Jon, Hayden and Ryan lined up for the East Lancashire spring road race on the Bashall Eaves long course. The 55 miles race would take in 5 laps of the rolling course that contained one notable climb and numerous fast flowing sections, some hampered by poor road surface. The team assembled for a roll out to the course only to realise the race briefing was 10 minutes earlier than they thought, meaning the warm up was far from ideal but had to suffice. The team discussed tactics for the day, with Hayden eager to work to gain a result for Ryan and Jon. The field of 51 riders rolled out neturalised for a mile from Edisford Primary school until the flag was brought in. Initially, the team were spread out in the pack with Ryan up the front, Jon in the middle and Hayden sitting last wheel.
From the flag drop, the Manchester based Crimson performance team drove the pace on hard on the first lap. Seeing the danger Hayden moved himself from the back to the front 10 riders on the first climb, an ascent that would see the race split in half. After being caught on the wrong side of the early split, Jon found himself in a small group of around 10 riders that formed the chase and were hoping to regain contact (by some miracle – punctures or farm traffic would have been ideal). The pace was kept high at the front by Crimson, but their three riders was quickly dropped to two. Seeing the front of the race suffering, Hayden attacked half way into the first lap going clear by himself, his sights set on the first of four primes on offer. Hayden claimed the prime and pushed on solo, forcing other teams such as Crimson and Chronomaster to chase.
Hayden was reeled in close to the end of the second lap, only to immediately jump off the front, again forcing Crimson to chase. He narrowly missed out on the second prime to a rider from the host club. However following this second lap sprint, Junior rider James Noonan decided to press on with the bunch slightly distanced. Hayden jumped on his wheel but only to get a free ride, not wanting a break to stay away for the race. Despite multiple plees, Hayden refused to pull a turn with Ryan getting a free ride in the pursuing peleton. The duo stayed out to cross the line for the third time with Hayden taking the prime, and despite a gap of 48 seconds at one point, the two riders were brought back by the bunch. Without hesitation, Hayden launched again with 3 riders joining him, although they were not willing to work as Hayden refused to pull a turn. Feeling better throughout the race and particularly good on the short steeper inclines, Jon decided to continue with the group and set a new goal of finishing first of the chase group.
Following a discussion with Ryan, the plan was for Hayden to keep the pace high on the front to bring it to a sprint. However, Hayden won the sprint for the 4th prime, a sprint with 2 others that had caused yet another split in the group. Hayden was temporarily caught in no mans land. A Crimson performance rider, second in the sprint for prime 4 pressed on with the bunch now some 50 metres behind. A couple of looks behind from Hayden, and Ryan yelled him to ride for a result. With that Hayden caught the front rider and was joined by another. The Crimson ride was keen to push on and happy to do most of the work, before he dropped his chain on the climb. Immediately after the commissaires gave the duo the time gap, Hayden attacked to lead the race by himself. He held a strong tempo to the line to claim his 4th victory of the season. Coming out of the final corner, Ryan positioned himself well with others seemingly offering to lead the group out. After a comfortable ride round in the main field for the entirety of the race, Ryan had the energy to execute the perfect sprint to win the bunch gallop. A 1st and 2nd for the THRE datawolves. For Jon, the final lap of the tough course meant only 5 riders remained. The pace was being driven hard and one final attack with around 3km to go saw Jon and one other rider go clear of the others in the group. The final 1km uphill drag proved a little too much for Jon and he finished second in the group. Overall, a good performance and a good lesson learnt for Jon.
Thank you too the East Lancs cycling club for putting on a great event.
Next weekend Hayden and Jon race the GA Bennett and GT Ellingworth road races on bank holiday Monday in grantham.
Photo credit Ellen Isherwood.
Behind Bars Circuit Series
Race report by Jon Farmer
Jon headed over to the 3rd cat only race at Birmingham Business Park on Sunday morning as a solo rider.
Using the race as training for some of his upcoming target races, Jon had spoken to his coach Tom Neale throughout the week and was heading to the race with only one plan – Attack and then attack again. This was mainly to rid Jon of early frustrations from races where he had been too conservative and not able to utilise any of the form he had built over the early part of the season.
Fuelled on Espresso(s) and a complex mix of oat flakes and milk, Jon completed his usual warm up and knew that the legs were feeling good. He attacked the race from start, creating and reacting to the majority of moves throughout the race. The attacks continued throughout but no move was given any more than 10 seconds – clearly where having several team mates to disrupt the chase is needed.
