Race Report By Paul Beech
Bole Hill circuit is an 8 mile circuit with two big climbs, fast descents and technical corners.
An early start for myself and John Myburgh; we set off at 7.00am from Bolton and it looked like it was going to be a wet one. A couple of unplanned turns and we arrived at the HQ in Dove Hills and as expected it was cold, wet and very windy.
A nice treat of Danish pastries and coffee was on offer during sign-on just to warm us up before heading out to face the weather. We had a quick spin to check the bikes and the legs before briefing for 9.40 back at HQ.
At 10.00am we lined up outside HQ shivering and not talking much with everyone being so cold. We had a neutralised rollout to the start a couple of miles away, once on the circuit the lead car accelerated and we were off. I positioned myself near the front as I expected it to go from the gun, sure enough the attacks started up the first climb and select groups were forming. I went with the front group but fell back after over cooking it trying to go with a few riders off the front.
After the first lap I found myself in a group of three riders. The three of us were working hard to chase down a second group that split from the front group. We could just see them on the road ahead giving us motivation to dig deep to catch them. By lap 2 riders from the front group were brought back by the second group leaving one group ahead containing 15 riders, we were now group two with about 7 riders. Unfortunately only a few were participating in the chase.
As we came passed the start/finish I had two riders in front of me on the climb. A touch of wheels and the rider in front of me went down, hard! I went straight over the top of him but luckily we weren’t going fast at the time and I was was unharmed. After jumping up and untangling the bikes I set off in pursuit of my group. Luckily I caught them as they went over the creast of the hill, meaning I was not going to be on my own on the back section where we had to fight a very strong cross wind.
Soon though the group stopped working and on the next climb I found myself with one other rider at the top so we agreed to work to chase down the 1st group and off we went. As we came past for the third lap he pulled in and I was left on my own to chase the front group with a gap of 4 minutes. The leading group ahead was now down to just thirteen riders.
Meanwhile John was fighting his own battle. Being a rather large rider he was unable to go with the leading groups. Struggling up the hills he had to make up time on any flat/downhill or cross-wind section. This resulted in him riding most of the race on his own, his only company being Rebecca Rimmington (IKON – Mazda), the only female rider in the race. Needless to say there was not a lot of time for talking, as John put it, he was stamping on his lungs for most of the way.
On their fourth lap they caught David Stammers (Bury Clarion Cycling Club) and with the extra fire power put down the hammer. Unfortunately the trio fell too far behind the leading group and as they crossed the finish line they were pulled from the race.
After being out on my own for over a lap and a half two riders caught me and we began to work together for the remainder of the race. As we approached the finish line for the last (bell) lap we had a shout to sprint for the line, so uncharacteristically I set off sprinting (it was uphill though) and crossed the line in front to take 14th place. We had been pulled in with one lap to go as the gap had gone out to 5 mins on the lead group.
At the finish, riders came across the line in ones and twos after splitting up on the final lap with Jack Gilbert from Warrington Road Club taking the honours.
A great race, and a big thank you to Racing Chances Foundation and all the support team.
The top ten
- Jack Gilbert – Warrington Road Club
- Dave Powell – Horwich CC
- Clem Berrill – Cycling Club Hackney
- Darryl Wall – Out Of The Saddle
- Chris Dyke – Manchester Bicycle Club
- Declan Hudson – Liverpool Century RC
- William Adams – University Of Manchester CC
- Peter Holdsworth – HD Revolutions (HDR)
- James Henderson – Southport CC
- William Kershaw – Macclesfield Wheelers