FOUR-NUCANE CROWNED SPRINTING CHAMPION ON FINAL DAY OF NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS
Press Release Sunday 29 January 2023 Images Chris Maher
Emma Finucane claimed her fourth national title of the weekend to be crowned the ultimate sprinting champion on the final day of the National Track Championships at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales.
Finucane added to her wins in the sprint and the keirin with titles in the 500m time trial and team sprint alongside Team Inspired’s Katy Marchant and Milly Tanner.
Finucane was not the only multiple title holder of the championships, with three wins for Daphne Schrager, and double golds secured on the final day by Neah Evans, Fin Graham, Joe Holt, Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl, and Thomas Wing and Joshua Dunham. Elsewhere, Jody Cundy, Hamish Turnbull, Ryan Taylor and Will Bjergfelt won national titles, while Saint Piran took home the men’s team pursuit title.
Emma Finucane once again proved herself as the best sprinter in the country, taking the 500m national title in 33.981.
Finucane was the only rider to drop under 34 seconds as Sophie Capewell took the silver in 34.251. Scottish rider Lauren Bell took the bronze on 34.367, matching the women’s sprint podium from Friday night.
Speaking on her incredible weekend, Finucane said: “Honestly, it’s crazy! It only just sunk in when I finished my last ride because I just wanted to focus on the next race. It really hit me and I got really emotional – I just can’t believe it. Women’s sprint is so exciting at the minute and we’re all pushing each other all the time so to win is amazing. It’s really special to do it in Newport as well in front of my mum and dad who have helped me so much.”
Para time-trial C1-5
The women’s 500m WC1-3 event saw Daphne Schrager (Di MASCIO) secure another national title of the weekend with a time of 42.691.
On her three wins, Schrager said: “It feels amazing. I really wanted to do it for the women and see what happens, with lots of personal bests across the weekend, and a national record in the individual pursuit earlier in the week. I just want to grow more in confidence over the year. It’s really rewarding, and I just really enjoy racing and getting better at it. It’s just amazing what the whole team can do.”
Fin Graham (Para-T) stormed to his second national title of the week, winning the para time-trial MC1-3 in a time of 1:09.085.
Sam Ruddock secured a silver medal with his time of 1:09.680, while Ryan Taylor (Ilkeston CC) secured the bronze in 1:12.530 to add to his pursuit silver from yesterday.
In the MC4-5 category, world champion Jody Cundy MBE (Para-T) took the top spot by over a second, clocking 1:07.870 ahead of yesterday’s pursuit winner Archie Atkinson (Para-T). Martin Hailstone (Addform-Vive-le-Velo) secured the bronze to round out the podium.
Women’s points race
World champion Neah Evans won the women’s points race with ease to collect her second gold medal of the week.
The 80-lap points race started all together, with Evans proving her strength, picking up wins in the first three sprints and controlling much of the race.
With 58 laps to go, Izzy Sharp attacked off the front, with Frankie Hall and Miriam Jessett working together to chase before Evans led the group and reeled in all three before the third sprint.
Sharp went again with 42 laps left, as Kate Richardson worked on the front of the group to catch her.
Evans then attacked solo straight after the fourth sprint, catching the peloton by surprise as Sophie Lewis attempted to chase after her.
Hall and Jess Roberts overtook Lewis and caught Evans with 35 laps remaining, splintering the peloton further.
Lister joined Hall, Evans and Roberts before Lewis dragged them back to the peloton going into the fifth sprint. Evans still took the five points, and continued to drive the pace to secure maximum points and lap the field.
On the 14th lap, Evans again went solo, while Roberts and Hall chased. Evans took the seventh sprint win, while Roberts and Hall took second and third, and Holl fourth as they continued to attempt to gain a lap.
Evans secured another 20 points, but Richardson spearheaded the front of the peloton to close the gap on Holl, Hall and Roberts with just three laps remaining.
