When anyone asked about what the weather was going to do this weekend, we smiled and answered confidently “It’s going to be sunny this weekend” we knew this “because it’s the Worthing round of StreetVelodrome.”
HUGE CROWDS TURNED OUT TO WATCH THE BATTLE ON THE BEACH
Indeed, the 3rd year in a row of the StreetVelodrome Pro series took place in scorching sunshine on the beautiful beachfront of Worthing. Just a stone’s throw from London, Round 3 Viking StreetVelodrome took place amidst artisan food stalls, beach huts selling arts and crafts, a turquoise sea and hundreds of happy holiday weekenders enjoying the treats of Worthing before Monday’s alarm clock call. It was our job to entertain them, to showcase what a breathtaking spectacle our Pro Riders can put on and inspire every passing person, young and old, into cycle sport.
All our riders took that aspect of their job very seriously, and we put on one hell of a show! We’ll start, as always, with the qualifications. Often the times set in Qualys will help us read how the rest of the show will play out, but not always. In StreetVelodrome, anything can happen!
DEBUT QUALIFYING LAPS FOR AMATEUR TURNED PRO ANDY BRAY
Some newcomers were giving their all as part of the Team Qualys, as well as experienced Pro’s, as they attempt to get to grips with the banking. New for this round was Andy Bray, standing in for Team London's Dave Johnson. Andy was one of the fastest Amateurs from 2016 and this was his debut in the Pro Category. We also had newbies Sophie Williams, the young national road racer for the Welsh National squad and Alice Staniford, Women’s Tour Series crit racer.
DEBUT EVENT FOR ROAD RACE ELITE RIDER ALICE STANIFORD
STREETVELODROME'S FIRST WELSH INTERNATIONAL PRO RIDER SOPHIE WILLIAMS MADE HER DEBUT IN WORTHING
Continuing to progress were Kara Bruce, our freestyle BMXer with a broken leg gain just prior to the start of the season and Csaba (Chubbs) Csenge with a broken finger (again received prior to the start of the season - they’re a hardy bunch our Pro Riders!
And then the usual suspects, each with their own battles, vendettas and points to prove. Amongst the most experienced Pro’s is where the closest of racing happens, and we’re starting to see the likes of John Stockwell (Suffolk Saints) and Matti Hemmings (Team Cornwall) giving it everything to close the gap between them and the fastest Pros. As usual, the most experienced riders posted the fastest times, Patrick Robinson for the male and Jessica Watts for the female. But it is a team event, and things became interesting when the times were added together and the seeding for the head-to-head races were decided.
HOME TOWN GIRL - LOCAL FAVOURITE ROWENA PRICE HELPED SECURE 2ND PLACE FOR THE SOUTHCOAST ROLLERS IN QUALIFYING
As the home team, the South Coast Rollers put down their qualifying time last. Despite being the fastest male, Robinson’s team, Team Wigan, were in the bottom position in the team rankings due to newbie Sophie still getting to grips with the steep banking. This gave Rowena and Craig the chance to play tactically. Would they be clever enough to ride slower than their best, to avoid being ranked in first place as a team. Because if MacLean, as the fastest team male, raced against Robinson, as the slowest team male, in the first head-to-head eliminator races, one of them could get knocked out. So, would they ride tactically? Would they hell!! They were here to put on a show for their crowd and they were going to race hard and fast on every lap!
In the head-to-heads, the mixed team results really played into exciting racing in the mens from the outset. Normally, we’ll see the fastest race the slowest, until the finals when all the fastest racers are still in. This time, the fastest men were already racing each other and we saw Robinson knock-out Hemmings, MacLean knock-out Chubbs and Stockwell knock-out Bray.
In the women's eliminators Price was taking no prisoners on home turf and showed her prowess by catching newbie Staniford within a lap and a half, much to the roars of the loyal crowd! And Watts cruised to victory over fellow roadie Staniford also winning by a catch. Welcome to StreetVelodrome Alice and Sophie!
After three-years of build-up, the crowd at Worthing really KNEW the athletes in front of them. They had their favourites, they knew the back stories, and as the experienced Pro’s headed into the final rounds, the crowd amped up their noise and excitement. Price was making no secret of her desire to win in front of the home crowd, especially after last year they managed to cheer her into her previous best position of second.
With family and friends in the audience and the race times so close between her, Watts and Glowinski she hoped that today was her day. Alas, the pressure was too much for her in the end as a series of mistakes committed by both Glowinski and Price made both riders lose their concentration.
