A TRIO of local riders were in impressive form in cycling’s Manchester Regional Track League.
Jacob Scott, Gabz Cullaigh and Levi Moody all impressed at a meeting where Olympic Women’s Team Pursuit gold medallists Laura Trott and Dani King were among the 51 riders who provided some excellent racing.
Two groups were formed for the event on the basis of odd and even rider numbers, putting Cullaigh in Group One and Scott and Moody in Group Two.
The meeting kicked off with the 40-lap scratch race for Group One and Cullaigh was immediately in the thick of the action staying with the leaders and setting a blistering pace.
With five laps to go there were only 13 riders left from the 27 who had started and Cullaigh went with a break of eight riders.
Going into the final lap it was anyone’s race, but in the last 50m it was Jon Dibben (Olympic Academy), Jake Ragan (Max Gear), Chris Lawless (Independent) and Laura Trott (Team Sky) who took the podium places, with Cullaigh finishing eighth.
It was a similar story in Group Two with Scott and Moody setting the pace from the outset and working together intelligently throughout.
With just three laps to go Moody launched an excellently timed attack and got away from the main peloton.
However, with three Olympic Academy riders in this group, he was chased down and just edged into second place on the line by Sam Lowe.
The 50-laps points race was next, with Cullaigh again doing some excellent work maintaining a fast pace.
He managed to get points from the third and fourth sprints but it was Olympic Academy riders who dominated the first three places in Dibben, Simon Yates and Robert Crampton – Cullaigh finished ninth.
In the 50-lap points race for Group Two Scott put on a fine display of attacking riding and was in the points on the first sprint.
However, he was unable to make the best of his positioning and finished just outside the points positions.
The Devil eliminator was the third event and Cullaigh rode intelligently throughout.
However, a moment’s hesitation coming out of the last bend left him last by half a wheel to finish sixth.
Trott finished third, with Dibben and Lawless taking first and second.
Scott and Moody set an excellent pace in their Devil, but Moody was unlucky to go out midway through. However, Scott kept alert until six laps out when, similar to Cullaigh, a moment’s hesitation cost him his place and he finished fifth.
The last event of the meeting for each group was the punishing 64 lap scratch.
The long races suit Cullaigh and he was determined to stay with Olympic Academy riders every time they attacked.
The pace was so fast in this group only six of the 27 starters finished.
Three laps from home Cullaigh joined a break of four riders in a punishing long attack to the finish and managed to hang on to take fourth. Again it was Dibben who took the honours.
The pace in Group Two was equally punishing – with a 30.05mph average – and Scott and Moody were up for the challenge.
At the halfway sprint in lap 32 Moody managed to edge Matt Gibson into second place to take one point.
Scott meanwhile kept up his attacking style and four laps from home got away to take a 120 metre lead.
However, in the final lap the chase group got to him 50 metres out and Scott had to settle for 10th place with Olympic Academy rider Chris Latham taking the victory.
Louise Robinson, daughter of local cycling legend Brian Robinson, and Jake Womersley, his grandson, had excellent rides in the European Cyclo-Cross Championships in Ipswich.
In the Elite Women’s race Louise finished eighth with a fine performance of strong riding.
Jake finished in a very impressive 14th place in a hard-fought race in the Juniors.