Charlie & George Help South region to 4th at Inter-Regional Track

On the 24th and 25th of September BCDS had double representation for the South Team at the final of the Inter-Regional events of the year in Newport Velodrome. Charlie Kelly and George Bazley represented the region and BCDS whilst the regions team itself was coached by our own Dan Coast who takes up the story.

It was much earlier back in the year that I got involved with the team after putting my name forward to coach the team at the event I was lucky enough to be involved in the process throughout the year looking at riders who could make up the team and seeing the riders performances at the selection events throughout the year.

A healthy number of BCDS riders were in the mix but ultimately the joint decision was made and both Charlie and George were selected along with 2 other Boys and 4 girls from the region.

The team met on Friday to unload equipment in the track centre ahead of the 2 day event to crown the winning region overall. Our team was a good blend of experience with 3 riders returning from last year and some new but very talented riders of both first and final year Under 16’s ready to get into the mix in both sprint and endurance events.

We headed to our hotel which was shared with 5 other regional teams and bedded down for the night; day 1 would see Charlie go into the Sprint competition whilst George would take on the Points race and the Madison event.

Day 1 arrived and an early start saw the team on the rollers warming up, George was keen to practise the key skill needed for his event and perform some hand slings with partner Charlie Calvert ahead of the race, it didn’t go well with both riders coming down in the track centre whilst practising a basic change. Into the racing and Charlie had some expert help from one of the country’s best young sprinters on our team who helped guide him through the line to take for the 200m qualifier. It worked well with Charlie recording a fine 10th place ahead of the match sprints.

George’s first outing was in the point’s race where he would work for Charlie Calvert (National Scratch race champion) his job was simple, keep near the front and chase down any breaks that could challenge Charlie, it was going well but George eventually blew up just after the mid-way point and coming out the back of the bunch.

Into the match Sprints Charlie would have 3 races, all of which he won with ease ending the competition in 9th place overall. Not bad at all for a non-sprinter.

George went out again looking to make up for the earlier disappointment in practise of the Madison. After a nervous first change the boys were getting better with each change and that confidence grew as they started to get involved in the intermediate sprints and attacks eventually scoring enough and finishing well to take 5th place, not bad at all considering it was George’s first ever Madison race!

At the end of day 1 the team were in 3rd overall thanks partly to some great rides by the girls with a gold and bronze, backed up with silver from Ali Feilding in the sprint.

Onto day 2 which would focus on team races with Team Sprints, Team Pursuits and a new event Elimination/ Scratch race.

Charlie was first up again taking on the role of Man 1 and getting the team up to speed in the Team sprint. Leading out of the gate the team false started and the heat re-ran. 2nd time out and it was a good start with the team a little down at the end of the first lap, Charlie swung up perfectly to unleash sprint specialist Ali fielding who pulled us back into the mix before Charlie Clavert took over winding things up and taking the team to the line to record a fast ride that would put us into the bronze medal ride off.

The team lined up in the same order for the final with the same tactics, Charlie got off the line a little quicker due to a smaller gear and again it was Ali who brought us within touching distance at the halfway point before Charlie Calvert took over and pulled out a lead to see us take the win by 2 bike lengths and a Bronze medal for the team and Charlie Kelly’s first podium at inter regionals.

Both George and Charlie were then in action with the Team pursuit. Riding to a schedule both boys rode well completing the 3km distance within a quarter of a second of the leading team with just a few teams left to ride. Unfortunately these teams now had a target time and drove hard pushing our team into 6th place and out of the medal ride off. The disappointment was clear to see but with Charlie coming off exhausted and declaring it was the hardest thing he had ever done on a bike we couldn’t have asked for more.

The final event was the elimination, ran over 2 heats the last rider would be eliminated every other lap until 12 remained and the race would then turn into a 5 lap straight forward bunch race. Charlie looked confident in his heat, maintaining a good position near the front throughout and qualifying for the final. George had a tougher time and got caught out towards the end and getting eliminated in one of the final eliminations before the 5 lap scratch, he would however race again in the minor final.

The minor final would be a straight forward elimination, George started well and looked up for the fight but towards the ¾ point he briefly lost his position and got boxed which in an elimination means one thing, you’ll be going out very soon as he had nowhere to go and get out.

Charlie was joined in the final by team mates Charlie Calvert and Ali. The face got off to a flyer with Charlie maintaining a good position, Ali got eliminated around the ¼ race distance leaving Charlie to continue, with 2 riders from our region left the others ganged up on Charlie a little forcing him out a few laps later.

Overall the South region team finished 4th overall behind Wales who dominated the event. Both our riders rode brilliantly well in their first inter regional track event and behaved impeccably throughout the weekend.

It was an absolute pleasure to work with them and see them perform so well hopefully inspiring more BCDS rider to apply for next year and get selected.

Well done lads,