Masterful display from Belper BC members at championships

Gordon Johnston, Derrick Woodings and John Mason
Gordon Johnston, Derrick Woodings and John Mason
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Belper Bicycle Club riders dominated their events in the European Masters Track Championships, held at the Newport Velodrome.

Belper BC riders competing at the event were Derrick Woodings (70+), Mike Allen and Bill Cotton (65-69).

Derrick and Mick were down to ride the 2k pursuit, Bill and Derrick the 10k points race.

First to ride were Bill and Derrick but due to the lack of competitors in the older age groups all groups from 60+ were combined to contest one race. Riding this event were some formidable riders, such as ex-British and world champion Steve Davies, and world champion Dave Rutherford.

In this 40-lap event, there were four sprints every ten laps where points are scored on the basis, 5, 3, 2 and 1 point for the first 4 over the line. Master at this type of racing Steve Davies managed to control the sprints, winning three and coming third in the last. Second was Graham Truelove and third Dave Rutherford. Bill finished a creditable sixth. Derrick, although unable to win a point, finished eighth. Derrick and Bill were first in their respective age groups.

On the following day, both Derrick and Mick rode the 2k pursuit, Both had done trials at Manchester and knew that they had the beating of most the contestants.

The race was over eight laps of the track. Derrick was matched against John Mason, who was born and lived in Duffield before moving to Scotland.

Having previously met many times at previous championships, John asked Derrick to enrol him as a second-claim member of Belper BC.

John was placed third in the two-lap time trial, riding in his newly acquired Belper BC jersey, behind Geoff Cooke of Long Eaton, the current world sprint champion.

In the 2k pursuit, the first round was basically a time trial where it is necessary to post a fast time to ensure qualifying, the fastest four going through.

Derrick, assisted by Mick Allen at the trackside, rode to a calculated time schedule based on the previous rides of his competitors and this proved successful, running out fastest qualifier from Gordon Johnston (Scotland).

In the final for the gold medal, Derrick, was up to speed after half a lap and although slightly in arrears for three laps did not panic but gradually upped his speed to draw level then rode the race in true pursuit style. Derrick ran out an easy winner in 2minutes 52.01secs.

Next up in the 60-69 group was a real battle.

These two groups were combined as in the points race.

It was therefore unfortunate that 67-year-old Mike was matched against much younger riders. In his qualifying heat, he was matched against 60-year-old ex-world champion Steve Davies yet he put up a battle to qualify and indeed this pair set the two fastest times.

And so this was the preview of the ride for gold and silver.

In the final, Mike again had a solid ride but against the younger man had to give best by five seconds.

At least he was the champion in the 65-69 category, even proving to be faster than all of the other competitors in the younger category.