The first of the south east regional youth omniums took place on Saturday 18th May with 21 VCL riders taking part; 1u10, 3u12s,10u14s and 7u16s.
After the new club equipment was distributed and all the riders were signed on, the KILO heats started with the u16 boys with
Hisham, Oliver, Ethan, Max B and George riding. After a mix up with the timing at one station the results were:
Hisham (5th)- 1.10.14
Max B(8th)- 1.10.53
George (13th)- 1.12.75
Unfortunately Ethan had 2 bad starts and therefore not allowed a third. He was given the time of the last rider but was allowed to continue. Understandably he was upset but ready to improve in the bunch races.
In the u16 girls Eleanor posted a time of 1.23.99 giving her 6th and Amy clocked 1.21.06 giving her 5th. The u14 girls (who were to race with the u16s in the bunch races) ended with a 1-2 as Rachel finished in 1.20.10 with Charlotte close behind with 1.20.9. Georgie got 1.26.2 putting her 5th.
There was an amazing 7 u14 VCL boy riders in a field of 18. With many of them in the same heat they finished:
Fred (1st)- 1.11.6
Boru (4th)- 1.20.08
The u12s did just one timed lap with Finley N, 2nd in 41.94, Finley W, 5th in 43.4 and Tom G, 8th in 44.8. Natalie was 11th in the u10 Flying 200m with a time of 20.31.
In the u16s, Max B topped an amazing ride with a powerful sprint against Joe Fry. Hisham was particularly aggressive and keen to stay in eventually coming 4th. George was out the lap before coming 5th. Ethan and Oliver were caught towards the back and therefore got called out coming 10th and 11th.
The u16 and u14 girls bunch races were raced together for the rest of the day. In the elimination Charlotte, Rachel and Georgie were impressive coming 1st,2nd and 3rd u14 after protecting their positions throughout. Eleanor was out just before Georgie coming 4th u16 with Amy (5th u16) out the lap before.
Kareem and Fred looked very strong in claiming a vcl 1-3 (Fred claiming another win) while Boru came out just as the bell rung coming 4th. Tom B and Max C came out on the same lap as Boru pipped them over the line coming 7th and 8th. Hayden lasted one lap longer coming 6th while Ivor was 11th.
Finley N was the bunch engine at the front of the u12 group and claimed 3rd for his efforts looking painfully tired in the final sprint with Finley W 7th and Tom G 4th. Natalie also impressed finishing 11th in the u10s race.
As always the u16 boys scratch was ferocious fast with many attacks. It ended in a bunch sprint with our best placed rider being Max B in 5th (after leading out the last lap) with Hisham (6th), Oliver (8th), George (10th) and Ethan (14th) all close behind.
An exciting u16/u14 girls scratch race saw Charlotte and Rachel attack together but could not cooperate enough and were caught with 3 laps to go as former VCL rider Abi van Twisk countered. Unfortunately she was caught on the final banking and finished last while Rachel won the u14s with Charlotte 2nd and Georgie 4th. Eleanor and Amy also finished safely in the bunch placing 4th and 6th respectively.
Fred seemed unchallenged in the u14 boys race as he attacked with 7 laps to go and won by just over half a lap. The remaining six VCL boys in the bunch left the chasing to the others, saving energy for the dash to the line with Max C coming in 2nd, Kareem just behind in 4th, Boru in 6th, Hayden in 8th, Ivor in 10th and Tom B in 14th.
More fast finishes in the u12s gave Finley N an impressive 2nd and Tom G 3rd with Finley W not far behind in 7th. This was shortly followed by an 11th place for Natalie in the u10s.
We had 2 riders in the top heat of the u16 sprint with Max B finishing 2nd behind Jack Plumley and Hisham 3rd behind Max. We also had 2 riders in the 9-12th place sprint with George leading it out but fading to claim 3rd in the sprint (11th) and Oliver spinning out on an u14 gear coming just after George (12th). However Ethans not-so-perfect start to the omnium was improved by winning his sprint heat placing 17th.
