Haslam duo in record-breaking form at Yarmouth Cycling Club championships

A large field of riders contested the inaugural Great Yarmouth Cycling Club (GYCC) hard track championships at Great Yarmouth Stadium.

The track, which is used by the club 26 Saturdays of the year to offer the only traffic-free coaching this side of a four-hour car journey, was in tip-top condition.

The championships were split into under 12, under 14 and the seniors categories. The championships were run as an omnium (aggregate of the finishing positions) of three qualifying events each of which is an Olympic discipline.

The time trial was the first event to test the riders. Whatever the Haslam family had for breakfast seemed to be working as father Cliff (25.7sec) and son Christopher (29.7 sec) broke their respective course records on the way to victory. They were very popular winners against stiff opposition.

Patrick Manning won the highly competitive U14 race by over half a second, delivering an U14 course record with his hugely impressive, smooth pedalling technique.

The club now has many female riders and Grace Hockold looked to have enjoyed herself as she gave the lads a good run for their money.

The second event was the kierin. This event is fast and furious and the signature event of Olympic hero and world champion Sir Chris Hoy.

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With up to 12 riders in each race it’s a hectic battle and very exciting for the spectators. The Senior race was taken by track regular Clive Bond with only inches separating Cliff Haslam and the fast finishing Steve Baker. The U14 race was again a close affair with Zak Coleman just getting the better of Patrick Manning the hard way – leading from the front. Patrick just could not come around Zak who proved too strong and tactically experienced.

Dan Swindells beat Matthew Baker in another close shave which needed a video replay for 3rd. In the U12s Joe Drake confidently won from Seth Houlgate and Rowan Baker in a ferocious finish straight tussle.

The podium places for each age group were too close to call coming into the last and deciding event – the Elimination race.

Each lap the riders have to sprint for the finishing line with the last rider over the line being eliminated from the race. With such a close field there were some surprising early eliminations.

“I just misread the sprint and have blown the whole championship,” said a frustrated Ben Turner who was unusually eliminated first in the U14 race while challenging for 3rd overall.

Zak Coleman again beat Patrick Manning,Matthew Baker, Josh Tedstone and Dan Swindells in close attendance. The U12s saw Joe Drake again outsprint Seth Houlgate, Rowan Baker and Christopher Haslam. Haslam senior, Cliff, just failed to beat the experienced road racer Ian Sandall who proved too strong tactically and physically for the senior racers bunch.

With the points totalled from the three events, it was very close in all the categories. Joe Drake (U12), Zak Coleman (U14) and Cliff Haslam were crowned the club champions. f

The final word went to Trudie Coleman and her enthusiastic band of young U10 riders.

After a morning of technical coaching, the young guns finished the racing programme with an exhilarating race which saw Elle Turner, Emily Haslam, Edward and Oliver Leary, Sam Sutcliffe and the amazing six-year-old Honeysuckle show what they are capable of.

Visit www.greatyarmouthcyclingclub.co.uk