London Youth Track League
The much awaited inaugural London Youth Track League started in November 2014 at the Olympic Velodrome at Stratford. Seventeen riders from LVYCC took part in the league putting in to practice the track craft they have learnt at club sessions since the velodrome opened to the public in April 2014.
The organisers trialled the format of the league up to Christmas, with scoring races starting in January. Each race evening saw riders competing in four races for their respective age group, with league points available for the first six riders in each race. Age groups for the league were U14, 1st Year U16, 2nd Year U16 and Juniors. Riders from clubs across the South East raced.
With the last night of the league held on 19 March, final league placings were very much up for grabs. No more so than in the U14 category. Going in to the evening, Louis Bilyard was trailing Tom Portsmouth from Hillingdon Slipstreamers by 6 points. The first race of the evening, a scratch race, saw Louis reduce the deficit to 4 points. The second event, an elimination race reduced the gap to 3 points. The final race of the evening for the U14’s was a 20 lap points race. With LVYCC well represented Louis won this race with Nesta Ferguson and Owen Williams also finishing in the top six. The organisers confirmed the finishing positions revealing that Louis had clawed back not only the 3 points to draw level, but also a further point to finish top of the league by 1 point.
This result was all the more remarkable as Louis had missed two nights of the league and won 10 races of the 15 entered.
Christian Manzi finished 4th in the U14’s with Owen Williams 8th in the league table. Harrison Powell, a first year U14 finished 9th in the league. Emily Knight finished 4th Girl in the age group, with Maya Teufel Tarlton, an U12 rider, finishing 6th Girl.
The first year U16 age group also saw some great racing, with Bob Longstaff, Colchester Rovers CC having an unassailable lead going in to the last night’s racing. With two strong finishing performances, Simon Bird finished in 5th place, and Ben Selfe in 6th place as the club’s only representatives in this age group.
The 2nd year U16 group saw a dominant display of track riding with Ethan Vernon from Welwyn Wheelers winning the league by 66 points. Tim Torrie was the highest placed LVYCC rider finishing in 5th place with some strong and frequent attacks to split the field. Matt Shepherd, who raced in just over a third of the races was placed 9th in the league and Ryan Green 10th.
Four riders represented the club in the Junior league with George Mew Jensen finishing in 9th place and James Ambrose Parish in 15th place.
The first LYTL saw some fantastic racing and was excellently organised by Nigel Hampton and his team of volunteers. Watch out for details of the 2nd LYTL later in the year………..!
Thanks to Franco for the pictures and Guy for the report