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Herne Hill Velodrome Veterans’ Track League - #2
24 May

This was the second meet of the Vet’s League and in the week the Herne Hill Velodrome was celebrating its 125th Anniversary. The evening’s races comprised:

Warm-up Scratch race – over a set number of laps with points for first 6 places.

Reverse Win-Out - Principally designed to mess with your mind but run over 6 laps with the first to cross the line on lap 1 gets 6th place, then so on until the last lap where the remaining 12 or so riders all fight for 1st place, or no placing at all. Do you go for a minor placing early or hold out for all or nothing at the end?

Scratch race – Same as the warm-up scratch, but by now you’re warm.

Points race - Sprint on every 3rd lap for points. Highest cumulative total points wins.

Unknown Distance race – An endurance race where the commissar will decide, after a suitable amount of pain is visibly being caused, to ring the bell to denote the final lap sprint for the first 6 places.

Vino raced in the B category, which that evening was combined with the A cat racers so led to every race being sharp paced with the faster B cat riders trying to bridge any breakaways the A cats were making, which dragged the rest of the field with them. A tough and competitive group and just staying in the bunch was a tremendous effort.

Michael raced in the C category and, after gaining a 5th place in the first scratch, found 7th was becoming his default placing that evening (no points, no cigar), and each time vowing not to get stupidly boxed-in the next time (but choosing to nonetheless). A bunch sprint at the end of the Unknown Distance race spat him out into 6th place, although there was nothing between 5, 6 & 7th at the line, so gained some league points from the evening.

Post-race craft beer and superb homemade cakes were on offer to celebrate the past 125 years, the signing of the new 99 years lease of the Velodrome and the building of the new pavilion now under way.

Michael Fowler
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