Well done to all of you who took the long drive down to Calshot to take part in the final Club Champs event for 2014, and what turned out to be a fun-filled afternoon of intense speed, a few close calls, personal bests, some tumbles, and tense and exciting racing all round.

A Note from your Track Coach, Steve May:

“First off I would like to thank all the Slipstreamers (approx 40) for taking part in what was a very exciting and thrilling championship. Last year’s champs was very good, but the riders excelled themselves this year. It was a pleasure to watch and to judge. This is what I call ‘Pukka racing’!As all the riders did what they were asked to do in a timely manner, which ensured that everything went like clockwork (always a requirement for track racing); I can only assume that either my speech at the beginning requesting riders to do what they were told and when, and/or the excellent herding of riders by parents, helpers and coaches had the necessary effect!I am aware that a few riders ended up with new personal bests in the Flying Lap, which just goes to show the commitment the riders showed not just to the Flying Lap, but to the whole of the track champs. The riders did themselves proud and made me and the other coaches proud of them too.”

A HUGE thank you to Julie, Steve, Keith and the coaching team for putting this event on! You are all simply fabulous!

And now, enjoy the following photos and fantastic reports from the track riders who took part in the champs event – some for the very first time, some new to Slipstreamers, and some old experienced riders who’ve been attending for many years!

U8’s – In Their Own Words:

By Aaron Shearwood:
“Last Saturday I went to Calshot velodrome for the track Club championships. It is the 3rd time I’ve been to the track, so these sessions had really helped with my tactics for the day. The first race was the “flying lap” against the clock, I had been watching all of the other riders and knew not to go too fast on my warm-up laps, leaving my fastest effort for the final lap. I was really pleased coming in 3rd place behind Pascal and Stan, but beating Ben, Finn and Ollie. The next race was the 3 lap sprint, but I wasn’t ready for how fast the other riders went off, I finished 3rd again. The last event was the 10 lap “scratch race” where we all started holding the railing at the top of the track, this made us all very close together and I know my mum had to cover her eyes as we sprinted off, Finn had to dive underneath me onto the safety zone so as not to crash, but it was a good race and I came in fourth. The whole day was great fun and the track was my favourite of all of the Club Championship events (and my best result) and I’m really looking forward to it again next year.”
By Pascal Giret, U8
“Before the Calshot track races I was nervous and excited. I am always like this before any races, as I want to win and didn’t want to crash or fall off. When I arrived it was nice because I saw my friends and was happy to race. The atmosphere was so good and Calshot is a fun place to be. I have been to Calshot twice before as part of my induction, which was scary at first with the banking; after a while I felt fine going higher on the top of the banking. It was warm and I didn’t feel lonely which is how I have sometimes felt at races. I won all my races which made me so happy; we all tried our best and I came out on top this time; we are all getting better and better so the competition and the future is exciting.”
By Finn O’Brien

“When I knew we were going to Calshot again I couldn’t wait! The last time I went I fell off so I was a bit scared but I went fast and stayed on! It was funny on the way home when we stopped for some dinner at a service station and bumped into the Kent’s and the Bisson’s! “
By Bobbie O’Brien

“This was the 4th time I have been to Calshot. I was excited about going again and riding with my friends. We did 3 races, the first one was a time trial, the second race was a sprint and the 3rd was a scratch race. I think I came third in all three races.”
By Ben Coppola

“At Calshot I felt really nervous at the start when I was on the track but when I got into it I was fine and at the end I finally got onto the top line. When I do the Gorrick mountain bike races at first I am always nervous but when I move I’m fine. I like mountain biking because of the jumps. I am going to be 8 on Monday and I am going to celebrate by doing a night ride with two of my friends.”
U10’s – In Their Own Words:

By Emily Moreve

“On Saturday I went to Calshot. I was very scared but I had a good time after all. I came fifth in the sprint and fourth in the other races. Over all I did well getting back on a track bike after the accident I was involved in earlier in the year.”
By Elliot Moreve

