Well races don’t come much wetter. Unlike those soft golfers in South Wales, our cyclists weren’t prepared to throw in the towel (although a towel might have come in quite handy) – and 40 brave souls battled through flooded roads and torrential downpours today, to compete in the BC regional “B” series Weaver Valley Autumn Road Race.
The heavy rain led to the race being re-routed after two laps, to avoid a badly flooded stretch of road at the base of Acton Cliff. At this point the race was neutralised by the chief commissaire, when he realised that the flood waters were too deep for the officials’ cars, let alone the cyclists – and having brought the riders to a halt, the race was then re-started, using smaller laps, on an adapted loop, along the A49 and through Weaverham village.
After the re-start, a group of 11 riders soon established a significant gap from the main bunch and stayed away for the rest of the race, which was eventually decided on the uphill A49 section of the last lap, when four riders rode away from the bunch. The final winner, Steve Stoneman from FP Mailing, sprinted away on the final straight, winning by a clear margin from second rider Peter Ware from St. Helens CRC. Chris Diggle (Kuota Spinergy GSG) and Anthony Allan (Macclesfield Wheelers) came in 3rd and 4th, with our very own Dave McKay showing off his fast twitch muscles by winning the bunch sprint for 5th place.
WVCC’s Andy Newby put on a particularly brave performance: he was caught out by the
re-start and, finding himself stuck in the second group, with the lead group racing away, decided to attempt to bridge the 200 metres gap – which he did successfully, resulting in an excellent 9th place and some much sought-after BC points. Kevan did well too, riding strongly in with the second group until they were pulled out by the race officials on the final lap – whilst Nick Butterworth said that he just couldn’t get warm, and sensibly headed for an early bath! It was good to see Garry Date, ex Weaver Valley, also in the race.
Hats off to all those of you who braved the wet and cold to help out – WVCC is a fantastic club, in terms of the support its members demonstrate for events like this – so many people were involved in so many different ways – drivers, officials, signing on, doing refreshments, marshalling, first aid etc etc – many thanks to you all for making an event like this possible.