Congratulations to Sam Smith, Year 7, who took part in the Welsh Track Cycling championships at the weekend at Newport Velodrome.
Sam currently competes in the ‘under 14’ category and won a silver medal in the sprint competition, and bronze medals in the keirin and time-trial competitions over two days of competition.
The sprint event sees riders compete one-against-one other over three laps of the track, after first setting a qualifying time over 200m. Sam’s 200m time was 13.5 seconds, which qualified him second fastest and gave him a good seeding for the sprint heats. He then won all of his heats, quarter- and semi- finals, before just losing out in the final to an older (yr8) rider.
Sam’s second event was the keirin, in which riders are ‘paced’ up to high speed behind a motorcycle (usually referred to as a ‘derny’). The derny paces the riders for three laps and once the required speed has been reached, the derny pulls off the track and the riders race the last three laps without it. Sam rode very strongly here to get a third place.
The final event was the 500m time trial, where the aim is to set the fastest time over two laps of the track. Again, Sam’s time was good enough to win him the bronze medal here.
This was Sam’s first national track championship event making his achievements all the more remarkable.