The Dernies were out for the first time this season at Palmer Park. The A and B Derny Paced championships are run on different nights throughout the season the Senior As had the honour of kicking things off – and the packed programme meant that the Bs had a relatively quiet night.
With the Dernies really filling out the programme, the VIA International 10 Lap Scratch races make way for an A and B Hare & Hounds and, this week, the As were really up for the chase – reeling in the Bs’ half lap advantage just after half distance and settling in for the sprint finish.
It was Matt Gittings of AW Cycles who led out the Sprint, with Ian Greenstreet of Newbury RC on his wheel, followed by Gittings’ team mate Cam Swarbrick and Martyn Harris of Banjo Cycles. Gittings missed the opening round of the season following his ride in the Tour of Malta but had warmed up his track legs the day before at Herne Hill, taking the second round of the Sprint Omnium Series.
Gittings polished off the Sprint, with Swarbrick coming round Greenstreet in the closing stages to snatch second. It was Jason Pitt of Palmer Park Velo who took the B honours ahead of Rikki Pankhurst of AW Cycles and John Glaysher of a3 crg. Jayne Paine of Willesden CC was the only rider in the Ladies category this evening and scooped up the points in the Hare & Hounds, Unknown Distance and the AW Cycles 20k Endurance events.
The Dernies were out next and the opening heat saw Gittings cruise through to the Finals, along with Harris. English led Heat Two for most of the race with Sam Sturgeon of Team Terminator and Swarbrick 20 metres behind. Sturgeon surged ahead in the closing stages and passed English as Swarbrick’s challenge succumbed to a stuttering motor. Will Macke of AW Cycles took the third heat, passing Greenstreet just past half distance and easing away to take a comfortable win.
Another short but sweet Unknown Distance race saw Swarbrick and Pilgrim Morris off the front of the race at the bell. Swarbrick picked up the pace and distanced his fellow escapee but only just held off a hard charging Harris to seal the A win with Frazier Carr of AW Cycles picking up third place. Pankhurst again led the B riders’ charge for the line, with Glaysher second and pacemaker Pilgrim Morris earning a point for his efforts in third place.