Southport CC - Bickerstaffe Road Race (Regional A 2/3/4)
In the week prior to this Sundays race I wasn't thrilled to be racing. Despite starting the week with a solid 3rd at the Tameside midweek Crit i'd been feeling under the weather ever since and to make matters worse, it had rained every day and the forecast didnt show any signs of improvement. Good news though, I had a team mate for the weekend. Jon was crashing the night before the race. His only requests were a fresh towel and some milk for his protein shake so it felt like I was getting a good deal in return for some company and pre race banter for a change.
Up early on Saturday ......... NOT Sunday and we arrived in Bickerstaffe at 8am to surprisingly pleasant weather. We squeezed into the last remaining car parking space at HQ, Signed on and then had a really good look at the course during our warm up. It's flat with some left hand turns like most courses in the area with a fast flowing section down the back straight and a slight drag round to the finishing straight. Having suffered two punctures in races in April I was relieved to find that the road surface in most places was excellent, with the exception of a few small pot holes (marked by the organiser) and lots of cow shit!
Our tactics for the race had been simple. Being based in the North West and knowing which riders and teams were strong I would be the one to follow the moves leaving Jon in the bunch to what we anticipated would most likely be a bunch sprint. For much of the race this worked perfectly. I would get myself on the right side of any dangerous moves and bridge across to anythng promising but despite my best efforts and those of other attacking riders nobody established anything more than a short lived gap of 15/20 seconds. As the race went on and following another failed break attempt I settled back into the bunch to take a breather and have a conversation with Jon.
'DEFINITELY a bunch sprint today'.
'NO WAY anything is staying away today'.......... You know where this is going!
By the time I had made my way back to the front of the bunch 4 riders had rolled off without a reaction, the bunch were not cooperating and we would eventually be sprinting for 5th and not 1st as me and Jon had so confidently predicted just moments earlier.
As the remaining laps ticked down I hadnt seen much of Jon but as we approached the final KM he nonchalantly rolls up alongside me and takes the wheel in front. This is exciting, with only one left hander to go Jon and I sit circa 6th and 7th wheel and with only 4 riders up the road 5th place is up for grabs which would be a solid result in this company. Unfortunatly the pace is not high enough and as we hit the little riser before the left hand turn I begin to be swamped on the right. It's too late for me but I scream to Jon to move right to block the path of the riders behind and take the best line into the corner. Jon does this perfectly. I have been swamped and lost several places and with only a short run into the finish line after the corner there is only one thing for it. Divebomb (sorry lads). I jump out to the left, take some wind and take a very tight line around the corner and amazingly Jon is now on my wheel and we have only lost a few places through the corner. I drive out of the corner and start to take some wind believing that I have Jon on my wheel but we have lost each other once again. I manage to get into the wheels and sprint with the first group of riders to secure 10th while Jon faids slighly before the line but digs deep to grab a top 15 for the team. Encouraging results for both of us but even better Jon is confirmed as the first 3rd Cat rider to cross the line and he's £20 better off...... Until we order our Domios Pizza later.
A really enjoyable race on what was a nice fast but safe circuit so One for the calendar again next year. Well done to all riders and many thanks to Southport CC and to all those who marshalled on the day. Thanks to Ellen for the great photos.
1 Micheal Ashurst Onimpex Bio-Racer
2 Kristian Zentek Team Chronomaster
3 Christopher Booth
4 Matt Hallam Crimson Perf.RT.
5 Lee Brown Holmfirth C.C.
6 Jake Cowen
7 Thomas Ashcroft Bott Cycle Team
8 Anthony Greenhalgh Team Chronomaster
9 Paul Wilkinson N.Chesh.Clarion
10 Ryan Ellis Thre Datawolves RT
11 Thomas Mitchell B,Head N End CC
12 David Parrington Hoppers Rollers
13 James Noonan Hoppers Rollers
14 David Price Chorlton Velo
15 Jonathon Farmer Thre Datawolves RT
Race report by Ryan Ellis
British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Criteriums (York Sport) - E/1/2/3
Only Ellis was in the criterium races at BUCS, Hayden preferring to save his matches for a big day on Sunday (turned out to be a good idea):
"I knew going into the weekend that my form wasn't that great so I went in with the intention of just having some fun. After attacking from the front out of the hairpin I got into a break of 5. That was brought back after a few laps and then the winning move went. The pace then got too high coming out of the corners and I popped with 20 minutes to go. I settled into a group of three and we rode the rest together, getting some good cornering practise."
