Clearly the fine weather had a dramatic effect on numbers and with all young riders as enthusiastic and determined as ever at the beginning of a Wheelers Track League. Some riders were competing in the League for their first time: James Shaw, Max Beaumont, Leo Postance, Vin Zangaro and brother and sister Ben and Annabelle Whitehouse. Anyone reading this report who would like to enter this year’s League it isn’t too late just talk to one of the coaches any Friday night.
The first race for Freewheelers B was a 50 metre Sprint with a win for Micah Johnson Hayward with Liam Spruce second, Leo Postance third and Annabelle Whitehouse fourth. The first Freewheelers A event was a 3 Lap Scratch. Ray Lovell took first in this race with Oliver Ward second, Niamh Fletcher third and James Shaw fourth. After two handicap races it was on to two Keirin events with senior Wheeler Seb Bacon acting as the derny. In the B event Niamh Fletcher quickly took the wheel with Oliver Ward and Ray Lovell closely behind her. As Seb turned off the track it was these three who hurtled towards the finishing line for the closest race of the night with Oliver Ward just nine hundredths of a second ahead of Niamh Fletcher and Ray Lovell third.
The final Freewheelers event produced even more excitement with all riders on the track split into two teams, one led by Oliver Ward and the other Ray Lovell, for an Italian Pursuit. It was clear that the Friday coaches had done a very good job training the riders as each knew exactly what to do with each doing half a lap except for Ray who had to do one full lap. Leo Postance led out Oliver’s team with Annabelle Whitehouse leading Ray’s team. As Leo and Annabelle peeled off it was Liam Spruce and Micah Johnson’s turn on the front with tension building all the time to see which team would get over their finishing line first. Then followed Vin Zangaro against James Shaw and then Max Beaumont against Ben Whitehouse. On the final lap Niamh Fletcher and Oliver took on Ray with the final half just between Oliver and Ray but it was Oliver over the line first. An excellent night of racing and if tonight’s performance is anything to go by an exciting Freewheelers League is ahead of us.
Wolverhampton Wheelers Track League Wednesday 1st May 2019
This was the first night of our track for 2019 and, as usual, anticipations were running high. Some of the riders who competed in previous years have moved on and others have returned with increased levels of both competitiveness and racing maturity. Last year’s vet trophy winner Simon Orme returns and is accompanied by fellow Brereton Wheeler Gina Willis. Gina is riding her first Wheelers League as is Mark McCann of Breakfast Club Velo. Tony Deleon makes his return to the League after an absence of a few years.
The first event of the evening was a 12 Lap Scratch with Senior A and B competing together. This produced a close finish with Zak White just ahead of his brother Jake with Will Farmer taking third. Tom White was fourth over the line and the first B rider. The Senior B Elimination saw a win for Elodie Gage with Tom White second and Tony Deleon third. Jake White took the Senior A Elimination with Giulio Cervi second and Mark McCann third. Tom White made sure of a victory in the Senior B Unknown Distance by making his break early in the race with no one able to catch him. The Senior A event was won by Zak White and the following Marymoor Crawl events provided the crowd with their usual share of amusement. Senior B rider Tom White showed considerable grit and determination in the final event of the evening; the 22 lap Handicap. The A riders were unable to catch him at the Intermediate sprint but he then went on to keep his lead and win the whole event!
In previous years one rider has quickly dominated the League with other riders being unable to challenge his position. After tonight’s racing all the indications are that this will not be the case this year with a number of riders being capable of taking that crown. This means a more interesting and entertaining League for us all.