PREVIEW: HOW THE AMATEURS CAN DECIDE THE 2016 SERIES
After seven regional rounds the Pro Riders have been doing battle all across the UK, but as the teams roll into Green Park for the Prudential RideLondon SuperFinals its the Amateurs who could help decide the final standings.
The UK StreetVelodrome Series is unique in the way in which it includes local amateur riders into the national competition. At each regional round the two best amateurs (one male and one female) are invited to join their local regional Pro Team to make a team of four for the SuperFinals. 480 Amateurs entered the contest now only the best will make it.
Riders compete not for points but for Olympic style medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze). Its simple, the team with the greatest number of Golds wins the Series. If there's a draw then the team with the most Silvers wins. If there's still a tie then we look at the number of bronze medals won.
At Round 1 at Eden Project in Cornwall Andy Bray and Charlotte Hurst both battled their way through to secure their place in the SuperFinals riding alongside defending champion Jess Stone and BMX Flatlands ace Matti Hemmings. Team Cornwall currently lead the Series with 7 golds. If either Andy or Charlotte can bag a gold they will ease the way for Jess to seal overall victory in the last race of the Series.
Round 2 in Hillingdon saw the 2015 Amateur Male champion Mark Bryant and Hannah Jackson go through to the SuperFinals to partner the 2015 Team Champions Team London with Anna Glowinski (2014 Pro Female Champ) and Dave Johnson (2014 & 2015 Champ). Team London are currently 2nd with 4 golds. If Mark and Hannah can both win gold they will set Dave and Anna up with a great chance to take the overall victory from Team Cornwall who have led most of the Series so far.
Rounds 3 & 4 in Northern Ireland gave Nick Ryles and Caroline Adams the chance to win their way to the SuperFinals and the chance to represent the Belfast Titans. Currently the team is in 4th place with no golds, but with 3 silvers. Wins for Nick and Caroline will allow Pro riders Glyn and Helen with a chance to leapfrog the Angels of the North for 3rd place overall.
Round 5 in Stockton ensured Danny Russell got the chance to qualify to ride alongside Patrick and Jess in the Angels of the North team. The female amateur place will be taken by a wildcard entry qualifying on the day of the SuperFinal. A gold for Danny and his wildcard teammate could allow Patrick or Jessica to secure overall victory lifting the teams total number of Golds to 7 (equaling Team Cornwall) but thanks to the Angels haul of silvers they would win the Series.
Round 6 on the beach in Worthing saw last year's semi finalist male amateur Gavin Stephens secure victory along side Heidi Reynolds. They could both help SouthCoast Rollers Pro riders Jack and Rowena secure 3rd overall in the Series if all four riders win Gold.
Round 7 in Bury St Edmunds was the home event for the Suffolk Saints who will be joined in the SuperFinals by Ian Proudfoot and Anita Bickers. Both were very fast in their respective categories. They could help the Saints Pro Riders John and Tanya win their first medals of the Series so far. The team could even secure 3rd overall if all four riders win on the day.
As well as the overall Series title (based on team medal tallies) there is also the Most Wins Trophy and Catch Trophy competitions to be won. Plus each individual gold medal winner will also win their own individual national title for their category.
The Prudential RideLondon SuperFinals will start with Amateur Wildcard Qualifying from 9.30am until 12pm. Then the Pro Team Qualifying session will start at 12pm. All four riders ride to set a 2 lap time. The team's combined qualifying time will decide the seeding for the SuperFinals. The final races of 2016 will start at 2pm with podium celebrations expect around 3.30pm.
Be there and be part of this amazing celebration of accessible cycle sport.