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Race Reports

Castle Combe, April 19/04/2015 - Chris Parker (4th cat.)

The popular Susies Circuits, promoted by Cycling South Race Events took place on Sunday 19th April at the excellent Castle Combe track.  This is a great place to race because like Goodwood and Thruxton it’s wide, has a great surface and sweeping bends which promotes fast safe (ish) racing.

I raced here last season and finished 3rd in the autumn edition, so figured it would be a great place to start 2015 and try to bag some points early.

It was dry, breezy and cool with a field of 56 riders entered for this short (30mins +1 Lap) Crit.  As expected, with such a short race the pace was quick and although plenty tried nothing much stuck in the way of breaks.  I had a few turns at the front early on to see if we could stretch out the pack.  Ultimately this had ‘sprint’ finish written all over it….At the bell, which most people commented was a lap early! I was in the back third of the pack, so had to take a few risks and commit to get myself into position to contest the sprint.
There was a tailwind for the last km so the plan was to be in the top 15 to 20 off the last bend with 700m to go. 
Bristol RC and Ride 24/7 had some organisation going with lead out trains (Yes, even in 4th cat racing this happens) in the front 5 spots. I was busy trying to make sure I avoided the slower riders as they dropped off into the pack, lead out done, holding their lines and praying no one crashed into the back of them as the pace went mental.

I probably started the sprint a few places too far back so crossed the line 4 bike lengths or so from the front three.  I looked right and there were another 2 riders alongside and just ahead.  So, a satisfying 6th place, 4 points to start 2015 and only 8 more points to get the elusive Cat 3 license.  

Stats for the statto’s: Average pace 40.9kph, last 700m to the finish was max of 57.2kph and average of 53kph @ 426 Watts…

Imperial Winter Series 2014/2015, Race 3 Saturday 20th December 2014, Hillingdon Cycle Circuit

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Another challenging day at Hillingdon with another first in our time here – vandals super-glued all the locks on the judges hut preventing us from accessing photo finish equipment, flags, lap boards etc. We quickly sourced spares from the clubhouse and secured the services of a locksmith part way through the E123 race!

Slightly windier conditions caused the 4th cat race to be a little more nervous than normal and this led to some crashes in the last laps – the last one at the top of the drag on the opposite side of the circuit led to riders finishing in smaller groups. Charlie Taylor (Hampshire RC) took the win, from Chris Burns (Welwyn Wheelers) and Dan Bone (I-Team).

The Imperial Cycles 4th cat random prize will be announced in weeks’ time.

The first of the Women’s 123 race saw an extremely encouraging field of 15 start, perhaps with differing levels of fitness at this time of year led to few attacks, the exception being Les Filles new rider Helen McKay. It ended with a strong sprint win by Detta Guerrini (London Dynamo) from Rose Osborne (Team WMT) and Clem Copie of newly formed Pearl Izumi Sports Tours.

The Men’s E123 has seen some consistent finishes so far from Graham Crow (Handsling RT) and Will Ranoe (VCGH) so this probably changed the complexion of this round with most attacks soon coming back. Twickenham CC were clearly working for Alex Tinsley and three quarters of the way through he made a strong solo effort to draw clear by 20 seconds. A group of four chased including Crow, Ranoe and Henry Furniss (WyndyMilla). They looked likely to join up but as Tinsley persisted they imploded with only Crow and Ranoe holding on at the end. Tom Hargreaves (London Dynamo) produced another strong sprint to win the bunch finish from Andrew Gough (JMJ Cycles) and Handsling RT’s evergreen Peter Cole.

4th Cat winner Charlie Taylor (North Hampshire Road Club) and winner of the 3rd cat race Will Ranoe (VCGH) get their choice of a Ritchey handlebar/stem combo or a set of Vittoria Rubino winter training tyres courtesy of Aprire Bicycles.

Imperial Winter Series 2014/2015, Race 2 Saturday 13th December 2014, Hillingdon Cycle Circuit

Women 3rd/4th’s

A field of 21 riders is testament to the continued growth in interest in the women’s race and more than justifies its inclusion in the series, especially as a few were first time racers. The pace was more than respectable too, only being passed once by the 4th cats. Catriona Ross (West Drayton MBC) stretched the group out properly on one occasion but Emma Flattery (Kingston Wheelers) stayed on the ball and won the sprint – just – from Alice Lethbridge (GB Cycles), followed by Heather Rankin (Dulwich Paragon) in third.

4th Cat Men
Alex Elferink (Serpentine) made a hasty start but was quickly reined in by Twickenham CC riders Andy Hancock and Grant Woodthorpe, who seemed to have a plan! However, Lloyd Patman of London Dynamo won the sprint for the second week running and now plans to retire rather than taking on the e123’s! Dane Bone (I-team) was second with Patman’s team mate James Riall third, last week’s second placed man Craig Adams fourth, Woodthorpe eventually fifth and Joe Skelton’s brother Ben sixth!

Keith Gale (Twickenham CC) wins the Imperial Cycles random prize (25th place) and can look forward to his bike having spa-like treatment for Christmas!

