Lance Childs and George Pittock represented Thanet RC at the VC Londres Youth Omnium, part of the National Youth Track Omnium Series, at the Herne Hill Velodrome on Sunday.
Lance was competing in the event for the second time and this year as a second year U14. Lance rode hard and performed well in the 2 lap TT finishing in a PB time of 1:17.5 placing him 10thout of 26.
In the devil Lance was boxed in and went out earlier than he had hoped finishing 14th in that event. He had a lot of ground to make up to finish as he’d hoped in the top 10 (against riders who are mostly from track clubs such as VC Londres, Welwyn Wheelers and Preston Park). Lance rode well in the first 8 laps of the scratch he was in a break with Innes Harvey, Lukas Neurukar and Billy Gilbey (the trio eventually making up the podium of the event) Behind their group the chasers dug in to try and catch them and unfortunately the change of pace must have led to a touch of wheels, causing a crash which caused 7+ riders to hit the deck, 5 riders unfortunately had to be taken to hospital by ambulances. The race was stopped and when they were ready to restart some 20-30 mins later the remaining U14 riders were a little nervous and concerned for their racing colleagues/friends. Lance finished in 10th in the scratch and as his mum I was just grateful that he was ok and didn’t crash (this weekend!) Our regards and best wishes go to those riders who did have to go to hospital, hopefully there is nothing serious and the riders heal fast!
The sprints were cut from the program as the crash had delayed the running order so the 4th and final event was the points race and Lance went hard from the gun and gained a 2nd place and 3 valuable points in the first sprint and maintained position towards the front of the pack for the whole 18 lap race, he finished about 7th in the points race consolidating his 10th place in the omnium with 2 more rounds in the 3 race series still to come at Welwyn on the 7th May and Lee Valley Velodrome on the 13th May he hopes to improve his placing in the top 10 over those 2 rounds with Lee Valley being his preferred track.
George’s first outdoor track omnium was also his first U16 omnium, and a tough but rewarding experience.
His TT time of 1:15.2 placed him only 25th out of 27, and a disastrous start to the devil/elimination race when his foot slipped out of the pedal as he was pushing away from the fence meant he was effectively out of the race in the first 10 seconds.
A better scratch race saw George finish 18th and, after a brave attempt for some points in the first sprint of the points race was closed down, he finished 20th in the race which averaged 27.3mph for the 24 lap (10.8km) distance.
The four races combined to give George 25th overall, which again was about where he expected to be among his first year U16 rivals.
George will not compete in the next two rounds because his priority is road racing ahead of the Screentek International North West Youth and Junior Tour in Lancashire at the end of May. This weekend he will be racing on Friday and Saturday before heading to Sussex for a hills session on the South Downs on Sunday with his friends from Preston Park Youth CC.
A big thank you to WW Martin Ltd (http://wwmartin.co.uk/) for funding the brand new Youth Development Squad gazebo at a cost of £500, and to suppliers Instant Promotion (https://www.instantpromotion.co.uk/) for delivery in time for Sunday’s event.