Will is well known in the club as the promising racer with an excellent attitude to the sport. He is one of the few in the club who does a bit of everything, from cyclocross to circuit racing, track racing, time trialling, as well as the HONC, club rides and chaingangs – everything his age allows him to do! Will had a very successful winter in the Newport Winter Track League where he was the dominant rider in his divisions, winning the C and then the B categories. Next up was the National Omnium Series, which Will reports on below…..
I’d like to thank the Club for its encouragement and for helping to finance my 500+ mile round trip National Youth Track Omnium campaign.
The first meeting was at the outdoor Maindy Cycle Track in Cardiff – a first visit for me. My competitors included the current National 3rd ranked rider Rhys Britton and many of the best of the Newport Track A and B Leaguers. I got off to a great start – 5th in the 1km Time Trial. I then got chopped up on the following Elimination Race by someone who put his rear axel bolt end into my front wheel spokes – taking out all but two of them – on my borrowed bike and wheels, too! I rode the rest of the day on my indoor track wheel, winning my Derny lead-out Keirin heat. Britton secured a convincing victory. Considering the eventful run up to the day, GCSEs and the Eliminator crash, I was happy with 9th/16 overall.
We returned the broken wheel to Pete on the way home via Newport, who was very understanding and rebuilt the wheel from scratch for the cost of a bag of spokes. So big thanks to him – and a great skill to have!
The following Saturday was round two, on familiar timber at last – at Newport Velodrome. During the week, a lingering cough I’d had for ages got worse, but I was determined to show up and give it my best. Having been up since 6.30am in order to make the sign-on deadline, my first race wasn’t till 11ish. It was unusually humid in the Velodrome and at least three lads pulled out after the first couple of races. Another couple had had to cancel their day altogether do to a bug going round. I got through the day – won my Keirin sprint heat – but was lapped towards the end of the longer points race by some unrelenting pace from one or two lads who’d kept their form all day. I was spent! 13th/17.
Some revision in the car on the way home in the car preceeded an early night! The following morning we were up at 6:20am and due back in Maindy, Cardiff. My cough was still there, but we thought we’d go there and see how I felt by 8.30am – and anyway, we were due to return the loaned bike to Pete after the meeting. I was up for it – the legs were willing, but unfortunately my chest was not fit to race. Very very disappointed to say the least. We made our official apologies to the organisers and Commissaires in person and then home via Newport again to return the bike.
All in all a great experience though, lining up with the best of the best of my peers.
All told, Will had a very decent campaign, despite the crashes and illness. Setbacks are part of the sport and its how you respond which makes the difference, and Will responded very well indeed. Great riding in the Keirins!