Tom Zittel: Last Friday down at Welwyn track league Alex Pierce joined Connor Woodford and me, Alex’s first race back from a shoulder injury. We also had loads of Willesden supporters making the trip which added to the atmosphere.
First up was the B scratch with me and Connor riding. We both spent nearly the whole race chilling near the back. I was nearly caught out as I heard the bell, a bit boxed in and nowhere near the front! I managed to find some space through the middle of the group and came around everyone at turn three opening up a gap. Connor chased me down and just got around me at the line. First and second respectively!
Next, we had a block pursuit and Alex had a handicap race with the As. Connor and I were on opposite sides. In the first half Connors group was leading, I did a longer turn and did my best to motivate my group and we came back and took a slim lead. It was very close at the end, Connor opened up a gap from the rest of his group while I was on the front of mine giving it everything. Connor won it by a bike length!
Alex rode a really good handicap race and came away with 2nd in the 2 man break after completely burying himself to stay on the wheel of the winner.
The 10 lap points race (points every lap) for me and Connor went well, I won the first few sprints and stayed in the top three as long as I could. Connor took to the front as I faded and got a gap on the group for a while. The last few laps I managed to get a few more points. We don’t have the results yet but hopefully we each made the podium.
The last one of the evening was the mixed 10-mile scratch. The Bs were given a half lap handicap and we were caught within about 5 laps. I spent the early part of the race conserving energy (good plan!). I was on Alex’s wheel for quite a while and Connor was on mine if I remember correctly. When the 2nd prime came up I was 4th wheel and right behind an A rider who was looking like he would give it a nudge. I was ready and stuck to his wheel when he jumped with 200m to go. I did try and come around but have no idea who got it. So much for conserving energy, I fully expected to be dropped from the race but did recover and stick with it till the end. In the closing laps, everyone left was really winding it up. On the bell I was 4th wheel and Alex 5th, I managed to stay with them for the finish but there was no way I could come around! Alex crossed the line behind me in 5th.
Another cracking night for the Willesden!