Luke Rowe and Dani King began a series of track events during 2016 to encourage Vets and 2/3/4 Cat riders to race on the track. The events are largely based on Maendy Track, and were successful last year so have continued this year. Young member Alec Morris has taken part in several of these events this year as a 4th Cat. Entrants ride road bikes and ride in groups as an introduction to open road racing.
Alec has so far entered Rounds 12 to 15 and is learning a little more each time. His first race was a 25 minute event run in cool conditions under the Maendy floodlights. Being his first start racing in a bunch, and on a banked circuit Alex had no idea what to expect but he was intent on enjoying the experience and to try and be competitive. He certainly was competitive, finding himself leading the bunch chasing the lone leader with no one willing to give him help. Having done all the work the bunch passed him on the final bend, though the Pengraig lad was happy that he had ridden strongly and was pleased with the feedback he received from other riders and the organisers.
Alec’s next event was affected by wet and windy conditions and only three riders entered the 4th Cat Event. Initially they all rode together, but sensing an opportunity Alec took off with two laps to go. Feeling the others were on his wheel, he gave it everything he had and won the event only to look back and see the competition half a lap behind him. Alec believes that this is the fastest he has ever ridden. Round 13 was lucky for Alec.
On to Round 14 with his confidence boosted Alec had to contend with ten entrants in the event. They rode in a bunch with all riders taking their turn at the front and very little attacking. Then came the bell and the pace picked up, making the mistake of going too high on the first bank Alec found himself towards the back end of the group on the back straight. Determined to place he picked up the pace and passed most of the other riders in the final straight to finish a very creditable third. Hungry for this type of racing he was now looking for points towards becoming a 3rd Cat.
Round 15 and Alec was determined to pick up enough points to enter the 3rd Cat races. Eight riders tonight and a decent pace was set with most riders taking a turn on the front. Two thirds of the way around three riders dropped out of the back, Alec remained in the group and kept up the speed. With the experience of the previous events he felt strong with two laps remaining so decided to go for it. He managed to build a gap and one rider dropped off the back. With two riders in pursuit of him at the bell Alec still felt strong and was determined to maintain his lead. Despite some pressure in the home straight he managed to fight off the challenge to gain first place giving him the points he needed to enter the 3rd Cat events.