PREVIEW: SUPERFINALS 2018 - FIVE THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Here's five things that may make a big impact on the 2018 SuperFinals in Canary Wharf on 16th August.
1. The Johnson Line
Ever present. It sometimes creates more of a challenge than your opponent! Its the solid white line painted around the top of the rideable section of the banking. It denotes the track limit. Going over it results in a race losing penalty.
The track limit line (aka the Johnson Line) was introduced after 2015 Pro Male Champ Dave Johnson crashed at high speed knocking himself out cold. He had been taking advantage of the physics of centrifugal forces as he rode the vertical section of the banking to avoid speed loss in the turns.
WATCH DAVE JOHNSON REVIEWING HIS OWN CRASH
Was breaking the laws of physics technically cheating!? It wasn't until the introduction of the track limit line which was put in place to keep the riders safe as they hurl themselves and their bikes around the tight banked corners.
Since the rule was introduced it has created its own series of headlines with some top riders finding they are penalised for going over the line. Its certainly added another dimension to the racing as riders have to get the balance between going all out fast yet maintaining control in the corners.
FLASHBACK - The 2017 Pro Male title was decided by long standing race referee Nick Jeggo as both finalists had gone over the Johnson Line. Will that pesky white line impact on this year's title?
2. The Legends
Both current male and female champions Patrick Robinson & Jess Stone are ranked as 'Legends' in StreetVelodromes rider rankings. This means they have won multiple SuperFinals.
But catching them up is a new generation of StreetVelodromers each getting closer and closer to the lap times of the Legends.
Can Patrick become the first Male Pro to claim three SuperFinals?
Will unbeaten Jess Stone retain her 100% record and win a fourth straight title?
3. The Challengers
Hot on the heels of the Legends are the new challengers. They include internationally successful athletes from all walks of cycle sport.
In the Male Pro category we have recent race winner Jono Jones who must surely be starting as favourite to topple Patrick. Can he repeat his recent race winning success at the SuperFinals?
In the Female Pro category current UCI BMX World Champ Charlotte Green impressed on her debut in Wigan for round 2 finishing second. With more experience behind her can she close ths gap to Jess and claim a shock result in Canary Wharf?
4. The Newbies
Never before have we had so many Pros looking to win cycling's only pop up track racing series. And they come from a range of disciplines with massive amounts of success and experience. So can they turn the form books upside down?
Alyssa Podesta will debut at the SuperFinals
Look out for Pro Male debuts by Sam Reynolds, Phil Atwill, Daryl Brown and Alec Briggs. And in the Pro Female there's Alyssa Podesta.
5. The Running Man
Riders are free to start the race how they wish. Most opt for a foot down push off. Some try track stand starts. But at the last round in Wigan Jono Jones debuted his now trade mark Running Start.
At the referee's whistle Jono runs pushing his bike before leaping on as he goes i to turn one.
It offers him a boost at the start but the jump on moment loses him momentum. Despite this he put his unique technique to good use claiming victory in Round 3. His win secured him a top seeding for the SuperFinals.
Will the running man triumph in Canary Wharf?
Catch all the action on 16th August from 6.30pm in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London