THE SPORTPURSUIT STREETVELODROME SERIES
SUPER FINAL - SPECIAL PREVIEW
After five rounds held across the country, over 125 competitors, and over 130 nail biting head to head sprint pursuit races, we finally have our rider line up for the first ever SportPursuit StreetVelodrome Super Final. The Super Final will be held in Exchange Square, Broadgate, City of London on Thursday 7th August with racing starting at 6pm.
The four teams, London Cycling Campaign (LCC), Team Mad Dog Energy Lemonade (MDL), Cycle Chilterns (CCH) and Mpora Velotec (MVT) have been battling it out at each round of the Series in an attempt to top the Team’s medal table. At each event their resident pro rider line up (one male / one female) have been joined by locally qualifying amateur riders, again one being male and the other female. Together the four riders compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs in the finals at each regional round.
During the course of the series LCC have largely kept and maintained the lead with MDL briefing taking the lead but going into the Super Final are just ever close behind. CCH with only one gold so far in the series rests in third place, but still in with a long shot of taking the overall title. MVT who have failed all series to bag gold are now out of the running to win the Series outright, but can still win the individual titles and team award for the most catches in the Series.
A catch is scored when a faster rider manages to catch their opponent before the end of the short 3 lap pursuit race. The catch competition rewards aggressive riding and encourages those faster riders with an easier draw in the heats to still give it their all to secure the best result for their team.
Just like the Tour De France has the climbers and sprinters competitions, StreetVelodrome enjoys its own set of hotly contested sub-contests. The competition for the most catches in the Series is currently lead by CCH with ten followed by MVT’s seven. LCC and MDL are tied on five apiece. The winning team will be awarded the 'Most Catches' team trophy.
The teams are also competing for the trophy for the most individual wins in the Series. Its incredibly close between the top three teams with just three wins separating them. LCC have 39, MDT 38 and CCH 36.
The Super Final Format
The format for the Super Final is quite different to the regualr regional rounds. For a start the top three male and top three female amateur competitors from the finals of the regional events have been invited to come to London to race in the Super Final. That’s what makes it a Super Final afterall spectators will see only the best riders of the Series compete. All the selected riders will first compete in semi finals which determine which riders compete in either the bronze medal or gold / silver medal races. The winners are crowned individual Series Champions in the four categories. Best Male Amateur, Best Female Amateur, Best Male Pro, Best Female Pro.
Amateur Rider Finalist Selection
The amateur riders are selected based on their individual performances in both the qualifying sessions and the racing itself. Many of them are already medal winners and if not, they came very close. Once selected the amateur riders are seeded based on their StreetVelodrome ranking. They are allocated to ride for a specific team and their results on the night of the Super Final will not only contribute towards their chances of winning overall, but also their teams position in the overall chase to win the Series.
The regional events always enjoy the added spice of a wildcard rider in the finals. These are riders selected by the spectator’s public vote. They carry with them the added support / pressure of racing as the crowd’s favourite. Well the Super Final will be no different. Between 11am and 3pm a final amateur rider qualifying session will be run in Exchange Square with the top male and top female riders being invited to race in the Super Final as the local wildcard riders. They too could win on the night and end up being crowned a Series Champion. StreetVelodrome likes to keep it exciting. The wildcard riders are to be allocated to the leading team in the series going into the Super Final, which is LCC.
That means the Amateur Rider line up for the Super Finals will be:
Male Amateur Rider Finalists
Jack Ravenscroft, riding for MVT (1 Silver, 0 Catches, 4 Wins, 1st in Qualifying in Round 5 Paisley)
Rob Reed, riding for CCH (1 Bronze, 1 Catch, 4 wins, 1st in Qualfying in Round 2 Ealing)
Steve Brondel, riding for MDL (4th place, 0 Catches, 2 wins, 1st in Qualifying in Round 3 Harewood House)
Wildcard Rider, riding for LCC (will be 1st place rider in Qualifying at the SuperFinal)
Female Amateur Rider Finalists
Corinne Moss, riding for MDL (1 Silver, 0 Catches, 3 wins, 4th in Qualifying in Round 3 Harewood House)
Debbie Smith riding for MVT (1 Bronze, 0 Catches, 2 wins, 1st in Qualifying in Round 4 Stockton on Tees)
Agata Tamulewicz-Downey riding for CCH (4th Place, 1 Catch, 2 Wins, 1st in Qualifying in Round 2 Ealing)
Wildcard Rider, riding for LCC (will be 1st place rider in Qualifying at the SuperFinal)
Pro Rider Line Up
One of the key unique aspects of the SportPursuit StreetVelodrome Series is the Pro / Am racing. During the regional events the amateurs had to not only face the challenge of the banking and their fellow amateurs, but also the skill, prowess and outright speed of the pro riders. Some managed to get one over the pro riders, but most were left leaving the track defeated, though still with a grin on their faces. Its not every day you get to be beaten by an Olympian!
