2016 CLUB CHAMPS: Full weekend report
Wednesfield Aces took their second open club final in as many years at East Park in an action-packed final that rounded off a full weekend of racing in the Midlands – but Ipswich proved the victors overall to ensure the Club title went to back to the Suffolk town.
The opening day of the championships saw Leicester Monarchs take a record 11th title in the women’s race, but Ipswich gave the champions a good battle for the honours, just four points off the win. Poole took the third step on the podium.
Ipswich retained their 2015 Under 19s title with a solid performance, finishing almost every heat with either a win or a second. Wednesfield collected two exclusions in the match that scuppered their chances of taking the title. An improving East Park took third place.
Day two saw Leicester again on the top step of the Over 40s Veterans Championship. The East Midlands club proved too strong for Northumbria and third place Wednesfield.
The Under 10s title came down to a run off between Kesgrave and Poole, both clubs level on 50 points each at the end but Charlie Beeton ensured the title once again belonged to Kesgrave. Astley and Tyldesley finished third.
A solid performance from Ipswich ensured victory in the Under 16s event. Taking victory in 10 of the 16 heats, the Eagles proved a formidable side running Poole into second by nine points, while a young Coventry side had to be content with third.
The final day of the Championships saw Kesgrave all but dominate the Under 13s event. Four heat wins from Jake Vincent and high scores from the rest of the Kesgrave team proved too much for second-placed Ipswich. Third spot was taken by Coventry after Ben Wells won the run off from Bury’s Harry Radford.
Wednesfield Aces showed their strength to retake the Open title after a tight match that could have gone to any of three teams, but with another top drawer performance by Paul Heard, who was the final’s highest scorer, the win for the Midlands club was arguably on the cards early in the match.
Four straight wins from Wednesfield in the opening heats showed their intent, even dropping Lee Aris in heat four and replacing him with Brandon Whetton showed they meant business. But the four heats leading up to the break saw the match turn away from the favourites.
Ipswich’s Rich Fellgett took an important win from Stockport’s Ben Higham in heat five leaving Aris to fight for third, Ipswich capitalised with a win in the following heat from Jamie Chittock, Wednesfield’s Ben Mould having to work for second and with Matt Smith tangling with East Park’s Jamie Ball in the following heat Ipswich saw another four points from Charlie Rumbold.
Ash Hill took the win in heat eight and Ipswich were on a roll, Heard having to recover Wednesfield’s match with a solid second.
Coming out of the break, another win for Ipswich’s Ash Hill and the Suffolk team were within one point of Wednesfield. But back-to-back wins from Heard and Aris got the Aces back on track.
East Park took their only win of the match in heat 12, Jamie Ball riding away alone to take a relatively easy win much to the crowds delight.
Stockport took three wins from the final four heats. Terry Norman took the final heat of the match but it was too late to change the outcome of the day, Wednesfield only having to stay out of trouble to take the title.
Ipswich took the overall Club Championships by accumulation of points over the weekend.
1. Wednesfield 49 points
2. Ipswich 42 points
3. Stockport 40 points
4. East Park 27 points
Thanks to Andy Whitehouse and British Cycling for the report and images.