Maddie Leech led into the final lap with Lewis on her wheel, overtaking in the sprint finish to take 10 points and secure her place on the podium with the bronze. Leech crossed the line in second to take silver, while Evans celebrated, the win already in her grasp on 52 points.
Evans said: “I’m delighted to retain two titles from last year so a very good weekend for me! Having the world champs stripes gives you a bit of a target on your back, so I went in with a plan and executed the race as I planned so really pleased.”
Hamish Turnbull took home the coveted red, white and blue jersey in the men’s keirin after a tight finish against teammate Jack Carlin.
Turnbull and Carlin were both undefeated in their heats and semi-finals before facing each other in the final.
Carlin drew fifth while Turnbull was first behind the motorbike. Luthias Arthur (Glasgow Track Racing Team) made the first move with three laps to go, driving to the front from the back with teammate Niall Monks on his wheel.
Monks and Arthur forged a gap with two laps remaining, and both sprinted out the saddle on the back straight, but Turnbull powered past coming into the last lap with Carlin on his wheel.
Turnbull sprinted out the saddle on the back straight, while Carlin’s attempts to get round were too little too late, leaving Turnbull to secure the title.
After the win, he said: “It feels great to win the national title. We’ve been training really hard as we’re coming into the international track season – we have Euros next week and Nations Cups in Egypt and Indonesia. We’re all in a training hole as those are the races that really matter for Olympic qualification. To come here on my knees and still perform, I’m really proud of myself and really happy.”
Para kilo time-trial tandem
Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl showed that they could mix it up with a sprint title in the women’s kilo tandem event, clocking 1:09.154 to add to their pursuit title from yesterday.
Speaking after their win, Unwin said: “It was really good – we’re really happy to get a second title this weekend. We’re not sprinters but we’ve done a kilo a fair few times! We’ve actually only won one national title so it’s really nice to get another two this weekend.”
Holl added: “We executed our race really well. It’s always nice to get on the top step and pull on the jersey, no matter what kind of jersey it is!”
Libby Clegg and Georgia Holt took the silver, less than a second behind on 1:09.988 – a massive achievement having only been paired together for six months. Lizzie Jordan and Amy Cole came in third on 1:10.426.
In the men’s event, Thomas Wing and Joshua Dunham added the kilo title to their sprint gold from Friday, steaming to a time of 1:07.446 – finishing five seconds ahead of second place.
Christopher Wilkins and Henry Latimer claimed the silver medal with 1:12.415, while Mason Bradley and Loz Staples won their second medal of the championships with the bronze.
Women’s team sprint
Team Inspired B won the women’s team sprint in style, smashing both their qualifying and finals to be crowned national champions.
Milly Tanner, Katy Marchant and Emma Finucane stormed to the win, clocking 47.609 in the final to beat their nearest rivals and teammates, Team Inspired A, Lowri Thomas, Sophie Capewell and Blaine Ridge Davis.
Having just come back to the sport after having a baby, Marchant said: “It’s ace to get a national title. I’m really, really happy with how the whole weekend’s gone but it’s really nice to finish it off at the top of the podium with the girls as well. I’m feeling a little bit rusty and it’s so good to be back – I’m just loving being back.”
Scotland’s team of Lauren Bell, Iona Moir and Ellie Stone qualified third fastest and managed to secure the bronze.
Joe Holt secured his second national title, winning the scratch race from a three-up attack.
The race started rapidly from the gun, with surges from Finlay Tarling, Jack Rootkin Gray and Will Perrett.
Perrett, Will Tidball, Will Roberts and Fred Meredith continued to dominate the race, with relentless efforts driving the pace.
Rootkin Gray, Tidball and Kieran Riley attempted to get away with 30 laps remaining, but the pace from the peloton was too strong and they were quickly caught.
Joe Holt, Rootkin Gray, Meredith and Matthew Brennan made the first proper move with 22 laps to go.
