Held at Machesters Velodrome, tickets sold out weeks in advance but when we bought them no one was sure who would be riding this last session of the season. It turned out many big names appeared. Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Ross Edgar, Matt Crampton, Chris Newton, Dean Downing, Rob Hayles, Ed Clancy,Vicky Pendleton, Willy Kanis and Franco Marvulli with lots of riders from Germany and the Netherlands too.
Pete and I went and I'm sure I saw a couple from Middleton cycling club but unsure. Tried to tell missus she didn't miss much but she was having none of it and looked disappointed. Muahahaha. Look after that baby woman!! :P She'll get me back dont worry.
There must have been about 35 events ranging from Kierin Sprints, 200m sprints, 16 lap sratch races, a terrific 15km points race and 1km Madison Time trial plus a few others. Highlights were the points race where every 10laps its a sprint to the finish to get points and if you lap the group you get 10 extra. Marvulli looks a strong rider for Rapha giving his all in all the events he competed in, Newton seemed to take it easy tonight and he didn't respond to the crowds encouragement and Downing was always looking to get the elderly crowd fired up.
Pendleton won very easily, enough said.
There were some epic battles between Hoy,Edgar and Kenny with the latter 2 trying their best to use tactics to get the better of Hoy. Hoy beat Edgar, just by 5 cm, with a photo needing to separte the two. Hoy pulled out of the Kierin to concentrate on the 200m. The best of the lot was Hoy vs Kenny in the final, after a couple of laps poncing about doing the cat and mouse stuff, Hoy sneaked in on the inside only for Kenny to retake it 'illegally?' and a lot of barging later Hoy took it on the outside with a cheeky wave and smile at the photo finish camera, showing he won, just in 10,3 secs. In qualifying he did a 9.9secs individual flying lap.
The young guns were entertaining to watch too. Pete said that he was surprised, considering the age and lack of maturity of the younger riders, that there were no crashes at all and we were right at the end of the night. Cue the carnage! 5 seconds after he said that, a group of 6 tail enders in a boys scratch race tumbled in spectacular style to the bottom and the race had to be halted for emergency repairs which seemed to take forever. We used this opportunity to get to the car park before the mad scramble home.
It was a fantastic experience, one I hadn't had before and was enhanced by having great seats, being close to the bogs and food places and getting free magazines. Also the food places did not charge extortionate prices which is a breath of fresh air. £1 for hot drinks, 50p for choccy bars, £2 for big hot dogs, £2.50 for hot roast beef and gravy buttie.