REPORT: ROUND 6 WORTHING
If you’ve started to feel the gloom after the post-event high of Round 6 StreetVelodrome National Series in Worthing, let’s re-live it together now! :)
Once again we could not have asked for better weather on the sunny beachfront in Worthing. Whilst the rain came down in the rest of the UK, the sun shone above our track, meaning that you guys came out in your hordes to watch and cheer - and it certainly helped make for an electric atmosphere!
SOUTHCOAST ROLLERS ROWENA FACES TEAM LONDON ANNA
Jack Ravenscroft and Rowena Price of the local team the South Coast Rollers were your heroes and the amateurs kicked off the day, vying to win themselves a spot on the team.
With some idea of what to expect, because this was the second time StreetVelodrome has come to lovely Worthing, the amateur racing was close and fast. Familiar faces competed against local riders who missed out on the first go last year. It was experience that pulled through with Gavin Stevens and Heidi Reynolds taking the winning places and will be representing the South Coast in front of Buckingham Palace at the StreetVelodrome SuperFinals, July 30th.
Starting off the Pro racing qualys was the Suffolk Saints, with Tanya Griffiths and John Stockwell showing great form and grabbed themselves 4th place, their highest so far, showing that improvement is happening at each round. They have the potential to finally pull it out of the bag at their home event in Bury-St-Edmunds in just a few days time.
A shock and disappointment came for Team London who are used to confidently winning the team qualys, as they found themselves in last place after an unusually off-point performance from Anna Glowinski and, with Mad Dave Johnson absent, debutant Joe Brown struggled. First and second place was hotly contested between Team Cornwall (Matti Hemmings and Jess Stone) and crowd favourite South Coast Rollers. This was the first example of the day that showed the support from the crowd pulling the local Pro’s to pole position - they finished in first place with a combined time 0.32 seconds ahead of Team Cornwall.
So, it was time for the head-to-head knock outs, with a different line up of Pro’s against each other due to the mixed up nature of the qualys. First up was Round 1 winner, Patrick Robinson (Angels of the North) versus John (Suffolk Saints) and whilst everyone expected to see Patrick take a catch point for the Angel’s, John put up a storming fight and for the first half of the race it could not be called who was leading. Patrick took it in the end and claimed he was riding at “65%” but the crowd was unconvinced and his fluctuating performances through the day led everyone to suspect he was still carrying injury from Round 4 in Ballyclare.
MATTI HEMMINGS ENTERTAINED THE CROWD WITH HIS FLATLAND BMX SKILLS
Nobody likes to see a fall but when Alistair Barron of the Belfast Titans went down, giving Matti a Catch Trophy Point, there can be no doubt that the point will be a benefit in the overall standings for Team Cornwall who are building up their lead. Jack was on fire in his race against Joe Brown (standing in for Team London). The new boy suffered a bizarre puncture on the start line delaying the start of their heat. But when they did start Jack hunted down his prey taking no prisoners in front of the crowd who were going nuts for his success.
Catch Points were the token cards starting off the women’s racing, with Jess Stone and Jessica Watts both taking catches against Helen MacGregor and Tanya Griffiths respectively. The talk of the town was Jessica, who was starting to show blinding speed in Stockton at her home event the week before and was showing no sign of slowing down on Sunday. It was the race she has been wanting ever since Round 1 at the Eden Project - Rowena versus Anna. Rowena’s times have often been proving faster than Anna’s but inconsistency and mistakes have led Rowena to be unable to get past Anna and grab a silver medal. So here it was, in the first round of knockouts, and in-front of a screaming home crowd, Rowena took a comfortable win against Anna (to get an idea of the local support, check out the video posted on our Facebook page by one Rowena fan.
THE MALE PRO PODIUM
Jumping to the finals we saw Matti against John in a fight for bronze and unfortunately for John, Matti showed a whole new level of speed which secured him the prize - fists pumps and all, Matti was as excited as anyone to be on the podium. Patrick, the usual fastest rider without Mad Dave to compete against, was up against Jack Ravenscroft who had suddenly found his speed again for the first time this series. Jack was buzzing and Patrick was unsure of himself, there is clearly something to be said for home crowd support! The support was a lot but it wasn’t quite enough, however, and Patrick took the win. But wow it was close!
Anna found herself in her first ever minor finals, since starting StreetVelodrome 3 years ago, against Jessica Watts, who she has beaten in every head-to-head race so far this season. Jessica had shown to have faster times throughout the day and sure enough she knocked Anna off the podium taking bronze for herself. A disappointing day for Team London who had been looking like contenders for the overall series Team prize until Sunday.
Jess Stone was up against Rowena, who had been on cloud 9 all day, revelling in all the local support. Was today the day that everything changed and someone was finally going to knock Jess off the top peg? But that “Rolling Stone” is a formidable force and despite a strong fight, Jess took the win once again, by 0.88 of a second.
In any case the event saw the South Coast Rollers best ever result with two silver medals, enabling them to close the gap on the Belfast Titans in the overall Series.
THE FEMALE PRO PODIUM
And so we said goodbye to Worthing and we have no doubt that all the riders throughout the day and spectators alike finished their weekend on a high. Exciting racing, lovely weather and a stunning setting - it was the magic blend of ingredients for a perfect round of the UK StreetVelodrome Series. But what will be in store for Pros on the cobbles of Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds in the next round of the Series?
Men's Pro Podium
1st PATRICK ROBINSON (ANGELS OF THE NORTH)
2nd JACK RAVENSCROFT (SOUTHCOAST ROLLERS)
3rd MATTI HEMMINGS (TEAM CORNWALL)
Women's Pro Podium
1st JESS STONE (TEAM CORNWALL)
2nd ROWENA PRICE (SOUTHCOAST ROLLERS)
3rd JESSICA WATTS (ANGELS OF THE NORTH)
Next round: Bury St Edmunds 17th July 2016