Cyclopark Dual Slalom 16th September 2012

Hot on the heels of the Wheels and Fins festival came the Cyclopark Dual Slalom.  Where Saturday had been clear skies and aggressive tarmac, Wrotham Road offered grey skies and buttery smooth cycle track.  Rob, Michael and I stayed overnight at the Gravesend Premier Inn so that we were right on site for a full breakfast at Nell’s Cafe on the A2. Napalm coffee and extra toast sides.

Back at the track we quickly ran registration from the cafe stop number two whilst Michael organised timing, ramp setup and course-setting. We’d booked the straight section of the circuit from lunchtime onwards and Cyclopark had generously allowed us to skate until dark. With thirty skaters and impending weather hanging overhead, we were very grateful to have the possibility of using the floodlit facility until 8pm.

For the first time at Cyclopark, the weather held out. Blimey O’Reilley! We quickly whittled through the A Group, with the regular names appearing towards the final bracketing. Harry Phelps took down the consistent Ben Williams in the quarter final only to yield to  Louis Selby at the next stage. It was Slipa’s weekend as he pipped an on-form Paul Price for the day’s honours.

The constantly variable ‘B Group’ provided more interesting racing because of it’s unpredictability. With a large bracket bracket of twelve racers, there were no giveaway races. The semi-finals saw two of the spBSA Team, Richard Searle and Gavin Palfrey take on the Cambridge dervish Jack Taylor-Crush and super-sportif Tim Neal. The spBSA boys decided that they’d gone far enough.  Jack and Tim were rushed back to the start ramps for the final race off without having the chance to catch their breath. After a very close first run with Jack T-C just getting the lead, it all came down to the final run. With the pressure resting on Tim’s shoulders,  he overstretched his effort and DQd. A well-deserved victory to Jack. ‘A Group’ next time!

Richard raced off Gavin in the consolation round, and despite the former having the lead after the first run, DQd on his second. Gavin very happily picked up third place.



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