Last weekend as some of our riders were at the Dolan series, Halley Woods made the 400 mile round trip to complete in Icebreaker 3, the final round in a youth track omnium series held at the Newport Velodrome.
The competition consists of between 3 and 5 races, depending on whether riders get through qualification heats in scratch and points races. Riding as a first year ‘Youth A’, Halley’s objective was to reach the finals and to make the races as hard as he could for the other riders.
Halley prepared well and started his warm up:
First up were the qualification heats for the scratch event and Halley came in about 7th place in his heat, easily qualifying for the final.
Next came the scratch final.
Halley’s tactics were to sit at the back of the 20 lap race for the first part of the race and only to show his face in the final few laps. This went according to his plan with him happily bringing up the rear for the first 16 laps. With four to go Halley quickly moved to the front of the bunch and launched an attack, hoping to jump a gap on the bunch and bring a few riders across to help him share the work. This worked and Halley found himself riding in a group of 4 riders but shortly slimmed down to with Halley and one other rider holding a reasonable gap. However, unfortunately with 3 laps to go, the quickening of the pace in the race caused a crash at the back of the bunch. Although only a single rider came down the race was then neutralised for the next 6 laps. The bunch re-grouped and although Halley held his position at the front of the race, now riding around the top of the track for nearly a mile, he found that when the whistle blew to restart the race he could not find his legs again, having already fully committed himself before the crash. Halley rode in last but felt that his effort had been worthwhile.
This was followed by qualification for the points race final. Halley took points in the first sprint and, sure that this would be enough to ensure he qualified for the final, he took it easy for the rest of the race.
The 4th race was a devil (last man across the line each lap is eliminated). In this race Halley’s tactic was to go straight to the front of the race, to stay out of trouble and to ride the race at the front at his own pace. He stayed at the front until 7 laps to go before quickly moving from front to back and being eliminated. As he had never expected to win against older riders, Halley was happy with his effort which had given him a good work-out. Riding at the front requires the most effort as you are breaking the air for the other riders behind, so he did very well to stay in the race for as long as he did.
The afternoon then wore on due to there being 5 crashes in different races and an ambulance called. By the time Halley rode the final scratch race we had been at the velodrome for over 7 hours and he began to tire. Unfortunately he never picked up points in the final but he rode in the bunch and was happy to have made it to the final.
A highlight for Halley had been at the gear check in the morning when the gear checker commented that he thought he had the best looking track bike there. We couldn’t disagree with that or with Scott at ADR Carbon for coming up with such a great looking frame.
Back to the road next weekend for Dolan 3.