Blessed with summer warmth and sunshine the Freewheeler racing started with Win and Out. A and B groups raced together but their points were scored separately and there was also a staggered start. First rider over the line was B rider Oliver Ward who picked up maximum points (6) and then pulled out of the race. Nyla Fletcher also a B rider was over the line first on the second lap and pulled out with 5 points. By the time the third lap had finished A rider Ethan Stainke had taken the lead thus taking maximum points (6) for the A’s. After a very brief period of confusion and much encouragement from the coaches the other riders realised they had to keep going in order to pick up the points that were still on offer. Readers will find a full breakdown of points achieved on the Track League results page.
Skilful handicapping in the A Unknown Distance event made for a very exciting race with Henry Lewis powering round the track. He was eventually passed by Ethan Stainke and then Ray Lovell but still refused to give up with all three riders racing as hard as they could. Over the line it was Ethan first, Ray second and Henry third. The B race was even more exciting with Niamh Fletcher beating Oliver Ward on the line by the narrowest of margins. Third place went to Nyla Fletcher with Liam Spruce fourth.
After a brief rest while the Senior riders warmed up it was onto the final Freewheelers event, the Keirin, and it was Brian Handley who ‘volunteered’ to lead them out. In the B race it was Oliver Ward’s turn to take the win with Niamh Fletcher second, Liam Spruce third and Nyla Fletcher fourth. The A event produced the final excitement of the evening. Ethan Stainke went straight onto Brian’s wheel as the lead out started followed by Ray Lovell and then Henry Lewis. After Brian pulled off all three raced furiously round the track with Ethan in the lead then at the sprint on the line Ray managed to take the win with less than half a wheel in it! The Freewheeler racing continues to provide much entertainment for the spectators and tonight was no exception.
Senior A Focus
Racing started with a 3 Lap Dash and here it was a win for Matty Lewis with Jake White second and Giulio Cervi third. Then it was a 12 lap Scratch with Senior A and B racing together resulting in another win for Matty Lewis but this time it was Giulio Cervi’s turn to take second place with Jake White third. This is Giulio’s first year in the League and since he joined the Wheelers there has been a significant improvement in his fitness with his racing skills moving forward this season he is currently third in the A Rankings with 155 points. This event also gave the Senior B riders a chance to show their mettle with Grace Lister taking fourth and Tom White taking seventh places.
Matty Lewis took the lead in the points event taking full points for each of the sprints and leaving the other riders to fight for what was left. Giulio Cervi took the second most points but it was Charlie Fisher who impressed the most as he skilfully sprinted just when it mattered to steal points on the line from other competitors. Charlie is a member of Newport Shropshire CC (who have a long history of cooperation with the Wheelers) he holds fifth place in the League with 81 points.
After a series of Keirin events it was onto the 22 Lap Handicap race to round off the evening’s racing. The B riders worked hard to hold off the A riders and it was grace Lister and Tom White who were making the pace but they were caught before the Intermediate Sprint. Despite this Grace still managed third over the line with Tom taking sixth. Then the race started to move to another level with four A riders; Matty Lewis, Giulio Cervi, Jake White and Seb Bacon powering round the track. This is Jake’s second full season in the League and he has shown a clear improvement over that time. He has a background in cycle speedway but has been more than willing to take on other challenges; he is second in the Rankings with 162 points. Seb and Matty have both been members of the Wheelers since way before they entered their teens and are both perfect examples how our comprehensive coaching system (backed by British Cycling) really works. Seb regularly races in Belgium each summer and currently lies in fourth place in the Rankings with 138 points. So with five laps to go Matty made his move opening up a sizable lead to take first place. He now has 222 points in the Rankings and if he wins this year it will be his third consecutive win. We all watch with great interest.
Other riders, who for various reasons including injury, have not been able to compete regularly in the League are; Gabriella Homer (Cycle Team OnForm), Ethan Roberts, Callun Lister (Cotswold Velorijden), Paul Wright (Brotherton Cycles), George Beck (Bikestrong KTM) and Karl Ward. The Wheelers are grateful for their participation and look forward to their return.