With 12 laps remaining, Meredith dropped off the pace and re-joined the peloton, while the trio continued to drive with almost half a lap between them and the peloton.
Holt surged into the final lap, with Brennan and Rootkin Gray chasing, but it wasn’t enough as Holt celebrated across the line to secure his second title of the championships, having won the kilo yesterday.
Welshman Holt said: “Coming into it, I was just really happy with yesterday so it was just all or nothing. To come away with the national jersey is really good. I knew I had a good sprint but at the end of the race like that, being away for so long, you never know, but I felt strong and came away with the win. I actually work in the velodrome here too so it’s really good to pull it off and doing it in Wales is extra special!”
Men’s team pursuit
Saint Piran’s Josh Charlton, Will Roberts, Charlie Tanfield, and Will Tidball took home the national title in the men’s team pursuit after a good battle against BC East Mid Region in the final.
The Saint Piran quartet recorded a time of 3:56.157 to take the win, while BC East Mid Region’s Will Perrett, Tom Ward, Michael Gill and Sebastian Garry clocked 3:57.502 to secure the silver.
Ben Wiggins, Jed Smithson, Matthew Brennan and Alex Beldon (FH – MAS Design) took home a bronze medal after a dominant final ride in time of 4:03.775 – six seconds faster than Team Wales.
Para mixed scratch race
An exciting para mixed scratch race saw national titles for Ryan Taylor, Will Bjergfelt and Daphne Schrager.
The race stayed together, with pushes on the front by Fin Graham, Archie Atkinson and Bjergfelt, until the three went off the front with just under 30 laps to go.
Taylor bridged over to make it four before Bjergfelt went on his own as the others became hesitant to take the lead.
Atkinson chased with Graham and Taylor on his wheel, before Graham launched his own attack from the bend into the home straight with Atkinson just behind. Bjergfelt gained a lap with 20 laps to go, as did Graham, Atkinson and Taylor.
A sprint finish saw MC1-3 medals awarded to Taylor, Graham, and Jacob Smith, while the MC4-5 category saw Bjergfelt, Atkinson and Mark Valentine take the podium places. Schrager stuck it out with the men to get her third title of the weekend in the women’s C1-5 category.
LEDINGHAM-HORN TAKES HOME SPRINTING GLORY ON DAY TWO OF NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS
Published Saturday 28 January 2023 Images Chris Maher
Harry Ledingham-Horn rode to glory in the men’s sprint to secure his first individual national title on the second night of the National Track Championships in the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales.
Ledingham-Horn was crowned British champion alongside fellow sprinters Emma Finucane and Joe Holt in the women’s keirin and men’s kilo events, while the endurance side saw national titles for Fin Graham, Archie Atkinson, Daphne Schrager, Will Perrett, Jess Roberts, Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl, and Team Inspired in the women’s team pursuit.
Harry Ledingham-Horn was crowned the men’s sprint national champion after showing a powerful display of strength against Olympic medallist Jack Carlin.
Carlin looked to be the most dominant coming in, qualifying the fastest with a time of 9.993 – the only rider to dip under 10 seconds – as Ledingham-Horn qualified second with 10.127.
Carlin and Ledingham-Horn both eased through their heats to get to the semis, where Carlin faced Matt Rotherham (ESV Manchester), and Ledingham-Horn took on Lyall Craig (Glasgow Track Racing Team).
Craig put out an incredible performance as the top amateur of the day, but it was Ledingham-Horn that went to the gold final in straight rides – as did Carlin against Rotherham.
Rotherham went on to beat Craig in straight rides to secure the bronze medal. Carlin took the first win in the gold ride off with Ledingham-Horn hot on his tail, and the 19-year-old brought it back to take the victory in the second heat, letting out a roar as he crossed the line.