The Pro riders are pre-selected and allocated to the four competing teams. As much as racing commitments make possible they ride for the same team through out the series. They bring with them a wealth of experience from right across the cycling world. From Olympic track medallists to BMX stunt riders. StreetVelodrome packs it all into the tight confines of the pop up track.
Competing in the Super Final for their respective teams are:
Male Pro Riders
Craig Maclean MBE, riding for LCC. Craig recently won double gold medals on the track at Glasgow 2014 for Scotland. This added to his gold medal won at London 2012. Craig has competed in two rounds the Series winning gold on each occasion. Craig remains undefeated in StreetVelodrome and is therefore the top favourite to take the Male Pro Rider title. His super sized thighs give Craig a massive advantage at the start and powering down the straights.
Ross Edgar, riding for MDL. Ross has competed at Olympic level on the track and won gold for Scotland at the Delhi Commonwealth games. Ross has competed in all five regional events of the Series and continues to get faster as he manages the balance between straight line speed and tackling the banked corners without loosing time. Ross finished second to Craig at Harewood House by just one thousandth of a second. He was also one half of the most dramatic race of the StreetVelodrome Series 2014 when both he and fellow Pro Lee Gratton both crashed on the final turn of their head to head. Both riders having to get up and dash to the finish line carrying their bikes.
Lee Gratton, riding for CCH. Lee is an elite level pro mountain biker with an exciting riding style which shows his Down Hill racing origins. Lee finished 2nd in the first StreetVeldrome exhibition event in March and has been a fan ever since. He is consistently in the finals but has never made that final step up to win gold. On his day he has beaten both Ross and Keelan. But he has also crashed spectacularly. CCH will be hoping he can bring it home with a Gold at Broadgate.
Keelan Philips, riding for MVT. Keelan is a multiple international pro BMX champion winning contests in both the USA and Europe. He is four times UK and two times European champion. Keelan has featured on TV, being the star of Channel4’s Concrete Circus. Keelan has developed into a specialist Flatlands style BMX stunt rider. His demonstrations have wowed the StreetVelodrome crowds every time he appears. His StreetVelodrome record includes a silver at round 1 in Stevenage. He has a catch and 4 wins to his name. He will be desperate to win gold for series backmarkers MVT in what will be the penultimate final of the evening.
Female Pro Riders
Anna Glowinski riding for MDL. Anna is a multi discipline rider happily competing both on the road, the velodrome or the woodland track for her pro team. Anna is well known as the design influence for a top female cycling apparel brand and also manages to fit in presenting on ITV’s the Cycle Show. Anna has competed in every StreetVelodrome event and has largely been undefeated. She has won 4 golds for MDL so far this series and thanks to her consistent, ride it high, approach she remains the favourite for overall victory in the Female Pro Rider category. MDL will be hoping Anna can secure the overall series victory with a winning ride in the Female Pro Rider final which will be the final race of the evening. No pressure then!
Isla Short riding for CCH. Isla has been racing mountain bikes for four years as well as cyclocross. She races internationally for her pro team finishing 6th in the 2014 European mountain bike Championships. In July 2014 she became the National Junior Mountain Bike Champion. Isla has a potential advantage over the other riders with her lower riding position she is able to whip the bike around the corners without loosing valuable speed. In Round 5 in Paisley she almost beat Anna on a very wet track in her first event. Given more track time who knows what surprises Isla could spring. CCH will be hoping for gold which could secure them a surprise win in the Series.