In to the final stages of the race and the inevitable 30 man gallop for the line, the bell rang and as usual the pace sored as the riders fought for position at the front of the bunch. A notable attack came from a Morvello Basso rider and the two Loughborough student riders. Jon immediately jumped across and was positioned well in to the final 400m of the circuit. However, Jon was forced to take the inner line and was unable to fully open up in the sprint. Coming away with 8th or 9th overall, Jon was happy with his attacking form though is looking forward to better results to come.
Thanks to Behind Bars Sports Events for putting on a very well organised race and thanks for the amazing support from Datawolves!
West Pennine Road Race (55 miles - Regional A - 2/3/4
Ryan and Hayden lined up for 14 laps of the short Bashall Eaves circuit near Clitheroe, East Lancs. The 60 rider field set off from Edisford Primary school, with both THRE riders places in the top 10 throughout the neutral section. In the warm up chat, Hayden and Ryan discussed trying to get one, or both of them up the road and in the move. From the flag drop Hayden went straight to the front and kept things hot, forcing other teams and riders to Chase.
Lap after lap, Hayden and Ryan were part of moves that went clear on the draggy side of the course, however most were shut down. Hayden broke away for a lap with one other around the half way point before it was shut down, only to spend a lap off the front by himself a lap later. Ryan maintained great position in the front poised to follow any promising moves. At the front of the race, Ryan avoided the first of two crashes, caused by a touch of wheels in the bunch. Fortunately Hayden was a few bike lengths off the back and managed to slow and avoid the carnage, and rejoined the back of the main group shortly after. Things were all the more quiet in the third quarter of the race with many likely saving energy after the fast start.
At the bell, Hayden attacked from 10th wheel, taking a strong, and fresh, Paceline RT rider and one other with him. The rider from Paceline RT put in an extremely strong turn on the back side of the course to all but secure the top 3. On the headwind drag, the freshest rider broke away with Hayden hesitating to get on the wheel. In the finishing straight Hayden, moved to the opposite side of the road to secure the sprint for second and the points to achieve his first category British cycling licence. Meanwhile in the bunch, Ryan had been maintaining good position on the final drag before the paced slowed and he was swamped prior to the final left hand turn. With the dash to the line short, Ryan was unable to unleash his sprint.
Thanks to West Pennine Road Club for a well organised event. Photo credit: Ellen Isherwood.
Jon, Ryan and Hayden will return to Clitheroe this weekend (20th) for the East Lancs RR on the long Bashall Eaves circuit. Best of luck to the whole team!
The Kalas cup is a 1 day, 2 stage race in it's 12 year, near the town of Somerton in Somerset. A significant distance from the teams normal racing grounds, but Hayden was back on home roads. The morning stage was a 10km prologue run on the bottom and right had side of the triangle shaped course, taking in the notable climb, snap hill. After a foggy start, the sun had come out by the time Hayden and Ellis were off at 10:23 and 10:24 respectively. Hayden may have slightly overcooked the first half of the course but was able to hold on to some power up the long drag to post a time of 12:12 to give him 3rd on the stage. Ellis rode a strong TT and came in with a great time for a light guy.
Following 2 hours of feet up, and some important re-hydration (24 degrees on the day) it was time for the road race. The riders in 1st and 2nd were supported by no less than 8 riders each and some uncertainty surrounded race from Hayden and Ellis' perspective. A long neutralised section gave a chance for riders to settle into the race, however the typical early attacks were quick to ensue after the commissaire had taken in the flag. Hayden made an some early attempts to breakaway, but being only 23 seconds down in the general classification, the moves were quickly shut down. Time bonuses were offered on laps 2, 4 and 6 of the 8 lap 120km race. The first of which were taken by Tristan Robbins (4th after the TT) from a bunch sprint. A small breakaway gobbled up the time bonuses on lap 4. Hayden went about gaining the lap 6 bonus seconds the hard way and went solo from laps 4 to 6 before coming back to the bunch on lap 7. A momentary lapse in judgement meant the eventual winner (Lee Frost, Tri UK) and his breakaway companions rode away from Hayden and the rest of the bunch, shortly after he had been caught. A further 3 riders chipped of the front of the bunch on the last lap to make 6 riders up the road. Hayden tried a last ditch attack on the final ascent of snap hill but couldn't make it stick.
Rolling in with the bunch meant Hayden had consolidated 4th overall. He wasn't happy with his tactical judgement during the race but was pleased to come away with some prize money, cheese and further BC points. A big thanks to Team Tor 2000/ Kalas for putting on a very well organised event, and the volunteers and marshals for it's smoothing running.
Photo Credit: Bill Temple, Pete Woodgate