Going into the third and final decider, Carlin led the sprint out and put down an incredible amount of power, leaving Ledingham-Horn to chase. The Scotsman looked like he had it in the bag, but Ledingham-Horn fought into the final bend and closed the gap to take it straight to the line.
A photo finish decided Ledingham-Horn as the winner, securing his second national title of the week after yesterday’s team sprint.
Speaking after the win, he said: “It feels unreal. It was a super close final with Jack. Obviously I lost the first ride but it gave me a bit of confidence actually as going into it against Jack, I’d thought ‘no chance’ so the fact I was close in the first ride made me carry a bit of confidence into the next race. I was hoping at very best for a podium so to come away with this is just amazing.”
Women’s scratch race
Jess Roberts was crowned the women’s scratch race national champion after a three-up attack caught the peloton by surprise.
Neah Evans dragged the race out from the front early on, and got away with Sophie Lewis as the peloton splintered behind.
Lewis and Evans worked together before Evans rode away with 24 laps to go. Grace Lister managed to bridge across, passing Lewis, to get on Evans’ wheel.
Roberts showed pure power to ride away from the peloton and join Evans and Lister as the trio led from the front with 17 laps to go.
Kate Richardson and Eilidh Shaw attempted to close the gap before the peloton reeled them back and the chase continued.
The front three lapped the peloton and re-joined the group with six laps remaining. Richardson attacked with just three laps to go, but Evans was straight on her wheel. Coming into the final lap, Evans and Roberts battled for the line, with Roberts just edging the win in an incredible sprint finish. Evans took silver, while Lister got the bronze.
Speaking after the win, Roberts said: “I’m really happy. Last year was a building phase for me so to start the year off with this has given me some confidence going into the season. It was a good race. Neah took it on and it made it so exciting. I just gave it my all in that sprint and just managed to pip her! My family are so supportive so it’s really nice to have done it here in Newport too.”
Para pursuit C1-5
World champion Fin Graham (Para-T) was unstoppable in the men’s C1-3 pursuit, crossing the line in 3:25.128 to break the national record and retain his title for another year. Ryan Taylor (Ilkeston CC) took second, five seconds behind, while Ben Hetherington (WattShop) came in third on 3:43.505.
Graham said: “It’s amazing to get another national title and race in the world championship kit too. It’s always special to win a national championships and gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the rest of the season. I didn’t really know where my form was at – the last time I did a pursuit was Track Worlds – so it gives me a lot of confidence to have broken the national record, especially with a home World Championships in Glasgow later this year.”
In the men’s C4-5 category, Archie Atkinson (Para-T) secured the gold in a time of 4:38.815 ahead of Will Bjergfelt (05/03) on 4:41.936. Martin Hailstone (Addform-Vive-le-Velo) took the bronze in 5:07.244.
Daphne Schrager (Di MASCIO) won the women’s C1-5 pursuit after an incredible ride, clocking 3:43.282 over the three-kilometre event. Morgan Newberry (Loughborough Lightning) finished in second on 3:57.492.
Women‘s keirin race
A tight photo finish saw Emma Finucane take her second title of the championships in the women’s keirin, while Katy Marchant came second to gain her first national medal since the birth of her son, Arthur.
Finucane is yet to lose a race at this year’s championships after storming to the victory in yesterday’s sprint, and taking wins in every race of the keirin.
The first round of the heats predicted the podium places as Finucane, Marchant, and Sophie Capewell all took wins in their opening races.
Well fought semi-finals saw Finucane, Capewell, Marchant, Lauren Bell, Milly Tanner and Lowri Thomas make it through to the final, showing the green Team Inspired kit out in full force.
In the fight for gold, Finucane drew fifth in the line up and patiently followed wheels, saving energy before launching the ultimate attack with a lap and a half to go. Finucane found the black line into the last half lap, and stormed to another victory on her home track in Newport ahead of Marchant.