“Last Saturday was an amazing day. The competition was hard and everyone was fast and ready for the races but also relaxed. The time trials were incredible to watch. The older kids were not only cool but I learned how to do the time trial by watching them. When it was my go I had to do the best I could do. When the whistle blew I felt like I was about to fall off a cliff. After I had finished I found out my time and it was the best one I have done. Then the race came when we started we were fast I came second just so close to being first. Now it has come to the scratch race, the fastest race, my start was not so good after 5 laps I was in third and I was catching my way to first but had to settle for third.”
By Jack O’Sullivan

“On Saturday we arrived in Calshot at 12.00 and got ready to go on the track. Everyone was excited. We went in, got our groups and got ready for our flying lap, which was fun. Next we did the sprint and I was in a group of three and we started quickly. I got in a good position on second wheel and tried to pass the guy in front but I went too high on the last lap and although I gained on him all the way to the line he beat me by millimetres. After the disappointment in the sprint I waited for the 10 lap scratch race and watched the older boys racing. I thought the scratch race was going to be tough but not as tough as it turned out! At the beginning of the race, after only ¾ of a lap I hit the deck hard. It happened so quickly – one second I was riding along, the next second my wheels slid from under me and I was on the ground in the blue strip at the side of the track. I have a big scrape and bruise on my elbow and hip and a small scrape on my knee. My knee would have been a lot worse if I had not been wearing my leggings as they were ripped by the crash, so I was lucky. The next day I had a pain in my neck as well, as when I crashed my bike flipped over and banged me on the head. All in all though, despite the pain I enjoyed the day a lot and can’t wait for next year.”
By Alex Franks

“The track champs at Calshot on Saturday were fantastic. I had been to Calshot a couple of times before but this was my first time there for track champs. I really enjoyed my sprint heat and I won it which was great. The final scratch race was really exciting. I had a good start and went out with the first few riders. I held my place for several laps until some other riders fought back but I was really pleased with my final place. Mum said it was a really exciting race.”
By Tom Stringer
“On Saturday afternoon a group of us took the long journey to Calshot Activity Centre to race in the velodrome track club championship. We first got kitted up with fixed wheel bikes and then did some warm up laps all together. Then we were told which group we were going to be in and then the u16 group started to race. I was in the u10 group, and we did an omnium that consisted of 3 different types of race: 1) flying lap 2) sprint 3) scratch race. It was really good fun. I really enjoyed all the different types of races and learning how to race them; and as Laura Trott said “When you step into the velodrome you know you’ve got the total support of everyone in there.”  We certainly had the support of all the coaches and kids.”
U12’s – In Their Own Words:

By Kye Lewis

“On Saturday I had so much fun at calshot I got a good time on the flying lap and got beaten by 200th of a second. “
By George Lewis

“Last weekend was the Club Champ track racing. It was my second club champs at Calshot, which is the shortest and steepest velodrome I’ve ever ridden. Also, it’s always freezing there. I was a bit nervous when I first rode the boards, I hadn’t ridden on the track since the summer. Despite this, I had a great time racing and came away with a few good results too. The racing was a very high standard across all of the age groups and was awesome to watch. We had as much fun supporting each other as we did cycling. It was a brilliant event and a really cool day of cycling at the velodrome. Thanks to the coaches for running a great day of racing.”
U14’s – In Their Own Words:

By Zoe Brookes

“I was a bit nervous before Calshot as it was my first track race, but I didn’t need to be! I really enjoyed it, and am happy to have finished second to Savannah. I put up quite a good fight in the Points Race, building up quite a big gap in the middle of it. I didn’t fall off, so I am happy, but it got a bit close when I unintentionally dragged Savannah up the top of the track trying to get her to go in front! I also liked being able to race with just girls, which we don’t get to do very often. It was really fun, and I definitely think anyone who is unsure about coming should have a go next year, you will enjoy it!”
By Savannah Hewson

