west riding track league- What a Start!

Competitive cycling returned to Roundhay for a blistering start to the new season. The sun even shone!  The track was in very good condition for the start of the year thanks to extensive drainage works undertaken by the parks department.

Scheduled for a 7.00 start, the organiser arrived at 6.15 to find riders already eager to race. Despite the mix up in the handbook showing the first race to be next week, the signing on sheets rapidly filled up. Riders from five to fifty lined up for a variety of races on one of the oldest running banked grass tracks in the country.

Racing commenced with a time trial for all, including some surprised seniors. It allowed Mark Barry, the handicapper, the opportunity to organise heats to allow the best competitive races. The success of this was confirmed by some close finished in the handicap races.

In the freewheel races, Chris Barnes produced a clean sweep of all the races showing his excellent form. He is certainly a star of the future. The three fastest riders behind him, Matthew Holmes, Joe Parker and David Pullan all took turns to take the other places showing how close the racing was in their heat. In the B heats, Aidan Holmes also showed his form by consistently winning with Stephen Jones and Eric Mobbs fighting for second and third places. A good ride was also had by Gaetan Stevens. Finally, heat C showed fine riding from  Lewis Young to win his heats with Henry second and Max Powell, our youngest rider, chasing behind while enjoying the scenery!

 In the fixed wheel juvenile events, Jake Womersley showed everyone how it was done by winning all but one race. To be fair, he was only beaten by a senior in the 10 lap points race!  Second, third and fourth places were all turn and turn around with Luke Simpson winning second place twice. Nick Barnes also won all his heats with Hershel Stevens and Lewis Barry 2nd and 3rd respectively.

For the seniors, Paul Whatmough took the wins for most of the scratch events although Steve Barnes won the time trial event. Anthony Jones got one second and two third places. A hard handicapping left Chris Parker and Gary Marsh behind on the last race on the evening.

Mandy Parker would like to express her thanks to all who helped on the day to make the first race such a success. Special mentions to Mandy Barnes, Cath and Richard Simpson, Mark and Carol Barry, Peter deary and Pete Sutton and Terry Halton, our wonderful commentator. Oh, and not forgetting all the others - Chris and Andy and all the pushers. and setters up.

The West Riding Track League is possibly the longest running track series in the country from its early beginnings in the 1890's. Are we the oldest? I'm sure someone out there can let us know. Contact mandyparker2@ntlworld.com if you have the answer.