REPORT: MALE SUPERFINALS 2018
RACE REPORT & VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
What an end to a fantastic 2018 Series. The very best riders going head to head to decide the title in front of a great crowd and set within the dynamic cityscape of London's Canary Wharf.
ON THE EDGE - ANDY BRAY JUST ABOUT AVOIDS THE JOHNSON LINE IN QUALIFYING
After three dramatic qualifying rounds held in Dublin and Wigan the regular pro riders in the Series were seeded based on their results so far. The very best getting an all important boost, meaning they will only enter the SuperFinals at the quarter finals stage.
WATCH THE ACTION WITH THE VIKING SERIES MAGAZINE SHOW PRESENTED BY ANNA GLOWINSKI
The other riders, including a host of debut riders, would need to battle it out in the Eliminators for the chance to meet the top seeds. It was a simple knock out tournament with no second chances. Only riders winning their respective heats would progress.
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR SAM REYNOLDS - QUALIFIED LAST AND ELIMINATED IN HIS FIRST RACE.
Apart from the challenge of their opponents the riders also had the elements to content with. Heavy rain prevented the early morning practice session from going ahead. And qualifying was delayed by three hours. Meaning many of the lesser experienced riders would struggle for track time.
Qualifying involved a 2 lap time trial held in drying conditions. The fastest riders would be seeded to race the slower riders in the Eliminator rounds.
Automatic qualifiers were the two amateur Wildcards of Steve Rogers and Jordan Tester (the 2017 Amateur Champion). They beat a healthy line up of budding racers to win the chance to race in the SuperFinals. They would qualify 12th and 11th respectively.
WILDCARD - AMATEUR QUALIFIER STEVE HODGES RIDING FOR CITI BANK AND TEAMGB TRIALS RIDER
Qualifying 10th with a time of 21.98 seconds was debut rider Sam Reynolds, not so fresh from competing in freeride downhill in Whistler (Canada). Six tenths quicker in 9th was 2016 regular pro rider and StreetVelodrome coach Andy Bray. Just one tenth quicker still was Alex Briggs lining up in 8th.
7th fastest was debut rider Daryl Brown (freestyle mtb rider) with 20.75 seconds. Just ahead in 6th was fellow debut rider Phil Atwill (downhill mtb) with 20.48 seconds. And in 5th, but only by one hundreth of a second was another downhiller Josh Lowe.
Making the top four was 2017 bronze medal rider Harry Molloy with 20.08 seconds. He would join the top seeds of Jono Jones, Csaba Csenge and defending champ Patrick Robinson. All of whom would avoid the eliminator rounds and go straight to the Quarter Finals.
ALL SMILES - PROMISING DEBUT FOR DARYL BROWN QUALIFIED 7TH
The bottom 8 riders went head to head with the winners going to the Quarter Finals. The results went along the qualifying form with the faster riders winning through. That was with the exception of Andy Bray (qualified 9th) who beat Alex Briggs (qualified 8th). The other winners were Daryl, Phil and Josh.
FIRST WIN - PHIL ATWILL WINS HIS FIRST STREETVELODROME RACE TO SECURE A PLACE IN THE QUARTER FINALS
THE QUARTER FINALS
The track was now completely dry and the laps times were tumbling. The racing was getting closer and closer much to the enjoyment of the spectators lining the track.
ALL IN THE MIND - DEFENDING CHAMP PATRICK ROBINSON PREPARES FOR HIS FIRST CHALLENGER
Now the top seeds entered the fray to see off the challenge of those riders who had won through the Eliminators. The first heat caused a shock result with debut rider Josh (who qualified 5th) beating 2017 bronze medallist Harry Molloy (4th) to secure him a slot in the Semi Finals.
PUSHING THROUGH - CSABA FOUGHT HIS WAY TO THE SEMI FINALS
The other main seeds, Jono, Csaba and Patrick all won their respective quarter final heats to ensure they would line up in the Semi Finals. Jono Jones had yet to play his joker card of the running start which he put to such good use by winning round 3 of the series.
THE SEMI FINALS
The amazing debut ride by Josh Lowe (a stand in for the injured Bryn Dickerson) came to an end when he was beaten by defending champ Patrick Robinson. But it was only a marginal win with Patrick almost losing out to Josh.
READY TO LAUNCH - RUNNING MAN JONO JONES PREPARES FOR TAKE OFF
In the other semi final the 'Running Man' Jono Jones finally used his trademark start to eliminate Csaba Csenge from the competition. Leaving just him and Patrick remaining.
Jono's running man technique has created a storm in StreetVelodrome world. Was it now time for it to win him the Series title? Patrick was not running scared. And with the old saying "If you can't beat them, join them" Patrick lined up for the biggest race of the year intent on trying the 'running man' start for himself.
THE FINAL WORD - PATRICK SPEAKS TO LUCY BEFORE THE START OF HIS 3RD SUPERFINAL
The tension became even greater when Patrick, getting used to this new technique, jumped the start. Referee Chris applied the mandatory 1st warning. Another false start would result in a disqualification for the defending champ. "Its all in the mind" Patrick has been saying all series. Had the challenge of Jono Jones got to Patrick. Was he competing on his terms or Jono's. It was a fascinating encounter.
Lap 1 and Jono was slightly ahead, but only by a fraction. Lap 2 and he was still marginally in the lead. Patrick swung wildly into turn 2 on the 2nd lap and seemed to loose time as they cross the line for the final lap.
Patrick had to stay calm, do what he has done so well for the last two seasons of StreetVelodrome. He had to believe he could win to win. If it was 'all in the mind' he needed every gram of mental strength right now as much as the physical.
The two riders crossed the finish line seemingly as one. But the lazer timing told the real truth and Patrick was the winner by the smallest of margins. A truly great Champion's rider saw him win his third title.
MUTUAL RESPECT - BOTH SUPERFINALISTS CONGRATULATE EACH OTHER
For Jono 2018 may not have been his title winning year. But he know's that his ability and innovation has set such a challenge that the master of the sport had to change what he does in order to keep winning. And that is reward in its self. Two great competitors pushing each other to new levels and changing the sport forever.
We can't wait to see how far these two will push each other in 2019.
THE LEGEND AND THE CHALLENGER - PATRICK WINS THE SERIES, JONO CHANGES THE SPORT.
WATCH THE FULL STORY OF THE SUPERFINALS IN OUR MAGAZINE SHOW ON STREETVELODROMETV