Club Championship Winds Up Long Season For Sheffield

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Updated: October 25, 2018

The annual Sheffield Individual Club Championships were hosted at the Graves track on Saturday 6th October (the first time Graves has been the host track since 2011), as with 2016/17 the event was combined with the final round of the Go Ride Grand Prix. Fifteen riders lined up, with the squash ladder format used as the qualifying races. The format works perfectly to give the riders challenging races each time they are out on track, riders moving up and down the ladder depending on their performance in the previous race. This provided for close racing in every heat, with fourteen of the fifteen riders winning at least one race.

At the head of affairs were Ed Morton and Adam Watson, the two GB internationals involved in some terrific on track racing (each managing two race wins). Kielan Burton’s improvement came to the fore when he managed to get ahead of the pair in the third set of races. Kielan was also involved in some great racing with Laura Watson, Niamh Morton, Luke Morton, Steven Webber and James Morris. The six having their own personal battles out on the shale. The racing between these six was so close that each managed just one race win. The Stars two newest recruits, Oliver Mackenzie and Alfie Sutherland, were also having very close encounters. Each managed to get into the second level of the squash ladder, Oliver even managing to get the better of a tiring Niamh in the fifth qualifying race. Oliver and Alfie though were having their main battles in the third tier of the ladder with the quick staring Edward Balfour. The races featuring these three had plenty of passing and re-passing, plus the one crash of the day when Alfie tangled with Oliver while trying to make an inside pass on turn three. The fourth rung of the ladder saw some more close racing between Erin Balfour and two more new recruits Imogen Mackenzie and Jayden Lewis, with both Imogen and Jayden enjoying debut race wins.

With the qualifying races finalised it was on to the grand finals, first up was to decide the Go Ride Grand Prix. Adam won the Open A Final (his one and only Go ride event of 2018) from Ed, with Luke third and Steven fourth. Kielan won the B Final, which was enough to make him outright winner of the Open Grand Prix title. Luke was second, with Steven third. Laura won the Womens final, on her only Grand Prix event of the season (which was still enough to take the third place trophy). Niamh was second, having already secured the Womens title. James won the Under 13 Final, again save in the knowledge that the overall title was already secured. Alfie gained his second successive runners-up place, which was good enough to give him third place overall. Second place overall went to the absent Logan Perkins. The under 10 final was won in convincing fashion by Oliver, who by virtue of winning the final three rounds took home the runners up trophy (dislodging the absent Joe Horton from second spot, Joe having to settle for third overall). Edward had already been confirmed the overall under 10 champion, having won the opening four rounds of the series. Erin won the Under 8’s final, giving her second place overall in the series. Two absent riders filled the top and third places in the under 8 event. Charlie Priest, out injured with a broken finger, was overall under 8 GP champion, having won the five GP’s he raced in. Charlie Mawhood claimed the third place, having raced to two runners up places in earlier rounds.

With the Go Ride titles now decided it was on to the City of Sheffield Championships, with riders lined up for either two or three category finals.

With only Erin in the under 8 final, she took the title unopposed. Oliver won the under 10 final, with Jayden second, from Imogen and Erin. Next was the under 13 final, with James a clear winner from Oliver, Alfie and Jayden. Kielan won the under 16’s from James, Oliver and Alfie (who was now showing the tiredness signs of nine races). Luke won the Vets final from Rob Mawhood, claiming his fifth successive Vets title. Laura won the Womens final from Niamh, claiming back-to-back titles (just as Luke had done). Niamh gained some compensation by winning the Clubman final from James, Laura and Alfie. Adam won the Under 19/Open double as he had done in 2016, in fact it was the fifth successive year that the under 19 winner also took home the Open title. Previous double winners being Pawel Idziorek, Kyle Holland and Ed Morton. Ed was a very close second in both finals, narrowly missing out on defence of the titles he won in 2017. Kielan got the better of Steven in the under 19 final to finish on the podium, with Luke doing the same to Steven in the Open.

Sheffield are finishing the season off by competing in the Northern Fours league, so far finishing second (at Hull) and third (at Stockport) in Group B.

Sheffield have had five riders rewarded for their 2018 efforts on track with a call up to the first GB Academy Camp, taking place at Leicester on Sunday 28th October. Kielan (under 14’s), Ed (Juniors), Adam (Seniors), and Laura and Niamh (Women) will get expert advice on training (both on and off bike), nutrition and psychology.

 

 

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