Ben Hancock – National Clarion Track Championships

3 laps to go in the 25 lap scratch race with Bolton leading from Saddleworth with West Lothian on the outside
 and 3 Nottingham riders filling the ‘midfield’ with Stockport 3rd in line on the outside
and Ben Hancock, Calder, 3rd on the inside. 

Saturday 6th July was the date of the National Clarion Track Championships held at the National Cycling centre in Manchester.

Ben Hancock still in contention 2 laps to go

Calder junior Ben Hancock was the only Calder representative this year at the Championships, he is an accredited track rider at Manchester Velodrome but until now has not been able to race, as all of the racing leagues are vastly oversubscribed and are not taking on new riders.

The Championships are run as an Omnium with all riders taking part in the Elimination Race, Points race and Scratch race. The rider also has to choose whether to compete in the 200m flying TT or the 2K individual pursuit. Ben chose the 200m TT.

The juniors were in group B which was made up of 24 riders, 

Ben going round the outside at the Bell

First event of the day was the flying 200m. This involves three laps of slowly building up speed and height on the track before launching down the banking and across the start line, then flat out for 200m.  Ben posted a time of 13.4 seconds,  0.6 second off the winning time and good enough for 8th place overall in group B.

Second event of the day was the Elimination race (Devil take the Hindmost)), a tough event in which the last person to cross the line on every lap is eliminated, this was another decent event for Ben and he finished 8th in this one too.

Third event was the points race, a 25 lap race with a sprint every five laps, the first four riders in the sprint score points, not Ben’s strongest event but he did score points and finished in 11th place.

Stockport Clarion rider touching rear wheel of Notts Clarion rider with
Ben Hancock on his outside coming out of final bend.

Last race of the day was the scratch race, a straight 25 lap race with the first rider over the line the winner. Ben rode a strong race riding at the front for much of it. A good finish looked to be on the cards until, in the sprint to the line, another rider fell and managed to hit Bens back wheel knocking it from under him. Somehow Ben managed to stay upright and cross the line.

So the final standings in group B were dominated by a strong Nottingham Clarion contingent but 16 year old Ben finished 12th overall and 4th in the junior category, for a first attempt a pretty good result.

Ben’s feet off the pedals. but staying upright as fallen
Bolton rider will briung down following Notts rider.

A big thankyou must go to Nick Hall of Bury Clarion who organised the Chamionships, it was a fantastic days racing.

Next years event is being held in Glasgow, see you there?

Steve Hancock

Video of closing stages of 25 lap scratch race by Steve Hancock

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