MATCH REPORT: HSBC | UK Round 4 from Astley & Tyldesley

Astley & Tyldesley’s Gin Pit circuit was the venue for the 4th and final round of the HSBC | UK Elite Grand Prix series. A good sized crowd enjoyed some excellent racing on a warm, sunny day. The new MP for Leigh, Jo Platt, was present as the club’s official guest.

Barring disasters, the Senior match was a straight shoot out between British Champion Ben Mould and Great Blakenham’s Josh Brooke for the overall series win.

Ipswich’s Ashley Hill headed home Brooke in heat 1, setting up a new track record in the process. Mould took a vital win from gate 4 in heat 3, rounding his opponents as they bunched up on the first bend. Coventry’s Myke Grimes, on his first visit to Gin Pit, won heats 4 and 5, lowering the track record on both occasions, to set up a new time of 40.15 seconds.

Mould and Brooke won their next race each, before Astley & Tyldesley’s Tomek Wlodarczyk beat Mould in heat 9. Brooke won heat 12 from Swindon’s Steve Harris, with Wednesfield’s Paul Heard retiring after a clash with Grimes.

Mould won heat 14 from Grimes. Horspath’s Lukasz Nowacki won heat 16 from Brooke, equalling Grimes’ track record in the process. Brooke was leading heat 20, before the race was stopped, with Astley & Tyldesley’s Reece Pollitt excluded for bringing down Mould.

In the re-run, Mould gated over Brooke and sped away for the win. This gave Mould the meeting win, but 2nd place in the match gave Brooke the overall series win, with Mould second.

There was a run-off for third place and former World Champion Nowacki took the win from his third grid one of the day, with Grimes passing Wlodarczyk. Grimes and Nowacki shared the £20 put up by the home club for the fastest time, with the top five riders on the day each receiving prize money and the top six in the series each receiving a medal, presented by British Cycling’s North West Regional Events officer, Adam Newall.

HSBC | UK Senior Elite Grand Prix Round 4 result

Ben Mould (Newport) 19, Josh Brooke (Gt. Blakenham) 17, Lukasz Nowacki (Horspath) 15, Myke Grimes (Coventry) 15, Tomasz Wlodarczyk (Astley & Tyldesley) 15,
Ashley Hill (Ipswich) 14, Steve Harris (Swindon) 14, Paul Heard (Wednesfield) 14, Marcin Jakubiak (Astley & Tyldesley) 14, Reece Pollitt (Astley & Tyldesley)
11, Dean Hook (Poole) 10, Kris Ramsden (Bury) 9, Adam Watson (Sheffield) 9, Michael Baldock (Nuneaton BMX) 8, Ben Higham (Stockport) 7, Josh Hill (East Park) 5.

Referee – Mike Hack.

HSBC | UK Senior Elite Grand Prix – Overall Series placings (Best three scores from the four rounds count)

1st Josh Brooke (Gt. Blakenham) 70; 2nd Ben Mould (Newport) 68; 3rd Myke Grimes (Coventry) 54; 4th Lewis Osborne (Gt. Blakenham) 49; 5th Lukasz Nowacki
(Horspath) 48; 6th Paul Heard (Wednesfield) 40.

The Junior match was contested by a disappointingly low number of just six riders. Series leader, Pierce Bacon, of Ipswich, was an absentee and he would have been overtaken should Sheffield’s Ed Morton win the meeting.

Morton and his team mate Adam Watson both won their opening two races, before Astley &
Tyldesley’s Max Evans beat Morton in heat 8. Watson won his third ride, from Poole’s Fraser Garnett. An important heat 11 saw Morton keep his overall series title hopes alive, with a win over Watson, to force a run-off for 1st place, after both riders tied on 15 points.

Garnett and Evans contested a run-off for 3rd place, after both finished on 14 points and it was the Poole rider who took the win from the inside gate. Watson won the toss for grid positions in the first place run-off and he held out Morton, to take the win on the day.

This ensured that Bacon took the overall series winner, with Morton second and Watson
third. Another run-off was held, with Evans beating Poole’s Macie Schmidt, to secure 5th place overall in the series.

HSBC UK Junior Elite Grand Prix Round 4 result

Adam Watson (Sheffield) 15, Ed Morton (Sheffield) 15, Fraser Garnett (Poole) 14, Max Evans (Astley & Tyldesley) 14, Lewis Foxley (Edinburgh) 12,
Macie Schmidt (Poole) 11.

Referee – Graham Lush.

HSBC UK Junior Elite Grand Prix – Overall Series placings (Best three scores from the four rounds count)

1st Pierce Bacon (Ipswich) 66; 2nd Ed Morton (Sheffield) 63; 3rd Adam Watson (Sheffield) 59; 4th Fraser Garnett (Poole) 46; 5th Max Evans (Astley & Tyldesley)
33.25; 6th Macie Schmidt (Poole) 33.25.

Report by Mike Hack. Photos by Andy Whitehouse.