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RACE REPORT: SUPER FINAL SUCCESS

August 14, 2014

The SportPursuit StreetVelodrome SuperFinal was held in Broadgate, City of London, on Thursday 7th August.

 

It was a great success with only the best riders from the Series taking part in this special 'winner takes all' finale.

 

Male Amateur Finals

The first finals of the evening were the Amateur men's with the top qualifying amateurs from Ealing, Paisley and Harewood House being joined by the Broadgate Wildcard.

 

In the semi finals Rob Reed (CCH) won through to face fellow finalist and wildcard Mario Presi (LCC). Whilst Jack Ravenscroft would battle against Steve Brondel for bronze.

 

With Jack securing yet another bronze medal for MVT and Steve taking 4th place for MDL the crowd got ready for the first Series Final of the evening. Rob and Mario lined up for the head to head for gold and to claim the best Amateur Male of the Series title. With just 0.3 seconds separating them Rob crossed the line first to claim the winner's jersey.

 

The win scored CCH their 2nd gold of the series and got them within striking distance of the first and second placed teams (LCC & MDL) in the overall medal table. Could CCH go on to win the remaining finals and claim an unlikely series title? The pressure was on their Female Amateur Agata Tamulewicz-Downey to win her final.

 

Female Amateur Finals

Libby Smith, who first tried StreetVelodrome at our Manchester Exhibition event, travelled down to London just to try and qualify for a wildcard. Lucky for Libby she did just that.

 

Riding as LCC’s wildcard she went on to beat Corinne Moss (MDL) for a place in the gold medal race. There she would face Agata Tamulewicz-Downey (CCH) who had beaten Debbie Smith (MVT) to win her place in the finals. Agata’s won her semi final by a catch which all but secured CCH the title of most Catches in the Series with nearest rival MVT some five catches behind and with only eight races remaining. Due to the level of competition it was unlikely we would see many more catches.

 

In the Final it was a tough battle but eventually Libby’s cornering speed showed and possibly the experience of Manchester helped as she crossed the line 1.7 seconds ahead of Agata.

 

This secured LCC their 6th gold medal and pushed them two gold medals ahead of their nearest rivals MDL. It also meant CCH’s overall title hopes were dashed. Corinne went on to score MDL their first bronze medal of the series. With the competition at the head of the table between LCC and MDL, that bronze medal could be a title deciding result.

 

Male Pro Finals

The quality of the line up for the finals  was possibly one of the best of the Series with Glasgow 2014 double gold medallist Craig Maclean, riding for LCC, returning to the Series after his success in the Commonwealth Games. He was to be joined by fellow commonwealth games medallist Ross Edgar, for the MDL team. But Ross couldn’t make the finals due to injury so was substituted by Dave Johnson.

 

Dave had been racing for LCC most of the series and had been sidelined by the arrival of Craig. So he jumped at the chance to race and the possibility of going head to head with Craig, the only other rider to beat him all series. The two went head to head in Round 1 Stevenage with Craig beating Dave by 0.2 seconds.

 

Also joining them in the finals were CCH regular rider Lee Gratton and BMX Flatlands legend Keelan Philips riding for MVT.

 

But the form book rules as the guys battled for their places in the medal deciding races. Lee and Keelan would have to scrap for bronze whilst the crowd were going to be treated to the Craig versus Dave battle, part 2.

 

Keelan managed to put 1.8 seconds between him and Lee giving MVT their 6th bronze medal of the series. Keelan’s winning race time set a new record for the Broadgate City of London course with a 25.0 seconds scorcher.

 

All eyes now turned to the final of the pro male competition with Craig lining up on the red start line and Dave on the blue. Craig opted to use the traditional track standing start, with one of the StreetVelodrome officials holding his bike in the up right position. This enables Craig to make maximum use of his key advantage, his thunderously powerful thighs. With his bike and body poised for the start he quickly glanced across to his opponent BMX ace Dave Johnson. Dave has been winning all series, with the exception of his Round 1 clash with Craig. Dave never uses the standing start instead preferring to launch his bike with a kick start.

 

The timing systems show that Craig’s first lap times are the fastest in the field thanks to his ability to launch the bike off the line better than any other rider. But could Dave’s no braking, high line cornering technique win through.

 

The lap times were scintillating and the spectators were ringing their StreetVelodrome cowbells and cheering on their two heros as they traded fastest lap times. Dave was lagging behind by 0.4 on lap one, but managed to claw back time as the race unfolded. Eventually he managed to cross the line 0.9 seconds ahead of his Olympian opponent.

 

The win was immensely significant for the series. No only did it secure Dave the Male Pro Rider series champion jersey it lined up the Female Pro final as the ultimate series decider.

 

Mad Dog were now just one gold behind London Cycling. And with one more Silver medal if the two teams were tied on golds, Mad Dog would take the title. However, if Anna Glowinski riding for MDL failed to win gold in her final LCC would be victorious.

 

Female Pro Finals

The pressure was on Adel Tyson Bloor to win herself a place in the finals and grab LCC a much needed Series Title securing gold medal. But unfortunately she lost out to Isla Short racing for CCH. Anna managed to score a catch against MVT’s Hayley Davies.

 

So the final bronze of the series was either going to Adel or Hayley. Friends off the track, the two of them gave it their all to claim their place on the podium. It was Adel who won through by 0.3 seconds and clinching LCC their 2nd bronze of the series.

 

After 3 months of travelling to all 6 rounds of competition held right across the country, over 140 sprint races and more than 130 competitors it all came down to this the final race of the series.

 

Anna, the favourite on paper, lined up for the last head to head of the series. Isla short had CCH’s honour at stake. Plus if she won she would be crowned the Female Pro rider series champion. But if Anna could hold off the ever improving mountain biker, and recently crowned junior national champion, she would win herself the series champion jersey and the overall team victory for Mad Dog.

 

The usual fun and frolics associated with Anna’s pre race warm up were subdued as the occasion took over. Both riders lined up opting for the traditional track start. At the referee’s whistle they both blasted out of the blocks and hit the first turns simultaneously.

 

Anna’s experience on the banking began to show through by lap 2 and Isla’s steady approach to the corners were losing her fractions of seconds at each turn. Eventually Anna was able to cross the line 1 second ahead of her young opponent and win herself and Mad Dog the series titles.

 

To see action shots, stats and results from the Super Final click here

 

Don’t forget to tune in to watch all the action from the SportPursuit StreetVelodrome Series on Channel 4, British Eurosport, Sky Sports, Setanta, Fox Sports or Universal Sports plus 27 other networks across the world. More details click here.

 

 

 

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