European Champion

Lance Ravenhill European Champion

What a fantastic year senior Club member Lance Ravenhill is having! Having won two Gold medals at the National Track Championships, (see item below) Lance went on to ride the 40 Lap Points Race in the European Championships at Manchester Velodrome at the end of July.

Not only did our hero win the Gold medal, he also lapped the field beating second placed Geoff Cooke (who won the 500m Time Trial earlier in the week) and third placed Italian Guido Lupo (who had earlier won the Scratch Race).

Once again Lance beat the best of the rest riding his ancient looking Brian Rourke track bike and here is a picture of him proudly wearing his European Champions jersey.

Many congratulations to Lance again (what more can we say?!)

As usual, Lance has written a report so you can read what it’s really like to be a Champion – just click “more” to read his story.

A Champion’s Tale

After a successful trip to the British Masters track championships at the Newport Velodrome, I decided that it may just be worth trying the European Masters track championships being held locally at Manchester. (Still 100 miles away)
Having had a weeks walking holiday around some hills in Wales between the events, I was a little unsure of my ability to cope with the speed and so only entered the points race.
The event is over 40 laps, with points awarded to the first four across the line every 10th lap. 5, 3, 2 and 1 points. Anyone lapping the field would be awarded a further 10 points.
The French team had last year’s road race champion riding and there was an Italian rider had previously won the pursuit race held earlier in the week. Geoff Cooke (GB), who was also riding, had won the three lap sprint race. His intention was to keep the pace low so as to reserve enough for each of the sprints.

At 10 laps I did not commit myself completely to the first sprint because it is usual for a break to go straight after, I got 3rd place but there was no break. The second sprint it was a bit crowded, I tried a bit harder and only got 4th. The chances of getting a medal were getting slim. There was a pause at 16 laps so two of us instinctively jumped away. Four laps later we had half a lap lead, that’s when the bunch woke up and started chasing and that’s when my companion blew up.
As most of the riders in the club are aware, I am not one for being on the front too long, this time I mustered enough energy to get to lap 30 and win 5 more points. The bunch was now at 50 metres, ten laps to go and I was struggling.

In these races you need the following three attributes to have a chance of winning! You need to be fit for that particular event (I had been, until Val walked me off my feet) so I was about 80% there, you need the determination and will to win (when I was younger I had would have put this attribute at 100%, but I have mellowed with age and would rate me as only having 90% …Mac would be rated at about 99%) The third and most elusive is luck.
Sometimes the fittest do not react as they should and a sneaky move will sometimes work. For once I had all the luck, the bunch nearly got to me but with seven laps to go they had a little rest, ready for the final sprint.

It took me a further five laps to catch the tail of the bunch, that meant that they had two laps to go and were winding up for the final sprint, I was so tired I could not think whether just contacting them was enough to gain the lap or whether I had to stay until the end. Fortunately I was counted as part of the bunch and gained an additional 10 points, 18 points in total, securing the gold medal and more importantly the European championship vest…which unfortunately does not go with the bike colours.


  1. Marc Sopher, Mac's American Pal says

    Fantastic work! You continue to defy the aging process. Bet you never thought anyone in the US would be reading this! I remain an anglophile and honorary Kenilworth Wheeler (Mac and Liz have provided the kit).

  2. Matt Overton says

    Been away so catching up… I remember I spent some time riding with Lance on my 2nd ride with the club. He said that the only link with the other Lance was the name. Of course, I now know he was playing and, in fact, Armstrong 2.0 is modelled on Ravenhill 1.0. Congrats, Lance!

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