Adel Tyson Bloor riding for LCC. With a background as both a stunt woman and triathlete Adel has competed in elite track and road cycling at the highest national level. She won national championships in pursuit racing on the ‘old school’ velodrome and brings her steady yet quick riding style to StreetVelodrome. She has earned a silver medal in the Series so far and has helped numerous amateur riders get the best out of themselves and the StreetVelodrome experience. She has been a great asset to the Series able to provide key pro rider insight which has helped determine the way we do things. But can she turn on the speed for the Super Final and bag the victory for Series leaders LCC? We can’t wait to find out.
Hayley Davies, riding for MVT. Haley won bronze on her first outing in the StreetVelodrome series at Ealing. This was a remarkable achievement as Hayley had just stepped of a plane having been competing in a road race in Spain the day before. A competitive road and track cyclist Hayley also heads up Cyclodam an accessible cycling club based in Amsterdam. Hayley is known as Hayley ‘Fearless’ Davies which shows on her commitment to not losing any speed when hitting the banking. MVT will be hoping Hayley can upset the form book with a final flourish of gold to finish off their Series on a high.
Male Amateur Super Final
On previous form the Male Amateur racing should be some of the closest of the evening with all four competitors having been a top qualifier. Jack showed great speed at Paisley and competed on a damp track so bike handling skills are in no doubt. Rob was masterful in qualifying in Ealing a full second clear of the field. He has a larger build than Jack which could come into play on the tight turns. Steve was super committed in qualifying at Harewood House and only lost out in his races when up against Olympic medallist Craig Maclean MBE. And as for the Wildcard…who knows? This is possibly MVT’s best chance at their first gold of the Series. CCH meanwhile will be hoping Rob will kick start a late flow of gold medals to help them overtake the leading two teams in the table. So with that pressure we are predicting a Jack versus Rob final with a close finish in favour of Jack.
Female Amateur Super Final
Corinne Moss was superior in Round 3 in Harewood House. Her skill around the banking improved race on race. She became the first Amateur rider to knock out a pro rider to gain a place in the finals where she went on to win Silver (also the first Amateur to do so). Could she help gain MDL the top slot in the medal table before the Pro finals get underway? She will have to beat Debbie Smith whose stable bike handling skills helped her win Bronze in a damp Round 4 in Stockton on Tees. Added to that is the super fast Agata who topped the timing sheets in Ealing. Our prediction is a Corinne v Agata final with Agata possibly winning CCH a vital gold medal.
Male Pro Super Final
All the money will be on a Craig versus Ross final. But nobody should put their house, gold watch or car on the line, unless you can afford to. The racing between them has been getting closer and closer all series as Ross picks up more and more tips from the mountain bike and BMX competitors. Can his newly found bike handling skills over come Craig’s sheer power advantage thanks to his pistons for legs. But it may not be an all track hero final. Lee has improved each time he has raced and if he can just master the starts off the he should be in with a good chance of victory. As for Keelan he will be hoping his unbelievable bike handling and balance can win him victory. Particularly if there’s a hint of moisture in the air. This will reduce the grip and make the track stars slow right down. MVT will be performing rain dances we are sure. However, given fair weather we predict a Craig v Ross final with the big man fresh from his Glasgow2014 success taking the top honours.
Female Pro Super Final
Anna’s race win record is 19 wins from 20 races. Pretty impressive. But in Paisley Isla Short almost reduced that to 18 wins. Adel has a steady approach which loses her time over the initial half of the race when compared to Anna. But just one mistaken entry or exit from the banking and Anna’s lead can be wiped out in a second. Hayley is sure to improve from her performance in Ealing which was fantastic nonetheless. But this time she isn’t going to have just leapt off a plane after a gruelling week racing in Spain. We should expect some very close racing in this category. But the prediction is an Anna vs Isla final with the MDL rider once again showing why she is the queen of the banking.
On the basis of our predictions for each of the finals we believe the overall series competition is going to come down to a straight LCC versus MDL fight. With MDL likely to pick up two gold medals and LCC just one. The Series Champions could well be crowned on the basis of the number of silvers scored. If that’s the case then MDL should just about win it. But the LCC wildcards could have something to say. And CCH and MVT are certainly not going to step aside and watch the top two share the honours.
So our prediction is…its going to be awesome.
Come and enjoy the action. Its free to spectators and the racing starts at 6pm. Exchange Square, Broadgate is easy to find with a short walk from Liverpool Street Station. We'll be handing out free cowbells for spectators to show their support for their favourite riders. It should be a great night of close racing. We look forward to seeing you there.