2017 Icebreaker Series - Round 1

A mighty impressive number of 14 riders had entered the first of the 3 monthly rounds that make up the Youth and Junior Icebreaker series in Newport Velodrome with a number more wanting but unable to take part due to the popularity of the race.

The event is held over 2 days with the Youths taking part in 3 bunch races on the Saturday before the Juniors take over on Sunday in either the Sprint or Endurance events. Unfortunately illness played its part with a number of riders unable to take the start due to flu and illness though BCDS still had a very healthy turnout with representation in most of the age categories.
The Youth races consisted of a Scratch race, followed by an elimination and a points race to decide the overall winner of the round. Although only 3 races the event provides the perfect opportunity for the riders to put down a marker, check how the winter training has gone and how they are adapting to the changes for those who have moved up an age category.
Gearing would present the biggest debate over the weekend with riders having to decide if they should stick to last year’s gearing & likely spinning out early, go all the way up to the current restriction which may feel too heavy at this early point of the year, or take the halfway house option. Either way there was a number of occasions when riders were seen changing between races.
Our Youth Riders had a good showing across the board with many of the riders competing on the track for the first time in over 6 months they found there feet quickly enough and will build on this over the coming months ahead of the regional selection races in May.

Day 2 of the event saw the Juniors in action for Sprint and endurance themed racing, Jamie had used his dispensation to race up with the juniors in order to get some specific sprint training under his belt. The sprinters would go out first for the 200m Qualifying TT slowly building speed and height for a flying start to the time trial that would seed them for the match sprints. Jamie and Ollie have had previous experience of this in the Welsh Track champs just few weeks ago but it was the first time for Josh who will defiantly go at least half a second faster next time.
Morgan competed in the endurance event and some good positioning looked to have set him up but with limited track time under his belt this year he slipped back in the final sprint against much older and bigger riders. Our sprinters would then face a number of sprints, one of which saw all 3 riders drawn in the same heat, at least one was certain to go through!
Lots of lessons learnt in this and it was great to see them trying new things, after all this event presents the perfect opportunity to experiment and try something different. All 3 riders went into the Keirin race for those not into the medal ride off, Josh and Ollie were drawn in a very aggressive heat and got to experience what one of these races used to be like with plenty of physical contact from one rider in particular.
Jamie’s heat was less aggressive but equally as fast, he rode well especially considering he was on much smaller gears due to his age.

Onto the endurance races, Morgan had a bit of a nightmare in the elimination race, but was looking forward to the points race which was eventful a crash at the midway point almost took him out as he dived to the bottom of the track to avoid the falling riders, a little bump but he was able to keep it upright and continue, however a few laps later a huge crash just behind him took down 5 riders and the race was abandoned.
So Sunday like Saturday allowed the older riders to test form and lay the foundations to progress and further develop, The race itself had a great atmosphere and it would be great to see fellow club members come over and cheer the riders on.

Round 2 information