Finucane said: “I really wasn’t expecting that! I came in to today a bit tired after yesterday as it was such a long day in the sprint. My legs didn’t feel great in the final but I just stuck to my process and I feel like I nailed it. I just gave it everything, black line, head down, and to come away with another national title is amazing – I can’t believe it!”
Men’s points race
Will Perrett won the men’s points race in style, lapping the field on three occasions to gain maximum points and secure the national title.
The 120-lap race stayed together until an attack from Callum Twelves, Josh Charlton and Jack Brough went off the front with 68 laps left, lapping the field to secure 20 points each and put Charlton in the lead on 25 points.
From there, little surges off the front forced the race to splinter, but no attack came to fruition, until Perrett showed his strength with a solo attack with 48 laps remaining.
Perrett was like a steam train, and caught the bunch again with ease, putting him in the lead ahead of Charlton on 33 points.
Kieran Riley, Jack Rootkin Gray, Will Tidball and Finlay Tarling rode away from the group with 38 laps to go, before Perrett went again five laps later and caught them. Perrett rode away with Tidball and Tarling, working together until Tarling was dropped.
Perrett and Tidball continued to steam ahead, while back in the peloton Ben Wiggins and Will Roberts attacked in an attempt to catch them with 21 laps remaining.
Perrett and Tidball quickly made the catch with 19 laps to go, and put Perrett on 60 points – head and shoulders above the rest of the field – whilst Tidball sat in second on 40 points and Charlton still in third.
Wiggins and Roberts were reeled back in to the bunch with nine laps to go, while Rootkin-Gray and Perrett attacked again with just seven laps left. Perrett proved too strong and dropped him after two laps, and caught the group again to take him up to 80 points.
A fight for the sprint finish saw Rootkin-Gray cross the line first, but it wasn’t enough to make a dent in the standings as Perrett took gold, Tidball claimed the silver, and Charlton finished on the bronze.
Speaking after the race, Perrett said: “It’s pretty amazing and really special to actually win a national jersey. I enjoy the national titles more than most I think because I’ve come from winning Derby Track League and winning university medals. I used to see the guys winning the national titles as amazing so for me to go through the steps and win a national title myself is really nice.”
Para pursuit tandem
Paralympic bronze medallists Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl were crowned the women’s para pursuit tandem champions, finishing in 3:32.129. Lizzie Jordan and Amy Cole took the silver with a time of 3:45.764.
In the men’s event, Chris McDonald and Adam Duggleby dominated to take the gold in 4:20.179, while Harry Latimer and Christopher Wilkins won the silver. Thomas Wing and Joshua Dunham came in third, adding another medal to their collection after their national title in the sprint yesterday.
Joe Holt (Tekkerz CC) stormed to gold in the men’s kilo event, finishing over a second quicker than second place.
Welsh rider Holt finished in a time of 1:02.402 in front of a roaring home crowd to get the fastest time of the day, while Calum Moir (Zappi Junior RT) finished second on 1:03.713 to take the silver.
Tom Ward (Ward WheelZ) clocked 1:04.006 to take the bronze by a whisper ahead of last year’s bronze medallist Harvey McNaughton (Wales Racing Academy).
Women’s team pursuit
Team Inspired’s Ella Barnwell, Maddie Leech, Grace Lister and Jess Roberts won gold in the women’s team pursuit after a dominant performance. Despite a restart in qualifying due to an early crash, the quartet still clocked the fastest time with 4:28.533 putting them through to the gold medal ride off.
Facing Scotland’s Alba Development Team, Team Inspired made the catch in just one minute and 18 seconds to secure the national title. Toufati Active took the bronze after riding just over five seconds quicker than Jadan – Vive le Velo.
CHAMPIONS CROWNED ON FIRST DAY OF NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS IN NEWPORT
Published Friday 27 January 2023 Images Chris Maher
Home favourite Emma Finucane secured the women’s sprint title in style on the first night of the National Track Championships in the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales.
