Belper Bicycle Club members Derrick Woodings and Mick Allen were back at the Newport Velodrome for the LVRC National Track Championships last weekend.
The pair were joined by a ’young’ Simon Parkin, a new addition to the Belper BC trackmen.
Simon, who was a club member many years ago, has re-discovered an aspiration to racing after a break from competitive action. He was riding in the A category (40-45) age group, entering the sprint, 500m time trial and the 60-lap scratch race. Derrick and Mick were both riding their usual events, the 10k points and scratch races along with the 2k pursuit. For both it was to be a good test for the Worlds Masters in later this month.
Saturday morning saw the start of the racing with the sprint events where Simon finished a creditable fourth. The first event on the program for the senior pair on Saturday afternoon was the 40-lap points race with sprints for points every ten laps. It was for a combined 65-plus age categories, making it a difficult prospect for the older men. Being favourite for this event, Mick had discussed tactics for this race with Derrick so he was reasonably prepared.
The race started steadily, everyone getting accustomed again to racing rather than training on the boards. On cue, Mick attacked immediately after sprint one, taking with him Geoff Brandt (Birkenhead) and Robbie Duncan (Manchester Wh.)
Derrick was not well placed but realised he had to go and chased solo for half a lap to get on.
This attack did not succeed as Robbie failed to go through when Mick swung up after putting in a furious one-lap effort.
They had to wait for a further attack by Mick and Geoff to pull away, Derrick again latched on contributing to the pace setting and gradually starting to lap riders. This threesome was taking all the points, Mick winning every sprint. All Derrick had to do was stay with these two to ensure winning the 70-plus category. The outcome was an F cat (65-69) win for Mick from Geoff with a tailed off Robbie third. Derrick was outright G cat (70-75) winner.
Arriving at the track early on Sunday both Mick and Derrick were pleased to hear that the pursuit was to be run off as a single ride time trial, so only one dose of pain to come.
Derrick was up to ride against old adversary Gordon Johnston (Dumfries), who he overcame in the Europeans two weeks previously. Derrick gambled on riding a true pursuit against him to give him a winning margin and came out with almost a two-second advantage against Gordon. This gave him a 2.2 second win from Vince, Gordon now riding in the 75+ age category, which he easily won.
Mick, as usual, put up a class performance, easily the favourite in this discipline, catching and passing his opponent halfway to record a 2: 36.8 to win the F cat. race.
The scratch race later proved to be another fast event being a combined 65-plus group.
Derrick made sure that no early breaks went away without him.
But with around six laps to go, Vince Freely was now on the front tapping out a high cadence and staying there, Brian Dacey (Kent) was in second and Derrick third.
With two to go, Derrick took over the front, followed by Mick. On the back straight, he made a big effort, prompted by teammate Mick.
At the bell, it was a flat out sprint and into the banking the inevitable happened. Mick came by with Geoff and Robbie on his wheel. Derrick, now only concerned about any G cats, kept the pressure on, Mick ended up with another win Derrick was placed 1st G.