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.