joined by Joe Holloway of VC with Sturgeon and Harris, in particular, working to keep the pace high. By the bell, Harris was out on his own over 50 metres ahead of the chasing group of Holloway, Bradbury, Withers and Linehan. On the final lap they caught Harris and dropped Withers and Holloway, leaving Bradbury to take the win by half a bike length from Linehan with Harris’ earlier efforts rewarded with the last of the points.

The Keirin heats saw strong performances from Moncreiffe and Sturgeon in the As and Drewett, Stow and Sam Grant of Beyond MBC in the Bs. It looked as though the Finals would be dominated by the pure sprinters –and the B Final saw Drewett take the win with Paul Davidoff of Team Terminator third – but a fine effort from Grant saw him hang on to an early lead to claim second.

The A Final saw favourite Moncrieffe blocked out of the line-up behind the Derny with Sturgeon holding station behind the motorbike with Strudley and Carr tucked in behind. Moncrieffe rode on Sturgeon’s shoulder, with Holloway and Withers using him as a second pacer.

Jun Aishima of Reading CC and Jason Pitt of AW Cycles slip away from the front of the bunch in the Senior B 10 Lap Scratch. Photo Guy Swarbrick

Sturgeon and Strudley took full advantage of their positioning with Strudley – despite his earlier efforts in the pursuit, coming round Sturgeon on the home straight to take the 3 points with Sturgeon taking second and Withers coming inside Moncreiffe to steal third.

Bradbury added to his Scratch win by taking the final sprint in the Senior A Devil from Withers and Carr (Stow headed home Pitt and David Ivory of Reading CC to take the B Devil) then set about his hat trick for the evening in the AW Cycles 20k.

The decisive move of the race came in the opening laps when Bradbury, Greenstreet, English, Harris and Linehan broke away from the main bunch. It would take just under 40 of the 44 laps from the group – minus Linehan from just after half distance – to lap the field, but it looked inevitable from early on.

With two to go a group of three riders – Max Stedman of Palmer Park Velo, Pitt and Carr – unlapped themselves – putting the lead group between them and the main bunch and essentially guaranteeing that Pitt would take the B win.

The A result would come down to the Final sprint, with one of the breakaway group destined to finish pointless. Harris, it was, who would lose out to English on the line in the battle for third place, but up front it was Bradbury who snatched the win by an inch or two from Greenstreet to further extend his Championship lead. Pitt took the B win with Drewtt second and Phil Watts of North Hants RC third.

Reading Track League Individual Pursuit Championship

1 Nick ENGLISH AW Cycles 5:11.18
2 Ian GREENSTREET Newbury RC 5:14.55

Reading Track League Individual Pursuit Championship – Junior

1 Frazier CARR AW Cycles 3:31.05
2 Jason PITT AW Cycles 3:40.71
3 Harry STRUDLEY AW Cycles 3:42

Senior A

VIA International 10 Lap Scratch
1 Stephen BRADBURY AW Cycles
2 Donal LINEHAN Newbury RC
3 Martyn HARRIS Banjo Cycles

1 Stephen BRADBURY AW Cycles
2 George WITHERS AW Cycles
3 Frazier CARR AW Cycles

1 Harry STRUDLEY AW Cycles
2 Sam STURGEON AW Cycles
3 George WITHERS AW Cycles

AW Cycles 20k Endurance
1 Stephen BRADBURY AW Cycles
3 Nick ENGLISH AW Cycles

Senior B

VIA International 10 Lap Scratch
1 Jason PITT AW Cycles
2 Jun AISHIMA Reading CC
3 Paul Cooper Reading CC

1 Stuart STOW Hounslow & District Wheelers
2 Jason PITT AW Cycles
3 David IVORY Reading CC

1 Simon DREWETT Mid Oxon Racing Team
2 Sam GRANT WDMBC Beyond
3 Paul DAVIDOFF Team Terminator

AW Cycles 20k Endurance
1 Jason PITT AW Cycles
2 Simon DREWETT Mid Oxon Racing Team
3 Phil WATTS North Hants RC

Under 16 20k Endurance
1 Matt LANSLEY Palmer Park Velo
2 Dan LANSLEY Palmer Park Velo
3 Emily MELLOR Hillingdon Slipstreamers
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