West Riding Track League News
With rain showers forecast during the day, it looked like a damp start would herald in the beginning of the grass track season at Roundhay Park in Leeds. However the weather was kind and record numbers of riders turned up to ride the historic banked grass track.
Roundhay park staff had carried out further drainage works in order to improve the quality of the track and, even though there had been heavy rain over the last few days, there was only one patch of boggy grass. This is a welcome improvement over previous years when the rain would render the track unusable for several days.
After assessing the track, the course was altered slightly to allow a full racing programme while avoiding the problem area. The park department are continuing to undertake necessary work to bring the track into the best possible condition.
Mandy Parker, the league organiser, explained, “ Without the fantastic support of the park staff, especially Shaun Gregory, John Roebuck and his gardeners together with the rangers, we would not have had such a successful season last year. It looks like we will be facing another record year of attendance if tonight’s numbers are anything to go by ”.
With 29 Under 12’s and 26 fixed wheel riders signed on for the evening, in spite of doubts about the weather, the handicappers faced a busy night sorting out the heats and handicap marks but, despite this, the programme ran with hardly a hitch.
The under 12’s opened proceedings with their half lap time trial. Joe Parker of East Bradford CC had the fastest time of the night but an astonishing time was produced by second place rider Robert Southby, also of East Bradford. At only eight years old, Robert produced a time of 23.42 seconds over 200m on grass, beating several older riders.
With several races for the U12’s, there were wins for Stan Boucherat, George Southby (East Bradford), Joe Pidcock (Aire Valley), and two further wins for Joe Parker.
The fixed wheel riders included a mixed group of youths, juniors, seniors and vets with a series of handicap races, a devil and sprints. Richard Lambert of Cottingley Coureurs had the best of nights with four wins, but was pipped to the post by U16 rider Matt Rotherham (Sports City Velo) in the Sprint Final. Matt won his previous heat despite a spirited ride by Paul Milsom of Calder Clarion who just lost out at the end.
If you fancy joining this rapidly expanding league, dust off that track bike and come and experience the thrill and excitement of riding on grass in a friendly but competitive arena on a Monday night in Leeds. There is something for all ages from young to old.
For further information, contact Mandy Parker on 07917 860292 or e-mail: mandyparker2@ntlworld.com or check the website at www.cycleroundhay.co.uk for details of all races and helpful advice on grass track racing.
Mandy Parker