This month’s racing saw 78 riders from eight schools competing in 24 races on a cold December day at Ducketts Common. A record for the League: the most riders from the most schools, and the highest number of races we’ve ever compressed into a single round.
Weeks of wind and rain had left the ground soft and littered with leaves, making it a slippery course for the riders. Not that that slowed them much, or made them any the less determined to fight their way through the tight turns. Despite a fair number of slide-outs and crashes, only one rider failed to finish, with most being desperate to get back on the bike quickly and limit their losses.
Beyond that, the unusual thing about the day was just how close it was: no one team dominated any of the categories, nor took more finals than any of the others.
It was a good day for League newcomers: in just their second appearance, Seven Sisters notched up three wins — including two finals. Meanwhile, Holy Trinity finished the day with one second and five third places, remarkable for a school’s first bike racing experience.
Were it not for the bonus points awarded to Year 4 riders, Stroud Green and St. Mary’s would have tied on the days points, with St. Aidan’s close behind.
But schools fielding only Year 5s and 6s were at a disadvantage. Risley, North Harringay and Belmont took maximum benefit from the bonuses, with Risley — already finishing well with three wins, including one A-final — leapfrogging from third to first place in the standings.
Special mention has to be made of our brilliant team of volunteers and assistants for their help in organising the day, making sure we could get the racing done as quickly as possible — it was a cold day to be waiting trackside. Schools will be relieved to know our our next round will be indoor roller racing on 12 January.
With thanks to Leigh Day for their support for this year’s League.