Report Round 2: LCC Maintain Lead Amidst the Drama
The SportPursuit StreetVelodrome Series 2014 left Ealing with London Cycling Campaign still leading the medal table ahead of Mad Dog Energy Lemonade. Cycle Chilterns missed their target to win gold on the day and Team Velotec score another bronze.
With the Series visiting its first on grass event the riders had to get used to the temporary trackway laid down between the banking. Series Director Carl Thompson commented "we tested it before coming to Ealing and were impressed with the Supa Trak product...but there's nothing like the heat of competition to really see if it will work as it should. But we are pretty confident it will."
London Cycling Campaign's pro rider for Ealing, Dave Johnson, seemed to like it as he managed to secure himself a place in the semi finals by winning his two Selection races early on. Lee Gratton of Cycle Chilterns would also be joining him with a fast track to the semi finals, but only after StreetVelodrome's most dramatic race to date.
Lee was facing Olympian and commonwealth games medalist Ross Edgar in a 3 lap race off when both riders crashed on exiting the last corners of their last laps. With both riders down it was a race to be the first to get back up, grab their bikes and either run or ride across the line. Lee just managed it by 1.2 seconds quicker than Ross. Ross was left to battle through the Survival races along with all the remaining riders.
The action will look spectacular on the TV coverage which is due to be aired in early September on Channel 4, followed by broadcasts on British Eurosport and Sky Sports in the UK plus channels in over 180 countries worldwide.
Meanwhile Cycle Chilterns' Maxine Filby managed to beat her nemesis Anna Glowinski (Mad Dog Energy Lemonade) for the first time in their first heat. Max went on to score a catch in her second which assured her of a place in the semi finals. She joined fellow semi finalist and team mate Agata Tamulewicz Downey in her first event.
Anna was now forced to battle through the Survival races with the others. But this did give her the opportunity to score two valuable 'Catches' which will help both hers and the Mad Dog Energy Lemonade team's overall position.
The number of catches a rider / team have scored is used to decide a tie break situation if the team's have the same medal tally. This rewards aggressive riding and gives the slower riders a huge insentive to avoid being caught, even if they can't beat their opponent.
Anna and Max were destined to meet again in the Gold / Silver battle with Anna coming out on top by 0.8 seconds. Agata lost out in her Bronze medal race to spectator wildcard Hayley Davies riding for Team Velotec. Agata was though awarded the best female amateur for topping the morning leader board in the women's amateur qualificaiton competition.
In the men's competition Dave Johnson faced Lee Gratton for the Gold / Silver race, with Dave securing LCC's second gold of the season. Lee scoring Cycle Chilterns 2nd silver moving them up above Team Velotec. The spectator's male wildcard Jack Pullan almost collected Velotec's 3rd bronze of the season but was pipped by his friend and fellow Ealing resident Rob Reed who also went on to be awarded the best male amateur prize.
Team Mad Dog won the best team award on the day thanks to Anna's gold medal which trumped LCC's gold by virtue of Mad Dogs greater tally of catches and race wins. But the top of the overall medal table remained the same with LCC now having 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze to Mad Dog's 2 golds and 1 silver. Cycle Chilterns are bubbling under the lid with 2 silvers, a bronze and haul of catches and race wins to boot. Team Velotec are yet to strike gold but with a rider in both the mens and womens finals their consistency could pay off.
The teams now head to Harewood House and the Grand Departe of the Tour de France for Round 3 of the Series on Sunday 6th July. Cycle Chilterns know what they need to do. Can they overhaul the lead teams LCC and MadDog? Will Team Velotec surprize the current form and get higher than the third step of the podium?
We can't wait to find out.
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