National Track Champion

The Wheelers have a double National Track Champion in their midst. The infamous Lance Ravenhill recently won two Gold Medals at the BCF Masters Track Championships. As well as the medals he was also awarded a National Champions jersey and here is a picture of him with medals, jersey and track bike.

Many congratulations to Lance and good luck in the forthcoming European Championships.
If you would like to read Lance’s report on the National Champs event click “more” and find out how tough championship events really are!

National Track Championships Report

It is a long journey for local cyclists wishing to train at either Manchester or the Newport indoor cycle track facilities and as either is approx 100 miles away.

The 2009 Masters British Cycling National Track Championships were held at the Newport velodrome last weekend and I decided to make the journey to compete in four of the five possible events. (The one I missed obviously was the pursuit, too far without a wheel to sit on) All the events are age related over 5 year periods starting from the ripe old age of 30.

I was once a frequent competitor at the Coventry Butts track, but these facilities were closed about 25 years ago, so being a bit rusty it was a little difficult to match such competitors as the famous Geoff Cooke, winner of many Olympic and Commonwealth medals, fortunately age has also slowed Geoff a little.

On the first of the three day event, I did a flying lap to be seeded for the sprints, Geoff did a 12.5 for the 200 metres and I managed a 12.9, I got thro the first heat comfortably but then after making an elementary error of gearing a bit low for the semi final, I went from 91.5 down to 90 as I felt my legs could spin rather than push, I was out manoeuvred on the last lap by Peter Smith Teeside Clarion, an ex world Masters champion, I found too late that could not pedal fast enough to get around in the final straight. I geared back up and managed to win the ride off for third giving me one bronze medal.
The next day we had to do a two lap time trial from a standing start, Geoff won this easily and I came third, once again, beaten by Pete Smith, second bronze medal.

It was then pointed out that I was the only rider at the event to be riding an 80’s bike with high pressure tyres instead of the usual carbon frames with carbon disc wheels tubs that were inflated to 200 psi.
A close friend from the local Halesowen loaned me a pair of competition wheels as I had recently led him out in a distance event at the Halesowen track league,
I have also been doing some extreme training sessions at Newport with our super fit Dave Kirby and ex pro Ian Fagin, 90 laps at a time ‘on the rivet’ which had raised my standard to a very competitive level.
The distance event held on Sat afternoon was only over 40 laps and held with the age group above and below my category. I have a close friend, Max Pendleton, his daughter will one day make a name for herself, her dad is about the same level, with him and Ed Demery from the Bush Healthcare club and Sandy Wallace from Scotland, we made the race so hard that the pure sprinters were dropped and lapped, there were only four of us left in the front group at the end and I was the only one from my age group so that was my first gold and championship vest.

Sunday was just the points race, again over 40 laps and once again the plan was to push hard all the way, with 5 laps to go Max jumped away, I new that I was leading on points, at two and a half laps to go everyone appeared to pull up the track, Max was at about 100 metres and dying, I jumped away, caught Max and won the event, a second vest and gold medal.

The new blue vest does not go well with either the Kenilworth shorts or my Flanders frame, but I am afraid that I may be wearing it on the next few club rides and the other one in bed each night….I probably will get fed up of it long after every one has seen it!

I will be arranging for the first club track training session to be held early in September, it would be good if one or two more decided to become ‘trackies’.

All events held at Newport or Manchester are guaranteed to be dry just like the tennis!


  1. Brian Neale says

    I was also a competitor at the Butts until around 1958. Loved riding the sprints 440 yards etc.

  2. Charles says

    Well done Lance – great achievement.

    I knew there was some reason you are faster than me. I’d always put it down to duff wheel bearings but you live and learn ;-)

  3. Gez Taylor says

    Well done Lance, you’re a great ambassador for the sport. Bring back the Butts!

  4. 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).

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