Wigan’s All-Star cast made for some of the most exciting racing we have ever seen here at the Viking StreetVelodrome Series.
The women’s racing was especially heated, with BMX World Champ, Shanaze Reade, saying that this is where it was all at for the spectators! But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the qualifications, introduce some of the riders and relive how it all played out…
NEW ZEALANDER BRYN DICKERSON JOINED THE SAINTS TO HELP BOOST THEIR TITLE HOPES
First to set times in the team time-trial was the Suffolk Saint, consisting of Kara Bruce (BMX freestyle extraordinaire) and newcomer Bryn Dickerson (World Cup Downhill MTB Racer for New Zealand). Broken legs tend to take more than a couple of days to heal, and unfortunately Bruce broke hers just as the season started (see the TV show at the end of the series for gruesome details) and will be valiantly competing this season with a healing bone and ligaments.
Showing talent on the banking, her tentative pushing on the pedals on the straights gave her a beatable time for the other competitors. Her team-mate Dickerson was left to claw back the seconds, and a very fast time he laid down indeed, but it was not enough to draw the team out of last position.
Luckily for them, and seriously gutting for Team Cornwall, was that despite Jessica Watts (National Level road racer) and Matti Hemmings (Guinness World Record holder for flatland BMX) putting down a combined fastest qualification time, Hemmings was disqualified for crossing over the Johnson Line* allowing the Suffolk Saints to leapfrog them in the team results.
TEAM CORNWALL JESSICA AND MATTI FIND THEMSELVES IN LAST PLACE DUE TO A JOHNSON LINE DISQUALIFICATION
After a home-event last round, Team Dublin were set in Wigan with a shiny new pairing, with World Cup DH rider from Hungary Csaba Csenge (aka “Chubbs”) and European DH Champion Italian Veronika Widmann. Downhill Mountain Bikers have always proved quick on the StreetVelodrome banking. Most fans will know of the unbeatable Jess Stone? So eyes were on these two.
TEAM DUBLIN PAIRING OF VERONIKA & CHUBBS EYE UP THE TRACK AHEAD OF QUALIFICATION
Widmann was the 3rd fastest female, despite it being her first ever attempt. We expected her to be fast and were not disappointed, we will be looking to this one to step it up for the SuperFinals in Canary Wharf. Chubbs placed an encouraging time and therefore the two finished in 4th placed.
The SouthCoast Rollers consisted this round of Rowena Price and Craig MacLean MBE (Commonwealth Games track gold medallist). Rowena has her eyes firmly planted on gold and she qualified as the second-fastest female. MacLean, after a year away from StreetVelodrome came back with some fight in those thighs, but was now about a second away from the fastest boy’s times. The team finished in second.
OLYMPIC PUNCH - CRAIG MACLEAN BOOSTED THE SOUTH COAST ROLLERS POWER OUTPUT
Team London, ever the showboaters, inconsistent with form, but consistent with entertainment, showed that they still have what it takes. Mad Dave Johnson and Anna Glowinski put down a combined fastest time to put the team into first place, despite neither of them being the fastest in their category.
Finally, in front of a home crowd, Team Wigan was set to put down their times. The prettiest faces in the field, models Patrick Robinson and Juliet Elliott had to let their legs do the talking against the clock.
TEAM WIGAN'S JULIET ELLIOT ENJOYED HER DEBUT AT THE TEAM'S HOME EVENT
Robinson looked comfortable and placed the fastest male, Elliott on the other hand exploded into a fit of giggles on the start line, her infectious laugh spreading to her friends and the onlooking crowd, but not benefiting her for a fast time! Leaving the home team in 3rd place.
The best thing about Round two of this Viking StreetVelodrome Series was that NOTHING was predictable. Getting used to different bike sizes and handle bar set-ups, the qualifying results didn’t not necessarily foretell the head to head race results.
Glowinski, who qualified 4th fastest female, knocked out favourite-for-gold, Watts in their head-to-head, as Glowinski pulled back a sudden smoothness in the corners.
Speed-queen Widmann was surely set for a podium but the low rolling resistance of the smooth tarmac course, coupled with her resulting high speed, she was unable to keep below the Johnson Line and an unpopular (but justified) disqualification for her meant that Elliott went through to the next round.
