Wolverhampton Wheelers Track League Wednesday 3rd July 2019
Racing tonight was on the hottest night of the season so far but, never the less, produced the same level of competitiveness that we have become to expect from the League. The heat did mean that the number of entrants was down so Senor A and B raced together but point scoring was recorded separately. The first event was a Scratch with the win going to A rider Mark McCann followed by Jake White and then Zak White. First B rider over the line was Tom White followed by Craig Whittle (Fred’s Race Team) and Jacob Gilkes (Lichfield City CC).
After an Italian Pursuit the Elimination race produced some surprising early departures. Some skilful riding by Jacob Gilkes meant that he was able to stay in the race until the last four and after Giulio Cervi dropped out the final sprint was between Tom White and Jake White, with Tom making a sustained effort but Jake overtaking him on the last bend. The Marymoor Crawl created its customary level of amusement with Zak White, Mahyar Abbott and Craig Whittle all out before the sprint but when it started Simon Orme (Brereton Wheelers) saw his chance and took the lead but eventually he was overhauled and a very close sprint to the line resulted in a win for Mark McCann just ahead of Giulio Cervi and Jake White.
The Handicap race this evening was over 18 laps with an Intermediate Sprint at 9 laps. As usual the B riders made good use of their handicap with Simon Orme, Craig Whittle, Tom White and Jacob Gilkes all riding strongly together but as the others fell back so Tom White made his break to take the Intermediate Sprint with Craig Whittle second and Jacob Gilkes third. Mark McCann took fourth place and as the riders reformed he took the lead ahead of the field and looking like the race was his but on the final bend around came Jake White to take the win on another very close sprint!
Our usual correspondent was unavailable this week so this report will be a) brief and b) lacking it's usual focus.
The rain held off although the clouds were dark enough at one point that the lights had to be switched on, almost immediately prompting the sun to come out. The evening started off as usual with some spirited racing from the Freewheelers although, as it's so fast and furious, by the time the computer's set up to do its thing, I've missed most of the detail so you'll have to use your imagination (or memory) alongside the results.
The Senior racing saw the welcome return of Jacob Gilkes (Lichfield City CC), a youth rider with a strong family background of racing. He put in some very strong rides, challenging Tom White closely until an unfortunate delamination of the sole of his shoe led to an early retirement, depriving us of the opportunity to see how he would measure up to Tom in the final handicap race of the evening.
The highlight of the evening was an Italian pursuit with two teams of mixed A and B riders going head to head. The lead swapped between the teams throughout the race with neither able to open up a decisive gap. In the final lap, Mark McCann of BC Velo, having opened the race for his team in the first lap, pulled back a deficit of a bike-length to just defeat Giulio Cervi (WWCC) by a couple of metres and give the home straight team victory.
Joe Guy Memorial Evening
Tonight’s racing was to celebrate the life of Joe Guy a rising star of the Wheelers whose life was tragically cut short in a road accident. Many of the Wheelers racing tonight were contemporaries of Joe including Seb Bacon who came back from uni especially for the night. Paul Wright brought a large group from Brotherton Cycles along with George Mills Keeling formerly a Wheeler and now riding for Cycle Club Bridgnorth. Jack Hibberd of Bromsgrove Olympique CC, twice winner of the League in previous years, was also in attendance to spice up the racing.
Senior B started the racing with a 10 lap Scratch. After five laps Tom White took the lead and no one was able to pull him back. Despite great efforts by Will Farmer and Elodie Gage Tom took the win closely followed by Will Farmer and Craig Whittle (Fred’s Race Team) just ahead of Simon Orme (Brereton Wheelers). The 12 lap Senior A Scratch went to George Mills Keeling with Mark McCann (BC Velo) second and Jake White third. Will Farmer took the fastest Time Trial in Senior B with Jack Hibberd second and Craig Whittle third. Mark McCann was the fastest Senior A rider with George Mills Keeling second and Jake White third.
The Match Sprint events produced some interesting results with Elodie Gage winning against Tom White, Mahyar Abbott winning against Jake White and Mark McCann winning against George Mills Keeling (although George had pedal trouble). The closest Match was between Paul Wright and Brian Handley with Paul triumphing over Brian by just four thousandths of a second. This was not, however, the closest event of the evening when in the Freewheelers Scratch Oliver Ward and Ray Lovell recorded a dead heat. This was the first time this has happened since Simon Fielding started the timing solutions, a clear confirmation of the efficiency and accuracy of the equipment and software.
Joe Guy had an aspiration to complete a ten mile time trial in under 21 minutes and so the final race of the evening was a 21 Lap handicap. To add more drama to the race Brian Handley performed more super quick maintenance on his bike while the rest of the riders waited patiently. Then the first group were off with Craig Whittle, Will Farmer and Tom White all working together nicely to maintain their handicap advantage. The main group were now in hot pursuit and at eleven laps to go Will and Tom were still in the lead but with eight laps left George Mills Keeling and Mark McCann bridged the gap and overtook them. Then with six laps left George made his move to gain a clear lead over the rest of the field and win by a significant margin. Mark McCann took second place with Karl Ward third, Tom White fourth, Brian Handley fifth and Giulio Cervi sixth. So George won the race and thus the Joe Guy Memorial Trophy. Joe’s parents Steve and Ange and his brother Craig were on hand to make the presentation.