Andy Ballentyne rode the Eastern Region Grass Track Championships promoted by the Team Welwyn. Conditions were hot with just a
gentle breeze and with the track being so dry, much quicker than last year.
In the first event, the 400m scratch, Andy won his heat to progress to the final where he was 4th, the winner being John McClelland
(Agiskoviner) with Leigh Haigh (Victoria CC) 2nd.
The next event was the 4 lap (1600m) pursuit. Andy was drawn against John, Max Pendleton (Mildenhall CC) and Keith Richardson (Mildenhall CC). He took some stick from the other competitors for using tri-bars and an aero crash hat, but put them to good use coming home with a time of 2.32 which was 3 seconds quicker than John and caught Max and Keith in the process. In the other heats, Leigh was 3rd fastest with 2.36.
Both Andy and Leigh made the final from their heat and were up against John, Richard Webster (Team Welwyn), Max and Ian Pettit (West Suffolk Whls). In the final, Andy drew the inside line and led off round the first lap. John and then Leigh came past on the back straight but Andy held on for 3rd.
The final event was the 8km which was run off at a fast pace. The field splintered under the pace until it wass left to John, Leigh, Andy and Richard in the last few laps. John led out the sprint with Andy challenging but he didn't have the legs to beat him. Leigh was 3rd with Richard 4th.
Andy rode this small but well run meeting but following his back problems, didn't do as well as last year.
The track hard and fast although the stiff breeze, whilst keeping the riders a bit cooler, made things harder going in the distance races.
The first event was the 800m scratch and Andy progressed throught to the final. In teh final, Andy drew the inside lane and led round the first when Dave Langlands (Fenland Clarion) took the lead. Neil Lewis also overtook but he held on to 3rd place with Dave the clear winner.
Next up was a devil and a fast pace was held throughout. At the bell, Ian Clarke (Fenland Clarion) led Dave Langlands and Andy and those were the final positions.
Andy then teamed up with National 8km medallist Leigh Haigh (Victoria CC) for a 15 lap madison who was however struggling with a shoulder injury. This meant no hand slings, however they managed to come home for the win ahead of a strong Dave Langlands/Neil Lewis partnership.
Andy could only manage 3rd in th 500m handicap event - eventually won by Jane Clark (Fenland Clarion).
The final event was a 5km scratch. There were brief skirmishes from Leigh and Pete Whelan and two determined attacks from the Fenland Clarion duo of Dave Landglands and Ian Clarke. The first attached was pulled back by Max Pendleton (Midlenahll) with Andu on his wheel, but the second was successful and they pulled clear with Dave getting the better of Ian. Max outsprinted Andy for 4th place.
Chris Burley tried his hand at the Masters Championships for the first time and managed to avoid the punctures that plagued many of
the other competitors.
In the 1000m time trial he did 1.19.513 for 8th and 11th in the 3km pursuit with a time of 4.17.417, although conditions were far from ideal with a strong wind putting paid to any hopes of fast times. His Kilo time did however set the Club's 35-39 record.