MATTI EXPLAINS TO SHANAZE READE HIS DISQUALIFICATION FROM QUALY
In the men’s, Hemmings was showing exceptional speed but his team positioning in the Qualy’s meant that he was placed against Mad Dave Johnson, who knocked him out of the rest of the racing, without allowing him the chance to prove himself further, unless he could secure himself a place as the fastest loser.
MacLean, an experienced Pro, was knocked out by newcomer Dickerson and despite pressure from the crowd, Robinson did not manage to get a catch point against Team Dublin's Chubbs...prefering to preserve his energy for the finals instead.
In a repeat race, Glowinski was back up against Watts, who made it through to the semi-finals as fastest loser. Glowinski got off to a faster start, but by mid-race Watts had clawed her way back and gained herself a place in the final, leaving Glowinski for the minor-finals against Elliot.
The race for Gold took place against Watts and Price, neither of whom have ever got a gold at StreetVelodrome before. This race meant something special to both of them.
Price got a strong start gaining a few bike lengths at the first pass. But Watts was able to able to build up speed in the turns eventually overturning Price's lead. She eventually took a close victory and her first ever StreetVelodrome gold. Considering she scraped through as fastest-loser in the semi-finals, we loved seeing that in StreetVelodrome, it really is down to who is fastest in that very moment, and in this moment it was the 18-year-old A-Level student.
PRO FEMALE PODIUM - WATTS CLAIMS HER FIRST VICTORY FOR TEAM CORNWALL
The men’s finals was a usual pairing, Robinson against Mad Dave. Robinson has been looking comfortable recently and Mad Dave seemed a bit sick of it. “I’m gonna win this one” he was heard saying earlier in the day.
Was it complacency on Robinson’s part, or determination on Mad Dave’s? But either way Team London rider Mad Dave chose to use Robinson’s home event to show to the world that he still has what it takes to be StreetVelodrome Champion.
MALE PRO PODIUM - A STRONG SHOWING BY MAD DAVE SECURES GOLD
*DID YOU KNOW - The Johnson Line was established in 2015 after Mad Dave Johnson rode off the banking, using the wall above the usual track area to keep turning a faster line. The line proved to be too dangerous, resulting in Johnson face-planting himself into concussion. Since then, the white Johnson Line was painted on the track and it became a disqualifiable offence for riders to cross it.
GOLD - DAVE JOHNSON - TEAM LONDON (FIRST WIN SINCE BURY ST EDMUNDS 2016)
SILVER - PATRICK ROBINSON - TEAM WIGAN
BRONZE - BRYN DICKERSON - SUFFOLK SAINTS (TEAM'S FIRST PRO MEDAL)
GOLD - JESSICA WATTS - TEAM CORNWALL (JESSICA'S FIRST GOLD MEDAL)
SILVER - ROWENA PRICE - SOUTH COAST ROLLERS
BRONZE - ANNA GLOWINSKI - TEAM LONDON
SERIES MEDAL TABLE (AFTER ROUND 2)
1ST TEAM WIGAN 2 GOLDS 1 SILVER 0 BRONZE
2ND TEAM LONDON 1 GOLD 1 SILVER 1 BRONZE
3RD TEAM CORNWALL 1 GOLD 0 SILVER 1 BRONZE
4TH SOUTH COAST ROLLERS 0 GOLD 2 SILVERS 0 BRONZE
5TH TEAM DUBLIN 0 GOLD 0 SILVERS 1 BRONZE
6TH SUFFOLK SAINTS 0 GOLD 0 SILVERS 1 BRONZE
MOST CATCHES TROPHY
1ST SOUTH COAST ROLLERS 2 CATCHES
2ND TEAM LONDON 1 CATCH
MOST WINS TROPHY
1ST TEAM WIGAN 9 WINS
2ND TEAM LONDON 7 WINS
3RD SOUTHCOAST ROLLERS 4 WINS
3RD TEAM CORNWALL 4 WINS
5TH TEAM DUBLIN 2 WINS
6TH SUFFOLK SAINTS 2 WINS
NEXT ROUND - ROUND 3 WORTHING 2 JULY