The curtain came down on the series tonight, and what a fantastic series it has been, well done to all the organisers, very safe and very well run as usual.
I suppose first of all, I think I need to give the TLI National Closed Circuit race last Sunday a bit of a mention, not too much mind!! WVCC were represented by 8 members, in 6 races
Kevan Underhill – D
Gerard Lacey – E
Andy Poole – C
Jim Duffy – B
Matt Ellis – A
Lee Suthard – A
Ben Ditchburn – S
Patrick Lucas – J
I think from what I have heard from most of the members taking part, it can be summed up with “finished in the bunch”. I am sure all the above will agree, the course (which was a shortened version of the one we use at 1.6m) is hard to make a break stick. Great to see Ben and Patrick having a go too
Anyway enough said about that!!
Back to the Cheshire Series, with Kev Underhill and Matt Ellis Marshalling, and John Keen baking again , WVCC were represented by Mark Adshead and Myself in Race 2 and Ged Lacey in race 3.
Once again, there were a bunch of strong riders in the race, plenty to keep an eye on . There was an early attack in race 2 from the gun, not sure who it was, but he was left to go, this was closely followed by a Stone Wheelers rider, who was also left. Both of them riding individually so it was only a matter of time before they were brought back. Shortly the turn for the Col de Smithy Lane, Andy Bennett made a move, I quickly latched on, but by the time we turned into Smithy Lane, there was a long line behind, around the right hand bend, he flicked his elbow, i just shook my head, I wasn’t falling for that one again!
Onto the A34, this was the first time in my 3 races that the break hadn’t got away by this point. Mike Jones (WRC) moved on the front with Paul Thursfield second wheel, Just over the little rise before Marton, Thirsty attacked, I bridged over to him and the two of us worked together to get a gap, over the finish line and by the time we turned left onto Salter Lane we had about 20 seconds. After about 3 miles, we were joined by Andy Bennett who flew across to us on his own, he sat on for a few turns while he got his breath back then started to work with, however, 3 miles further on, on Trap Street, 3 more strong riders joined us, Si Bridge, Andy Turner and Steve Stoneman. The break was 6 man strong by now.
We worked quite well together for the next lap, generally with everyone taking turns, only odd occasions did anyone sand bag!.
We turned it to Smithy Lane for the last time, I was well positioned to keep an eye on everyone, Bridgey attacked , Stoneman saw it coming and was hot on his wheels, i was third wheel and dug deep to close the gap, i flicked my elbow, bennett and turner came though, i was just able to keep on the back of Turner as we made the turn onto the A34, but Thirsty was gone. They all sat up, so I went over the top. We then spent the next couple of miles or so attacking each other and counter attacking.
By the time we were in the last mile, the 5 of us were all back together, I knew I had the weakest sprint, but also knew at this stage, if I went again there was no way the would let me go, so I sat patiently waiting at the back to be dropped on the sprint. Sure enough, the sprint opened up, and away they went with Andy Turner taking the win with a super strong sprint, not sure if Stoneman or Bridgey got 2nd, i noticed that Bennett had sat up at this point, so I cheekily dug a bit deeper and pipped him on the line for 4th.
Unfortunately, the 3 in front of me were also Cat B, so I finished 4th in Category too.
Mark finished in the bunch about 2 mins behind, as did Ged, although he did win the bunch sprint.
This week I learned a bit more about the cycle craft and proved I can stick with the big boys, next I just need to learn to sprint . Overall, I am really pleased with quite a productive series that by far exceeded all my original expectations, finishing with a 1st, 3rd and 4th in category. Next up, Macc Wheelers next Tuesday on the same course
Full results to follow when published.