Craig Armitage Trophy RR - 15th July
Report by Jon Farmer and Ryan Ellis
Sunday morning saw Jon and Ryan head to the Craig Armitage road race in Selby. Craig had unfortunately lost his life during a collision with a motorist in 2014 and the race was being hosted by his family and friends. The briefing by race organiser, Mike Salkeld, highlighted just how important this event was to everybody involved and I know, Ryan and I both felt a responsibility to do the race proud.
After a catch up and warmup with Phil and Tom from High Peaks Cycles RT, the race was underway. 55 miles in the baking sun on what is quite an enjoyable circuit. During the first lap Ryan had managed to place himself in to a strong breakaway of five riders. This left Jon to sit back and enjoy the relatively uneventful first half of the race. After seven of the 10 laps, the break was finally brought back and the juicy end of the race had begun. The two had a short catch up and as usual Ryan was shepherding Jon through the bunch to a safe position.
A few moves had been established but none were going to stick with the end in sight and some relatively fresh looking riders anticipating a bunch kick. Jon felt a lull in the bunch speed just before the small kick that led the riders in to the wooded lanes and decided to make a short effort to put himself in the front ten wheels. Ryan was positioned nicely just behind him at this point.
The final few Km’s had the usual twitchy feeling with riders constantly forming new trains to move up with. In fifth wheel with such a short distance left to race I knew I had done everything I needed to pick up my best ever result in a regional A road race. Coming out of the final corner everybody the long sprint to the line had begun. I moved up to third wheel when I heard the dreaded sound of bikes coming together. A huge crash behind completely through me off contesting the final 20 metres of the sprint. I crossed the line in third place and headed back to the news that Ryan had been involved in the crash. By the time I caught up with him, he was walking around looking slightly confused and tensing his legs... I wasn’t convinced there was anything different about him. Unfortunately, I then saw the snapped head tube and blood all over him. This was a terrible outcome for my team mate who had done so much work to give me a comfortable ride in the bunch. Wishing Ryan a very speedy recovery!
We would like to say a huge thank you to everybody involved in the organisation of the event and the after care provided by the same individuals.
EMRRL Six Hills - 30/06/18:
Jon and Ellis lined up for the Leisure Lakes Bikes round of the EMRRL. The course only featured two small climbs, one up to the finish line and one 2km out. Ellis got in a couple early moves to test the legs and the bunch but the big teams weren't letting anything stick. Then on the 4th lap Ellis attacked up the first climb to try and split the group but only managed to bring two others with him, the main group then brought them back just after the finish.
It looked like the race would be decided in a sprint up the final climb and with Jon having sat in the bunch saving energy things things were looking good for the team. But then on a seemingly innocuous part of the course a group of 5 went away containing people from three of the four biggest teams. One other rider bridged solo over an entire lap but other than that everything was chased down. Ellis brought Jon to the front for the final lap but on the first climb Jon lost his position a little and Ellis sprinted for 13th on empty legs.
Photo credit: Duncan Slator @DSCyclingPhotos
Harrogate Nova RR - 01/07/18
Ellis then carried on from Leicester to Leeds to join Ryan and Hayden in the Harrogate Nova road race on what turned out to be a very grippy course where the power was always on. Having returned from Holiday Hayden came down with a stomach bug and didn't eat for four days, coupled with not riding for two weeks he was lucky to feel good enough to start.
Ryan got in the break from the gun as Ellis was opening up the legs from the day before and Hayden was trying to remember how to ride a bike. That first break stayed away for just over a lap but after it was brought back nothing was let go for the next hour. Hayden pulled out at this point not wanting to risk further illness.
Out of the final major corner the race was strung out and over the top of the finishing climb a group of five forged ahead into a cross-headwind. Knowing this was the move to be in Ellis attacked with another rider to attempt to bride the gap. At the bottom of the fast descent into pot bank and within metres of the back of the breakaway Ellis dropped his chain and in the 40 seconds spent stationary the peloton also teared past. After a solo chase down Penny Pot lane the gap went out and Ellis abandoned and met Hayden to cheer on Ryan at the finish. Starting out of position in the main group Ryan came in for a top-20 behind the breakaway.
Not the results the team was hoping for but plenty of positives to take away from a solid weekend of racing.