Eleanor was also in her top sprint heat in the u16 girls finishing 4th in a race containing 2 of the fastest u16 sprinters in the country. Amy finished just behind Abi in the 5th-8th place sprint coming 6th. Rachel and Charlotte’s battle for 1st continued in the sprint with Charlotte coming out on top making it 2 1sts and 2 2nds for each of them heading into the points. Georgie again finished 4th keeping herself in with a chance of a podium.
In the u14 sprint we had 3 riders in the top heat with Fred taking 1st and Kareem and Boru ,content on marking each other, finishing 4th and 3rd respectively. Hayden took 3rd in the second sprint heat to get 7th in the sprint while Max C won his sprint to place 9th. Ivor came 4th in the same sprint heat to claim 12th while Tom B finished 2nd in his claiming 16th.
Finley N was another rider in the first heat of their race, winning it and therefore claiming 1st in the sprint after a great lunge for the line meant his wheel was first over it. Finley W and Tom G were in the same sprint with Tom winning it, claiming 5th and Finley 7th.
Natalie went hard all the way to the line claiming another 11th place, showing consistency is key in the omnium.
Perhaps VCLs best race of the day was the u16s boys points as all 5 riders got at least 3 points therefore putting all 5 of them in the top 10. Hisham would be the happiest after a small lead-out train on the last lap placed him 4th in the last sprint gaining him a 1 point advantage of Jack Plumley therefore taking 1st place. George also benefited from the last lap leadout winning the final sprint and catapulting himself to 4th in the points. Max B claimed enough points to get him 6th and remain in the hunt for a podium (depending on results of others) while both Oliver and Ethan boosted their overall result by claiming 7th and 8th respectively. A great way to finish the boys omnium. Two wins for two different riders in the u16 boys gave Hisham a tremendous 2nd with Max B an amazing 4th. George and Oliver earnt good points for the overall series getting 9th and 10th respectively while Ethan can be pleased with 16th overall after being demoted to 23rd in the first event.
Eleanor completely tired herself out but did what she had to do in order to keep 4th place (by coming 5th in the points) from Abi who attacked with Amy Smith. Despite coming 2nd in the points Abi was not able to overhaul Eleanor but unfortunately did beat Amy G to 5th place. Amy G did not drop to 6th without a fight though as she was always looking to attack but decided otherwise as the gap to the break was too big.
A fascinating battle in the u14s girls race concluded with Charlotte winning the points ,and therefore the overall omnium, with Rachel again 2nd just one point behind Charlotte in the overall standings. Georgie did what she could in the points and came a deserved 3rd but her efforts were not enough to lift her to 3rd in the overalls finishing 2 points off.
After Fred “didn’t lap the entire field” in the scratch, he decided to try again and this time succeeded catching the group with 3 laps to go. Boru also racked up enough points to claim 3rd while Max C won the final sprint and took 4th. Kareem finished his strong day with a 7th place while Hayden was one position off in 8th. Tom B finished fast to get 13th place with Ivor in 17th. Unsurprisingly this gave Fred 1st in the omnium. Boru was elated with 3rd and Kareem was just behind in 4th. Max C and Hayden finished tied on points but due to Max beating Hayden in the points, Max took 7th with Hayden 8th, both results a good starting point for the next 2 omniums. Ivor (in his first track race away from Herne Hill) took 12th overall also gaining series points with Tom B 15th.
After taking second in the first sprint, Finley N had to ease off a bit due to a back pain. This moved him down a bit but nonetheless managed to hold onto 2nd place overall. Another 7th place for Finley W gave him 7th overall while 6th for Tom G secured him 5th place. Natalie got 13th in her points race, enough to give her 11th overall. This meant she was 2nd u10 girl!
Although we had more riders than any other club, we certainly had better results than any other club. All 21 riders should be pleased with their results and look forward to the next round at Herne Hill. Well done of course to all the parents making the trip often gone unappreciated but none of these results would be made possible without them. See you at Herne Hill!
Credit to Tim Hayter for the podium photos