National Youth and Junior Track Championships 5th – 9th August 2019 The Geraint Thomas Velodrome Newport Wales
A talented group of Welwyn Wheelers U16 riders made the trip to Newport this week to take part in the National Track Championships and returned with 5 medals between them.
On Monday the week started in a truly sensational manner with Tom Sharples smashing the National Record in qualifying for the under 16 Sprint race with a time of 10.857 seconds. Tom’s form took him all the way through to the final but it was Harry Ledingham-Horn who took the gold by the narrowest of margins.
In the U16 girls Sprint Iona Moir qualified 7th in a time of 12.640 seconds. In a fierce battle she lost in the quarter finals to her Madison partner Jodie Taylor.
Tuesday saw the rest of the WW team taking to the track. Euan Woodliffe, who had just returned from 6 days of racing in Assen, and Joe Kiely in the U16 boys Scratch race and Ellen Bennett in the U16 girls 2000m Pursuit. Joe made it through the very intense qualifying heats and finished 6th in the final. Ellen finished 16th in the pursuit.
Tom continued his strong sprint performance in the Junior (U18) Sprint race qualifying with a time of 10.689 seconds. He again made it through to the final but had to settle for a second silver medal to a very impressive Dan Cooper.
Tom took part in the Youth Keirin but in the semi-final rolled a tub and crashed. With great racing spirit a coach from VCL (Alistair Mangham) got Tom’s bike fit to race and on to the track for the restart. Unfortunately Tom did not have it in him to make the cut for the final.
Wednesday saw Joe and Euan in the U16 Points Race. Joe qualified 1st in his heat by making a tremendous attack with 8 laps to go to try and bag the final lap double points. As the laps ticked down to 2 to go the peloton started to split to try and catch him but Joe managed to hold on to take the 10 points. Joe finished 3rd in the final.
Iona and Ellen competed in the U16 girls Scratch Race. Iona made it through to the final making a brave attack at the end of the race but was not able to hold onto her position and finished 21st.
Thursday Joe and Euan paired up to compete in the U16 Madison making it through to the final finishing 7th.
Iona teamed up with Jodie Taylor (Team Terminator) for the U16 girls Madison and finished an impressive 5th in the final.
Joe, Euan and Tom all competed in the U16 500m Time Trial. The eventual winner was Ed Lowe with a new National Record of 32.734 seconds. Joe: 35.486 seconds (14th) and Tom 33.307 (3rd) gaining him a bronze medal.
Iona and Ellen took part in the U16 Girls 500m TT with times of 39.164 (17th) and 39.370 (19th) respectively.
Friday Joe rode in the U16 boys 2000m Pursuit and came away with a bronze. Ellen took part in the U16 Girls Points race and came 11th.
What a week!