In a field that was deprived of a number of potential top racers due to clashes in the national calendar, Ashley Breese and Amanda Aldridge were the class acts of the last of the main races for the summer 2013 racing season in the UK. Both racers won both runs in their respective races to win in convincing fashion. Breese, who had spent the summer training down in Australia with Stephen Edwards, … was just under half a second ahead of another fast improving racer, Barney Lewis with Euan Kick taking third. Aldridge took the spoils in the Women’s race ahead of Beth Widdup and Deborah Henery taking third overall.
Taking place a week after the British Outdoors, this race further emphasised the fact that the indoor and outdoor race scenes are almost two entirely different entities: Fewer and fewer are taking part in races on both surfaces at a national level. The racers that are looking to go for longer in the racing scene are gravitating to the indoor scene. While there are moves afoot to try and bring some excitement back to the summer racing scene for 2014, there is a lot that needs to be done to encourage some of the top racers to travel to go to the national championship races.
Breese has always had the talent. The Telford racer has just needed the rub of the ice at times to get the results that his ability deserved. Spending time outside of the system has helped him and while there may not have been better racers than him in the field. you can only beat those in the race and the records will show that he won the British Indoor Title in 2013. Seventeen year old Breese knows that he is in for the long haul and is getting there. With four of the top fifteen seeds coming to grief on the first run as they came out after the double verticale combination and the delay gate that followed it, Breese used his head and experience to gain speed through this section. A lead of almost a quarter of a second over Lewis was extended on the second run but roughly the same amount.
Lewis spent the summer fitness training and working hard to raise the money to find next winter while the rest of the Ambition team were training in South America. The fitness work that Lewis has put in has been beneficial and he is fast getting stronger and with this is understanding how and why his skis react the way they do. It is no wonder that his coach, Marc Telling, rates him highly and the group that he trains with are all making the jump up together. With Kieran Norris crashing out on the first run and Paul Henderson attending his brothers wedding, Lewis was the standard bearer for the Ambition racers.
BSA trained Euan Kick took third place overall after Robert Trebilcock lost time on the second run. Four hundredths separated the two of them after the first run but Kick raised his game to post the second fastest time on the second run to jump into third, swapping places with Trebilcock. Rory Farren jumped up from seventh after the first run to take fifth. Tom Grant and Olly Farr took sixth and seventh ahead of Joshua Penning-Lambert in eighth, up from a start number of 27! Cameron Thomas and Will Wheeler rounded out the top ten.
While Amanda Aldridge made a welcome return to summer racing, her win may not have been quite so convincing had Francesca Lee not come to grief on the second run. Lee, the only racer to give the race the respect it deserved in racing in a full race suit and not in tracksuit bottoms and hoody, sadly made a mistake on the second run and this saw her have to hike up and she dropped down to 29th overall. Aldridge said after the race that she had enjoyed the racing and would be giving it some serious consideration to get back into the sport! While many of the younger racers came to the event dreaming of walking off with the title of British Champion, Aldridge gave them a lesson in desire and determination and talent!
Beth Widdup did take the runners-up spoils and with her education now out of the way in looking forward to a season of full time racing with Ambition. Widdup is determined and has talent and when the two combine there is a lot that she will achieve this winter. This race is a stepping stone for her and she explained that she is looking forward to getting out to the snow to start the winter. Widdup was a quarter of a second behind Aldridge after the first run down in fourth yet produced a much improved second run down the course that had caused some of the top men difficulty, to post a time a mere hundredth behind Aldridge and jump up to second.
Debbie Henery produced a great performance to take third despite a poor second run that saw her lose time to the others on the podium. Third place was the result of her performance just ahead of Alice Macaulay with Sophie Ogden in fifth. Nia Jenkins, Emma Peters, Georgia Hallett, Megan Jenkins and Georgie Beer rounded out the top ten.
There were age group wins in the Ladies race for Olivia Ward (Under 14); Megan Jenkins (U16); Debbie Henery (U18); Beth Widdup (Under 21); Amanda Aldridge (Seniors) and Aleksandra Bojarska in Masters. In the Men’s race, there were age group wins for Oliver Weeks (U14); Rory Farren (U16); Ashley Breese (U18); Barney Lewis (U21) and Alex Molliex in the Masters – no senior men finished!
Pictures will be available soon on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com