I really enjoyed the track champs this year as there was a very good atmosphere, with everyone of all ages cheering one another on. The races were all very close and we all had loads of fun. The girls U-14/U-16 points race was especially exciting with lots of break-aways and counter attacks and never being sure who would win it until the very last lap.”
By Morgan Evans
“I was excited to be taking part in my first ever Slipstreamers Club Track Championships last Saturday. I couldn’t wait to get on the Calshot Track and compete in the three events: a Points Race, a Sprint and the Fastest Lap. I don’t have my own track bike, so I borrowed one from the club. My adrenaline rushed as I warmed up on my rollers before competing. First off, we went all out to get the fastest time possible in the Fastest Lap event – this went well for me because I got the third best time in my age category – under 14s. Then it was on to the Sprint event. The cyclists with the top three fastest lap times raced against each other in the Sprint event. Unfortunately, I missed the slipstream of the other two riders from the start and failed to catch them over the three laps, so came in third. . . The big event was the 40-lap Points Race. I got a good start in this race and I won the first sprint and was third across the line in the other two sprints, so I managed to gather a few points. I did find by the end that I was starting to feel rather dizzy speeding round and round the small velodrome. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Calshot and was happy with my results. I hope everyone else enjoyed the experience on the steep-banked track too!”
By Seth Kanaris
“As someone that feels most at home throwing long travel bikes down the side of a mountain, racing at Calshot in the Champs was a very interesting experience. Having only had one session on a track bike a few weeks back, I predicted that I was going to be obliterated – and I was right! I particularly struggled with riding the bike like a track bike and not as if I was blasting down a trail; as well as the insane 40 lap points race, which almost near-killed me! But did I enjoy it? Frankly, I loved it! I really enjoyed the speed and the intensity of the sprints, as it’s not at all like riding a road bike, which I really do dislike! Ultimately, give me a trail filled with big doubles and drops any day; but throw in a track and steep bank every now and then and I’m along for the thrill. I thoroughly enjoyed my track champs experience (even if I did come last – although I did come 5th in my sprint!), and I will definitely be riding a lot more track!
By Tom Portsmouth

“My First Club Track Champs: I had a great time at Calshot and really enjoyed the racing. My favourite race was the 40-lap Points race, where I came second I think, but it was really hard work with sprints every 10 laps, and I felt ill afterwards! I was really tired. In the Sprint race I did gap-rushing to catch and overtake the leader, which I learnt at the RSR. Thanks to the coaches and other organisers for a brilliant day!”
By Peter Hewson

“Last Saturday was my first ever track championship, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. There was tension between riders as we started, but just friendship when we came off the track; there couldn’t have a been a better atmosphere. I will definitely go next year and encourage other riders to come too.”
By Ieuan Woods

“The Hillingdon track championships were an incredibly good experience, not just for me but for my parents as well. The racing was well organised, and all the races got underway on time. My group didn’t include many riders, however the field was competitive, and high quality, my racing involved a flying lap, match sprint and a points race, despite my legs absolutely burning in the points race, it was still my favourite. One of the highlights of the day, was being able to watch the young children, just 8 years old, whizzing around the track, having so much fun, and that really brightened my day.”
U16’s – In Their Own Words:
By Carl Jolly

“I always like riding Calshot as it’s one of my favourite tracks – Niall and I have been riding/racing there since we were 7. The track event is my favourite of the club champs, and this year Niall and Alex were there so I knew it was going to be fun. We started with the one lap sprint. I got a pb of 9.19 secs. Also, Niall had a great pb of 9.36!!! I was very pleased with this, as my previous best was 9.42. This time is one of the fastest verified times at Calshot, and only a handful of riders have gone under 9.20. It was only 2 tenths off the club record which was set years ago and was 9.17. I am after that now! Next up were the sprints. I decided I was going make the others chase me so I went for it with 1 and a half laps to go and I wasn’t caught. Last race was the points and I managed to win max points on offer so was pleased with that as well. All in all it was a good fun day with Niall and Alex and it was good to see the young riders giving it a real go as well. There was some great racing by them, and one or 2 I was keeping my eye on. It’s great to see the young riders coming through and racing at Calshot and I think that’s great experience for them. Calshot is a special place and great to hone your track riding skills. I look forward to the next sessions there in 2015.”

Thank you for such fabulous reports riders!