E123 Men
The funny thing about racing is that it’s often not so much amusing as plain barmy! Saturday’s race felt similar to the previous week – similar bright sunny but cold conditions – and no obvious stand out, straight from the crate winner. This seems to be the only logical reason for the ending – yes, there were a few breaks Steve Golla (High Wycombe RT), previous winner Graham Crow (Twickenham CC) – but these were soon snuffed out. Jerzy Kuzminski (London Bicycle Workshop) snuck away with Jonnie Blackman (Panagua CC) and it was as they were caught that one of last week’s breakaway riders Will Ranoe (VCGH) powered off and created a gap; this was clearly a popular move as he was cheered from the sidelines. Tom Sefton (RP Racing Team) got tantalisingly close to Ranoe in the last kilometre but couldn’t quite get there; the palpable excitement of this super win was then proceeded by total chaos for the last 50 metres – we rarely mention crashes in these reports: mainly to protect the innocent, but in this case the ensuing deluge of photo’s, video footage and social media comment make it unavoidable. Riders were everywhere, on the ground, off the ground, going through the photo finish backwards and several preferring the less obvious targets of the Scott easi-up, first aider Barry Hollis and coach Nigel Job! When the dust settled everyone pretty much walked away - kit and bikes were damaged – but that’s racing.

4th Cat winner Lloyd Patman (London Dynamo) and winner of the 3rd cat race Will Ranoe (VCGH) get their choice of a Ritchey handlebar/stem combo or a set of Vittoria Rubino winter training tyres courtesy of Aprire Bicycles.

Imperial Winter Series 2014/2015, Race 1 Saturday 6th December 2014, Hillingdon Cycle Circuit

What spectacular weather for the first round of this year’s series, clear bright sunshine and cold conditions for both races.

The 4th cat race started very aggressively with attacking from the start, with Sam Henning of Hillingdon Slipstreamers, (later disqualified from 3rd place on a technicality), Chris De Belder (Berkshire Tri Squad) and Shane Townsend (Westerley CC) pushing hard at the front. After many more flurries and a general regrouping, five pushed away off the front, namely William Linton (Brixton CC), Lloyd Patman and Toby Trotman of London Dynamo and Craig Adams (Kingston Wheelers) and Henning. They established a healthy lead and although Twickenham CC riders packed the front headed by Grant Woodthorpe the gap did not close before the finish of their fifty minutes with Patman winning from Adams and ultimately Linton.

Massimo Saetta (Kingston Wheelers) wins the Imperial Cycles random prize (19th) and can look forward to his bike having spa-like treatment for Christmas!

The E123 race started at great pace with many riders clearly carrying their Summer form, in particular Graham Crow now riding for new team Handsling RT, aided by Tom Smith, Simon Whiten and Neil Macleod and last year’s series winner Vince Halpern. Twickenham CC riders were also active – Alex Tinsley and James Bradley especially, although their team tactics were sometimes unclear. Also riding strongly was North Road CC’s Paul McGrath transferring his fitness over from cyclocross. After a number of attacks four riders moved away – Crow and McGrath joined by Neil Wass (TMG Horizon) and Will Ranoe (VCGH) and they built of a lead of 40 seconds. Sprinting ability was unclear until the final corner but Crow was undoubtedly determined and took the win by a few bike lengths from McGrath, Wass was third, Ranoe fourth.


Imperial Winter Series 2013/2014, Race 11 Saturday 8th February 2014, Hillingdon

A gale force wind provided the final day’s conditions but even that was a welcome break from the torrential rain in the previous few days!

The final Ladies Go Ride race run at the same as the 4ths and it was a cagey affair with the overall still undecided: this coupled with the wind made it even more challenging as the group was only 10 in number. A bunch was therefore not unexpected and resulted in a win for Hannah Cannell (VC Londres) from team mate Christine Robson with Christine Pout (Verulam CC) in third place.

The overall results for the Go Ride Race for Ladies resulted in a win for the ever consistent Nasima Siddiqui (Wyndy Milla) from Christine Pout with Sally Stubbs (Imperial Racing Team) in third place after working so hard in all the races and missing out in the finishes.

The 4th cat race was a high voltage one with many attacks from the start and some good efforts considering the wind and it was perhaps the best of the series. The Twickenham C.C. riders were very dominant from the start with Richard Anderson and Daren Austin riding from the front but this didn’t stop Matthew Thorne (Paul Milnes Cycles) powering away solo and remaining there for the win – a classy ride. Behind him 4 riders broke clear – Huw Dymond (Reading CC), Nick Stagg (Hounslow), Ben Nichol (Amersham CC) and Rupert Baker (London Dynamo) they rode strongly to stay away from the peloton only to be caught in the final laps by Will Ranoe (VC Godalming Haslemere) and Daniel Marett.

The E123 race ran with the top overall position decided before the start, however, this was not apparent from the way the race started with the field stretched out over 150m. Oliver Moors (Speg Project 51) started the action with James Wilson (VC St Raphael) and Ed Clemens (Spirit Race Team) helping out at the front and this formed the pattern for the race. Also very active was Tim Allen (Arrow Cycles) and Clive Nicholls (Zappi’s CC) keeping the speed very high. The key move of the race occurred soon after this with four riders getting clear - consistent Josh Jones (Cambridge Uni CC), evergreen Phil Holloway (Southend Wheelers), Clemens, Wilson and Gavin Shuttleworth (Speg Project 51). The 5 worked well together all pulling hard and increasing their lead, so much so that Holloway was dropped. However, Nicholls who missed the original move saw the danger and went off on a lone chase and after 4 km latched on to the break, the effort was to tell later. With 3 km to go Clemens left the group and finished alone with Wilson just holding off Jones for second with Nicholls fourth, followed in by Shuttleworth and another Spirit Race Team Chris Dredge in the void between the break and the main group. With the overall leader Vince Halpern (Handsling Racing) making sure of his position by finishing 7th, leading in Dan Gardner (Speg Project 51) and Jerzy Kuzminski (High Wycombe CC).

Within the race the 3rd Cat. winner was Robert Seeley (Brixton CC) with two Twickenham riders performing consistently in the elite group with James Bradley and Graeme York taking second and third.

See you back on 6th December.