ANXIOUS TIMES -RACE OFFICIALS DISCUSS THE ROWENA V ANNA RACE BEFORE THE RESULT CAN BE CONFIRMED
The result was that because both riders went over the Johnson Line and therefore subject to being disqualified. However with both riders infringing to the same degree it was decided that the first over the line would be announced winner. But even that result was not easy as the laser timing system was relied upon to separate the two of them. A tense wait ensued as the judges confirmed that Glowinski would be going through to the finals, by a mere 300ths of a second!!
Victory was stolen from Price and there were more disappointments with Hemmings crashing out, giving Stockwell his first Catch Trophy* points. The Men’s final was hyped up for the crowd as MacLean barged his way into the race against Robinson and it was clear that the crowd were rooting for those uber powerful Olympian thighs. A strong start after years of Olympic level track racing experience, was not enough to beat Downhiller Robinson, whose turns are the fastest and the smoothest of the bunch. It seems that his only match is Mad Dave Johnson, who we are looking forward to seeing next week in Newmarket.
PRO MEN PODIUM - A FIRST MEDAL FINISH FOR JOHN, A SECOND GOLD OF THE YEAR FOR PATRICK AND A SUPER FAST SILVER FOR CRAIG
In the women's medal races Price saw herself comfortably take a bronze medal and a Catch trophy point in the minor finals against Bruce. The final was between Glowinski and Watts. Watts took her first Gold Medal last week and was consistently posting faster times than Glowinski, but on the odd occasion Glowinski has proven to pull perfect form out of a bag. So the line-up was tense, but after three rapid laps we saw the young Watts take her second win of the season. Go Team Cornwall!
WOMEN'S POIDUM - A CONFIDENT SECOND WIN FOR JESSICA, SILVER FOR ANNA AND A DISAPPOINTING BRONZE FOR ROWENA
As usual, all the competition is kept for the track side and many of the riders were spotted throwing off their lycra post-race and taking a well deserved dip in the sea. Oh we do love to be beside the seaside...
*A Catch Trophy point is awarded to a rider who enters the banking before their competitor leaves it. The race is then stopped early, announcing the catcher the winner. The team with the most Catch Trophy points at the end of the Series wins the Catch Trophy.
RESULTS & STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 3
Patrick makes amends for missing out on gold in Wigan last week. Craig marks his comeback with a silver. John wins his first pro medal, a much needed bronze for the Saints.
GOLD - PATRICK ROBINSON - TEAM WIGAN
SILVER - CRAIG MACLEAN MBE - SOUTH COAST ROLLERS (FIRST MEDAL IN 2017)
BRONZE - JOHN STOCKWELL - SUFFOLK SAINTS (FIRST PRO MEDAL FOR JOHN)
Another masterful performance by Jessica winning gold in the Worthing sun. A dogged battle in the semis is rewarded with silver for Anna and Team London. Home favourite Rowena has to settle for bronze.
GOLD - JESSICA WATTS - TEAM CORNWALL
SILVER - ANNA GLOWINSKI - TEAM LONDON
BRONZE - ROWENA PRICE - SOUTH COAST ROLLERS
SERIES MEDAL TABLE
Team Wigan maintain their lead. Team Cornwall leapfrog Team London to claim second place.
RANK / TEAM / GOLDS / SILVERS / BRONZES
1 TEAM WIGAN 3 / 1 / 0
2 TEAM CORNWALL 2 / 0 / 1
3 TEAM LONDON 1 / 2 / 1
4 SOUTH COAST ROLLERS 0 / 3 / 1
5 SUFFOLK SAINTS 0 / 0 / 2
6 TEAM DUBLIN 0 / 0 / 1
THE CATCH TROPHY
Aggressive riding by Rowena maintain's South Coast Rollers lead in the Catch Trophy
RANK / TEAM / CATCHES
1 SOUTH COAST ROLLERS 4
2 TEAM CORNWALL 2
3 TEAM LONDON 1
4 SUFFOLK SAINTS 1
THE MOST WINS TROPHY
Patrick's consistency pays off for Team Wigan as they maintain their lead in the Most Wins Trophy.
RANK / TEAM / WINS
1 TEAM WIGAN 12
2 TEAM LONDON 9
3 SOUTH COAST ROLLERS 8
4 TEAM CORNWALL 7
5 SUFFOLK SAINTS 4
6 TEAM DUBLIN 2
NEXT EVENT - NEWMARKET SATURDAY 8TH JULY