Finucane was crowned British champion alongside Great Britain teammates Charlie Tanfield and Neah Evans in their respective individual pursuits, Thomas Wing and Joshua Dunham in the para tandem sprint, and Team Inspired in the men’s team sprint.
Finucane dominated the women’s sprint on her home track from start to finish, winning every round of the event to secure the national title. The Welsh rider qualified fastest with a time of 10.874 in the flying 200m, with Team Inspired teammate Sophie Capewell just 0.013 seconds behind.
Having just come back to racing after having a baby, Katy Nicholls qualified third fastest before being knocked out in the quarter finals by Blaine Ridge-Davis.
Finucane went on to win the rest of her rides in straight match sprints, before facing Capewell, who had battled with Ridge Davis to get into the gold medal ride off.
It was Finucane that remained fierce in her rides to win in straight sprints, while Lauren Bell took third after overcoming Ridge-Davis.
Finucane said: “Honestly it feels amazing. I came into this national championships going through the processes and leaving everything on the track and I feel like I really nailed that. I’m really proud of what I’ve done today, especially with the group of girls I was with – we all did really well so it made it so exciting. It’s really special to do it in Newport as well and to do it in front of a home velodrome in front of friends and family as well so I’m really happy.”
Men’s individual pursuit
Charlie Tanfield took home the red, white and blue jersey after a lightning-fast individual pursuit final.
Michael Gill (WattShop) qualified fastest in 4:13.774, with Tanfield (Saint Piran) second in 4:15.058, but Tanfield fought back in his second ride, clocking 4:11.740 to take the honours.
Josh Charlton qualified third ahead of his Saint Piran teammate Will Roberts to set up the bronze medal battle, but it was Roberts who prevailed in the final by a second.
After the win, Tanfield said: “To come back from being a bit down this morning, it felt really good to come back. It’s really good and good racing before Euros. I can build on this and I hope to go even better at Euros. It was more of a mental battle than anything today and I’m really happy to take home the jersey. A national title never gets old and I’m really happy to take home another one. I’ll definitely treasure it.”
Women’s individual pursuit
Neah Evans was undeniably the strongest rider in the women’s individual pursuit, retaining her title for another year.
Evans (Team HUUB) qualified fastest in 3:22:861 – the only rider to go under 3:30 – while Ella Barnwell (Team Inspired) clocked 3:30.577 to set up the gold medal final.
Evans showed her strength to catch Barnwell in the final, and rode on to clock 3:24.100.
Scottish champion Kate Richardson (Team Inspired) made it to the bronze medal ride off, just 0.2 seconds ahead of Frankie Hall (Loughborough Lightning) with a time of 3:35.587. However, Hall showed her tenacity to beat Richardson by a second for the bronze, securing her first national medal.
After her win, Evans said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s one of these things where I knew I’d been training really well and I hadn’t done a huge amount on the track, which was always the plan. It was a little bit of an unknown coming into it and I surprised myself with the time. Yes, I’ve got bigger targets this year, but it’s always nice to come to nationals and take away the title.”
Para tandem sprint
Thomas Wing and Joshua Dunham qualified first with a time of 11.106 in the men’s tandem para-sprint, and took home the gold after beating Mason Bradley and Loz Staples (Born to Bike Racing Team) in the final. Amy Cole and Lizzie Jordan clocked a time of 11.925 in the women’s event.
Men’s team sprint
Team Inspired’s Marcus Hiley, Harry Ledingham-Horn and Ed Lowe were crowned team sprint national champions after clocking the fastest times all day.
The trio qualified quickest in 44.889, but were able to go even faster still in the semi-finals with 44.060. In the final, they faced their Great Britain teammates Matt Rotherham, James Bunting and Hayden Norris (North West Region), who took home the silver with Oliver Aloul, who also rode in qualifying.
Glasgow Track Racing Team were the best of the rest, with Lyall Craig, Luthias Arthur and Niall Monks taking the bronze.