#chronomaster #iamspecialized @Specialized_UK @LLBikes @OTESportsGB @VO2sportswear
Sunday was the first race for the team down in Shropshire, for the Paramount CRT / Stan’s Cycles Spring Road Race in Leighton, nr Telford. The course is one of my favourites as it is fast, rolling, with a good size climb up to the finish line. The race today was 7 laps, totally 67 miles and the start sheet included some big hitters.
Karl and myself were there to represent the team on what was a really good day. Blue skies, dry roads and just a slight breeze. This was going to be a fast race, and any break would do well to stay away.
After the NZ, we rolled straight on to the climb and as we neared the top the first of many, many attacks went. After the finish line came a fast, technical descent with a couple of pinch points on the narrow road that always threatened an incident. At the bottom, it was left onto the pan flat bypass where a slight tail wind pushed us along at very high speeds.
Then there was a onto the rolling part of the course, with 3 ramps along the way. As one attack was caught, another went. Never did an attack go with the larger teams representing, so they were quickly brought back.
This same pattern repeated for the next few laps until lap 5 when a stronger break of 7 or 8 riders made good distance – putting around 30 seconds into the still very large peleton. Mid way through lap 6 the alarm bells started to ring, and so the stronger riders hit the front to pull them in. the charge was driven mainly by Paramount CRT and Dave Hinde Racing, each fielding their own candidate for the inevitable hill sprint to the finish. With some outstanding efforts, the break were caught on the bypass of lap 7.
As we rolled through to the final left turn onto the climb, the pace was kept high to ward off any other attacks, and with a strung out bunch, we hit the final climb. As the road narrowed, the pace was brought down to bunch up the group. Karl made an early attempt to escape, but with weary legs from the various breaks he tried to form, came to no avail.
As we neared the top and the final left-hander, the sprint started en-mass. A coming together on the right saw one rider lose the majority of his rear spokes, and the sudden shift left caused a compression and several riders came down. I just managed to dodge the flying bikes and bodies, but got caught up in the chaos. With a last effort to make up ground, I passed a few riders to take 9th.
Thankfully, it seemed no-one was hurt in the crashes, and so I rolled back down to the HQ – disappointed not to have placed higher, but equally glad that I stayed upright and came away intact – and with a few more points for the team.
The winner, Mike Jones of Paramount CRT, looked strong all day and was always going to be in the mix for the sprint. And with placings for 3rd and 6th also, it was a great day for the home team.
All in all, this was a great days racing, and I’ll finish up by saying thank you to the organiser Stuart Proctor for putting on yet another great race, to the marshalls and NEG support who did a fantastic job keeping the roads clear and the riders safe, and finally to the support at HQ for the generous and tasty spread at the end of the race.
Final results are below, and if you are interested in a sky high summary of the race, click on the Strava link below 🙂
- MIKE JONES Paramount
- DAN WATTS RAF CC
- GRAHAM SOUTH Paramount
- WILL CORDON Mammoth Lifestyle Racing Team
- GARETH McGUINESS Clwb Beicio Egni
- ELLIOT JONES Paramount
- DAN BLACKWELL Team Elite
- MATT BONEHILL Mammoth Lifestyle Racing Team
- KRISTIAN ZENTEK Team Chronometer
- JACOB BOOTH Dave Hinde Racing Team
- EDWARD ROBERTS Team Elite
- MICHAEL HARRISON Audlem Cycling Club
- PATRICK FOTHERINGHAM Halesowen A & CC
- BEN PALMER Dave Hinde Racing Team
- JAMES ELMORE Mid Shropshire Wheelers
Thanks go to Mathew White for allowing us to use his photo’s. Click here to view the full album.
Thanks also to ParamountCRT for allowing us to use their photo’s. Click here to view the full album.