BUCS Road Race Championships (Sheriff Hutton, York) (National B - E/1/2/3)
Ellis and Hayden took to the start line of the 2018 BUCS road race champs, representing the University of Southhampton and Leeds Beckett University respectively. The Sheriff Hutton circuit has been used for the last few renditions of the race, and never fails to provide a grueling test for the rides with the likes of Bulmer Bank to negotiate. The race would take in 7 laps for the a total of 77 miles/124 kilometres that would result in 1800m of elevation gain.
Following completion of the rider briefing, the usual scramble to be chomping at the bumper of the lead car ensued with riders trying to ensure they reached Bulmer bank in good position for the first time. Ellis initially found himself nestled in the bunch, whereas Hayden was sat last wheel. Everyone made it up and over the Bulmer the first time round, the pace not too hot due to some very strong wind. A number of small attacks began on the backside of the course but were quickly shut down. Ellis made the first decisive move off the front of the bunch on the fast finishing section, and was quickly joined by Hayden and Leeds Beckett team mate Billy Robinson. The trio quickly established a gap, with no willing chasers.
A lap later and Ellis drifted back to the bunch whilst Hayden pushed on with Billy for company, establishing a gap of 1 minute 17 seconds to the main bunch. The duo were joined by a trio of riders, including Sheffield Universities Archie Cross while Ellis disrupted any moves from the bunch. The quintet work well but turns became less strong with the realisation of more riders attempting to come across. Hayden made a move that would take himself clear of the rest of his breakaway companions, a bold move considering there were still 60kms to race. At it's greatest, Hayden held a gap of 39 seconds but some sporadic attacking from the chasing group closed the gap quite quickly with a lap and a half to go. Hayden slotted in the group of 15 riders that remained and proceeded to recover the best he could despite the attacks within the group. On the last ascent through Terrington village, with the bunch 4 abreast, Hayden attacked. With the chasers looking at each other, he established a significant gap entering the final cross-tail wind straight, and had done enough to take the solo victory ahead of the bunch.
Awaiting full results
Thank you too the University of York, the volunteers and marshalls for making it happen!
Chevin Cycles Evening Road Race League Round 1 - E/1/2/3/4
The first round of the league was contested on the nearly pan flat Bishopwood course, and would take in 6 laps for 35 miles of racing. Tuesday (01/05/2018) evening was particularly windy which meant there were many cross wind sections. The race is run in a handicap format and meaning 4 different groups, based on category/experience, start at 1 minute intervals. Groups typically proceed to chaingang until the groups ahead are caught and the race all comes together.
Unfortunately a few riders from the last group merged with the third group prior to the start, later disqualified, that meant the 4th group on the road didn't catch anyone. Further up the road, the third group, containing Hayden saw the front of the race with 3 laps to go. There was one solo rider out front that was being kept in sight by the group. On the last, following a tough tailwind section, Hayden attacked the rest of the group. He was able to bridge over the solo rider who had been out there for two and a half laps. In the finishing straight Hayden swung away from the other rider to take the win.
Thanks to Chevin Cycles for organising the series. Hayden looks to defend the yellow Jersey throughout the rest of May.
Result: Chevin Cycles Evening RR Series 1
1 Hayden Allen THRE Datawolves RT
2 Christophe Demoulin York Cycleworks
3 Cameron Blake Prologue Racing Team
4 Tom Cullen Otley CC
5 Toby Jarvis Team PB Performance
6 Tom Barras
7 Billy Harding
8 Harry Lee Selby CC
9 Thomas Davison J’s Cycle Shack
10 Lee Morley Ilkley Cycling Club