Good Friday Track Meeting Report 2006
Photo © Gavin Percy
After putting in a winter's training at Portsmouth cycle track, our young team of juniors Dave Sinclair, Tom Butt and 1st year senior Ben Heinrich, rode their 1st open track meeting at Herne Hill on Good Friday - proving that with the right preparation you can hack it with the very best club track riders in the country.
The sun came out and what a meeting! Even though half the crowd had stayed away, you still had trouble getting a space on the barriers to watch on the 450m track.
First race of the program and all 3 of our team were there, lined up at the start on the front of a massive 50 rider filed.vAll 3 were instantly in the action, Dave in a break with Sean Yates & Tony Gibb with Ben blocking the bunch. Dave worked himself over a bit - going for every point instead of working with the break a bit more and he had to drop off the break. He had some points but he had to wait for the bunch. The break got caught and the counter break went away, quickly gaining half a lap. Tom Butt flew out of the bunch on a 100% effort to get across - would he do it? - it was touch and go - of course he would! - What a ride! Unfortunately, the bunch were having none of it and it all came together. Our boys were out of the placings but in the points and they definitely made there mark - who are these i-Team guys?
The 'Devil-take-the-hindmost' or Elimination Race, is one of the most exiting races to watch - today's version especially so. 50 riders started and then every lap, the last 2 across the line were eliminated until 10 were left to sprint for the line in the normal way. Dave Sinclair rode a good tactical race - not getting boxed in, near the front but not in it - he crossed the line 3rd and in the money. The judges then disqualified one of the guys for dangerous riding and Dave was 2nd!
1 Mile - Dave Wins!:
Imagine this - 50 riders, 1 mile (4 laps of the track) - this could be a bit of a lottery? Dave was not looking forward to this.
"Come on Dave, this is right up your street" I said.
"Do you think so? - ok I'll go for a long one - 2 laps?" said Dave.
"No, too far out. Get to the back with 3 to go, move round with 1 and a half to go, attack down the home straight as the bell sounds for the last lap."
I went and watched alongside some of our supporters on the banking after the home straight and told them the plan. I could see others in the crowd smiling at what I was saying. Dave then perfectly executed the plan and just held on to win by a bike length - he had time to punch the air.
"S-I-N-C-L-A-I-R!" we all shouted - including half a dozen in the crowd we didn't know!
Dave and Ben rode the Golden Wheel Race alongside riders like Bradley WIGGINS of Cofidis and Luke ROBERTS of CSC. The pace was high but that didn't stop Dave going away in a break for a few laps and Ben was in the action too.
Great Day! Obviously Dave's win was the icing on the cake after what he has been through injury wise but on the way home, we were talking about how much Tom Butt has come on this year. He was one of the youngest in the race and really looked the part. He rode 3 races and featured in all of them. Ben Heinrich, the most laid back rider I've ever met, finally got what racing is all about - this was his first proper track meeting and you could see he couldn't get enough of it! It must have been good for you guys racing but it was great to watch too! Cheers guys!