Thursday, 8 August 2013

Countdown to National Derny Championships!


The countdown is on for the first National championship to be hosted at Bournemouth's new velodrome at Slades Farm. Event promoter, Paul Gittings previews this years championship..........

Saturday August 17 (Ipm start) will see leading riders compete for the national men's and women's derny titles.

Derny racing sees riders follow their pacers a 2-stroke motorcycle at high speeds with the men's championship over 30k likely to be won in a little over 30 minutes. The women race will be over 15km.

This style of racing is particularly popular on the continent in the prestigious six-day meetings, but championships have been held since 2000 in Britain for the men and 2005 for the women.

Former champions in the women's category include Olympic gold medallists Victoria Pendleton, Laura Trott and Dani King, while Tony Gibb, Team Sky's Luke Rowe and Jon Mould have claimed the men's prize.

Defending national champions Matt Gittings (AW Cycles.co.uk) and Hannah Walker (Matrix Fitness Racing Academy) return to defend their titles, both paced by George Gilbert.

Walker, one of the most promising young track and road cyclists in the country, will be bidding for a hat-trick of titles but faces stiff opposition is what is set to be a competitive women's title race.

Young Scottish rider Katie Archibald of the City of Edinburgh club, who has burst onto the scene in the past year, will likely test Walker. The 19-year-old won the National Junior Pursuit title last year and has a growing reputation.

They will both have to contend with the experienced partnership of Janet Birkmyre and her pacer Graham Bristow, who won the championship as far back as 2008.

Birkmyre, a multi world champion in the Masters category took victory at the women's derny race at the Reading Grand Prix from Anna Railton, who will again contend here in what is set to be a real battle for the podium places.

Gittings, who won the Dernyfest trial race at Bournemouth earlier this summer and a round of the National Endurance League when he took the Rob Jefferies Memorial Trophy at the same track two weeks ago, will likely start clear favourite.

But former medallists James Holland Leader (Prestige VC) and Symon Lewis (Nuun YB London) will be ready to capitalise on any slips ups and Alex Wise (VC St Raphael) has also shown good form behind the derny this campaign.

Youngsters from Bournemouth Arrow and Poole Wheelers will also compete in a supporting youth programme to the championship events, which will consist of heats and finals.

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