National Derny Championships

Race news and results for the Vags Race Team
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Graham Tubby
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:14 am

National Derny Championships

Post by Graham Tubby » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:32 pm

Last weekend Joe made the trip to Newport Velodrome to compete in the National Derny Championships. The North East was well represented with Richie Allen, GS Metro and Miriam Jessett, Edco Boompods also competing, both riders many Vags will be familiar with. Joe was paced by Brad Thurrell, Richie and Miriam were paced by Paul Curran. 30 years ago this week Paul was competing in the Olympics!
The mens racing started with 60 lap heats, the top four from each heat going through to the 120 lap final. Richie and Joe were in different heats, we thought that this would increase the chance of both of them making the final but the heats turned out to be completely different races.
Joes heat was absolutely manic, after spending the first 20 or so laps sitting in second place things were looking good, then it all kicked off! A couple of pairings put the hammer down, gapping the field quickly. As this happened 2 of the dernies started to suffer from mechanical issues leaving riders all over the track. For a few laps Brad was pacing not only Joe but both of the riders who's dernies were struggling. We had to wait for official results from the transponders to find out that Joe had got 5th, one position off a place in the final.
By comparison Richies heat was a quite calm affair. One rider suffering a mechanical on the start line and another who struggled with the pace, possibly due to incorrect gearing. This meant the top four could save their legs a bit, a tiny bit mind, for the final. Richie qualified comfortably in second position.
Next up was the womens race. Mirriam and Paul rode the perfect race, while others chased each other off the front Miriam rode her own pace and was rewarded as in the final few laps riders began to blow as she picked them off one by one and passed a multiple masters world champion, just before crossing the line one place off the podium in 4th.
I"ve been trying to think of a way to describe the speed involved in these events but I just can't. Video footage off the phone doesn't capture it. The winner of the 120 lap (30k) mens final averaged 64kph (40mph). Thats just over 4 laps per minute, average. These are track bikes, no freewheel, one gear and no brakes. It's truly jaw dropping stuff to witness from track centre. The Saint Johns first aider described the competitors as "very special", well thats how I translated it anyway!
By the end of the race Richie was 8th.
So thats that. 3 young riders who live 3 hours away from the nearest indoor track went to the National Derny Champs and did us proud. It was Joes first derny race, first time on an indoor track behind a derny at speed, first time on a track with more than 2 dernies, first time in Wales!
Lots of work went on just to get them there, countless laps at Middlesborough with Brad and Paul, coordinated by Sam Waugh, not to mention the work that took place behind the scenes just get derny pacing permitted on the track. All worthwhile in the end, roll on 2019.

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Roger Clarke
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:21 pm

Re: National Derny Championships

Post by Roger Clarke » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:09 pm

Great write up. Thanks for sharing that, it sounds nuts! Always wondered how the pacers know how fast to go.

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Graham Tubby
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:14 am

Re: National Derny Championships

Post by Graham Tubby » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:29 pm

Our lot use two words, allez and woooaaah! That seems to be fairly typical. The noise is incredible with 8 dernies on the go but the riders are close enough to the pacers for them to hear. Mr Curran has one ear better than the other so it’s best to communicate with him on the straights!
Some of the pacers used hand signals behind their backs, I think to let their riders know that they were about to make a move on the pair or pairs in front.
Great to watch.


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