29 September 2020

Track cycling: 2011 Track Nationals round-up

October 3, 2011

With such depth of talent in British cycling, the National Track Championships was bound to be an exciting and high quality event, and so it proved. There were double golds for Lizzie Armitstead and Becky James, a fantastic showing from the juniors and an announcement from Victoria Pendleton that this was to be her last National Championships event.

Women’s Team Sprint

Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton were in a class of their own in winning the Team Sprint. Pendleton’s only event of the week, this was a solid if unspectacular performance by the pair many expect to ride this event for GB at next year’s Olympics.

Behind them, City of Edinburgh’s Jenny Davis and Kayleigh Brogan were comfortably the second best outfit, deserving their silver medal ahead of XRT Elmy Cycles’ Janet Birkmyre & Cassie Gledhill.

Speaking after the final, Victoria Pendleton spoke about how many times she was going to race between now and London, she said “three times, possibly four, that’s it. Europeans, World Cup, World Championships in Melbourne, that’s it, that’ll be it unless something else has to crop in for some reason.”

“I just want to make it as similar to the year before Beijing as I can, because I didn’t travel too much that year and I think it really served me well. The points situation between Jess and myself is good at the moment, there’s no reason to panic right now, take it in our stride.

She then revealed it would be her last National Championships: “it’s a bit sad really as it’s my last Nationals and I didn’t get to ride it all.”

Women’s Keirin

Becky James produced a dominant display in the Women’s Keirin race to take Gold, making her a double National Champion following her victory in the sprint event on Friday. Going into the final two laps, James powered to the front and held off the rest of the field to take the win with ease.

She said afterwards: “Friday was awesome, I was so happy with the flying sprint, a PB on a 250m track and a 11:22. All the sprints went how I wanted them too and today I had my head screwed on”

Women’s Team Pursuit

The Women’s Team Pursuit gold went to Horizon Fitness (Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Sarah Storey) who caught their Motorpoint opponents (Hannah Barnes, Lucy Garner, Harriet Owen) after less than 100 seconds of the final, having gone off at a scorching pace. They clearly had a strategy to finish things quickly because they were on record-breaking pace and pulled up as soon as the catch had been achieved.

Dani King said,

“We are going well at the moment but we’ve had a week’s racing in our legs so I think our times are getting better and better. We went out with a plan and it worked.”

Women’s Scratch Race

The Women’s Scratch race began quietly with a cagey opening 10 laps. The big issue facing the majority of the riders was how to combat Lizzie Armitstead’s finishing burst. Armitstead kept herself close to the front, keen, no doubt, to mark any moves to get a break going.

There were several riders who made moves during the race, notably Lucy Garner, who drew both a big reaction from the field and the crowd. Laura Trott used the confusion to get away on her own, but Armitstead, Dani King, Harriet Owen and Corinne Hall quickly moved across to joined her and these five rapidly pulled clear of the remainder of the field.

In no time at all they had made contact with the back of the bunch and the defining move of the race had been made. Soon there were under 10 laps to go and, although Hannah Mayho tried to gain a lap too, it was all set to come down to a sprint finish. The field left it late and then Lizzie Armitstead made a typically rapid move down the back straight and just held off Laura Trott and Dani King to claim the gold, to go with the Points title she won the day before.

Women’s Points Race

The women’s points race featured arguably the classiest field of all time, with several world champions, including last weekend’s heroine, new world junior road champion Lucy Garner. It was two of those champions, Laura Trott and Lizzie Armitstead who set the early pace, moving smoothly into double figures of points after four sprints.

Joanna Rowsell then launched a fine solo attack, which forced Trott and Armitstead to respond, ripping the field apart in the process. These two went after and soon joined Rowsell, just as she was starting to fade, thus forming a quality trio.

However, the next sprint split them, with Armitstead going alone and making the bridge to the main field very quickly. She then injected pace at the front, making Trott and Rowsell work very hard to maintain their effort to also gain a lap. This they eventually did, followed by Dani King and Corinne Hall, the defending champion.

With 40 laps to go the race briefly settled down. Armitstead took the next sprint from Trott, over whom she then had a one point gap and this pair were pulling clear of the rest and looking the strongest two riders by a distance. And so it was to prove as Armitstead made it four wins in a row, all but claiming the title by going into an 11 point lead.

Rowsell took the final sprint to claim bronze, with Trott second and the silver madallist. But Lizzie Armitstead had the luxury of cruising over the line in the bunch, knowing the title had already been sewn up.

After the race, Armitstead said

“I was quite surprised with my speed actually, I just raced, I didn’t really have a game plan really, it’s not often that you get to race a points race like that, it was quite nice to react to the race as it went along.”

Women’s Sprint

Rebecca James is the new national sprint champion following a very impressive 2 – 0 win in the final over Jess Varnish. James put in two very rapid final laps to hold off Varnish – the first after diving under her opponent, the second leading out from the front.

After her win, Becky James said,

“I’m really happy, I had a plan from the front to the back, I did my best and the outcome is what I wanted so really happy.”

Women’s Individual Pursuit

Joanna Rowsell is the new national individual pursuit champion, beating Laura Trott in the gold medal final. Wendy Houvenaghel took bronze, while Sarah Storey rode into fourth place, breaking the C5 Paracycling world record in the process.

Rowsell opened with a storming first kilometre, inside Rebecca Romero’s British record time. At 2km Rowsell had slipped outside a record time but was three seconds ahead of Trott on the track. At the bell the gap had come down slightly, but the die was cast and Rowsell had the title in the bag.

In the Bronze final Sarah Storey had the advantage in the early stages but by the 1km stage Houvenaghel was ahead. At the 2km stage Houvenaghel was over a second ahead, an advantage that she would keep until the end. However, Storey had had done enough to break the world record for the C5 category, the fourth Paracycling record to topple during the championships. Dani King followed up her qualifying form, winning the 5th to 8th contest.

Paracycling Pursuit

Aileen McGlynn and Helen Scott took gold in a very closely contested Paracycling Pursuit. As is the way of Paracycling racing these days, this pairing had to go close to world record pace to secure the win, with Shaun McKeown confrming his promise with silver and Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan completing a good night for the tandems with the bronze.

Paracycling 200m

The tandem pairing of Aileen McGlynn and Helen Scott also claimed the world record in the Blind/Visually Impaired category, picking up silver, while Neil Fachie and Barney Storey took bronze.

Junior Racing

Arguably one of the highlights of these championships has been the long list of young riders on show. Newly crowned Junior Road Race Champion Lucy Garner was on the podium again as she joined Harriet Owen to  win gold in the Junior Women’s Madison.

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Cycling: Rebecca Romero will not compete at London 2012 - Sportsister - The Women's Sports Magazine | Sportsister

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