SAC Tim Robinson aka ‘Greatshepini’ targets the National Masters Track Championships, the Scottish Track Championships and the National Sprinters League with a ride in the World Masters Track Championships just for experience, with a view to having a proper go next year. Unfortunately for me the only true opponent this year was the weather! The sprinters races I entered this year were either rained off before the event or spent sitting in the rain staring at the track.
The National Masters Track Championships took place in the first week of July at Newport Velodrome. The sprint competition on the Friday began with a 200m TT qualifier in which I posted the fourth fastest time of 11.7 seconds. My first race was a three rider affair, always difficult, this time I came in second after a horrendous tactical decision! The next race was a four rider event, one of the others decided to go from the start, so it basically turned into a Keirin, by the bell his legs were dead. I popped out of his slipstream from the back of the group and blasted past for the win. The day then progressed into the evening and I finished up in the ride off for the bronze medal. Once again, my ‘ring rusty’ tactics shone through, seeing me edged out and into fourth place. I was reasonably happy with my speed, but I had a lot to do before the Scottish Championships in a months time, my lack of racing had taken its toll.
August this year saw me travel down to Meadowbank in Edinburgh for the Scottish Track Championships. I wasn’t racing until the Saturday but I went down to the track on the Friday to watch the mens kilo race and the womens 500TT. This was a great night of racing in which Bruce Croall; came only two thousandths of a second off of Chris Hoy’s record kilo time.
The following day was a sprint competition accompanied by the threat of rain. With only the top eight riders from qualifying going through to the quarter finals, things were going to be tough against a field of quality riders. I qualified fifth which I was happy with; though felt I could’ve gone quicker.
Having progressed to the quarter finals I came up against Kevin Stewart, Science in Sport for the best of three rides. He was my opponent is the Scottish team sprint ‘man 1’, so I decided on the tactic of trying to get him to lead me out. He must have had the same idea, as race one and two turned into very slow and cagey affairs; testing one another’s track standing abilities to the limit, I tried to get the other rider in the front. I was unfortunately edged out in both rides; but I was happy with how the races went from a tactical point of view, simply, he was just too powerful! Traditional for the year, rain came with the forecast being the same all weekend, sadly the rest of the championships were abandoned. The results were declared some weeks later and I was given a fifth place.
The World Masters Track Championships took place this year at Manchester and was contested by over four hundred riders. The atmosphere and racing was very intense and the first couple of days saw Manchester Accident & Emergency visited several times. Day four was the 35-39 sprint competition and started with the usual 200m TT qualifying in which I posted the 11th fastest time out of twenty-four riders. Times were really close with only one hundredths between most riders and racing was going to be tight. Racing wise I was dumped out of the first round, although this wasn’t one of my main goals for the season, I was very disappointed.
All in all, quite a good year...