By Kris Zentek.
Today is was round 74 of the Pimbo world championships and tensions here running high as we faced the tight corners, sharp ascents and tricky descents of Pimbo Trading Estate once more.
Karl Owen and myself made the pilgrimage to Skelmersdale under a glow of early morning sun, always a good sign on race day. On arrival at HQ I was surprised to see so many support staff in the hall. There was a buzz about the place, with tea/coffee and cakes already on offer. It was a welcome sight which indicated that HMCC were very well supported today.
Once signed on, I drove over to the course and set up the turbo to warm up. The race would be 22 laps of the 2 mile circuit kicking off at 9:30am. There were two primes included, which would ensure the race didn’t lull.
As is customary at Pimbo, an attack went from the gun. it lasted 1/2 lap before being pulled back, as a counter went up the road. This pretty-much continued for the next 7 or 8 laps until after the first prime (I think) where a bit of a hiatus ensued. Karl had been racing aggressively, and had been involved in a number of attacks. Now was a good time to rest a bit, and we both sunk into the group.
After a lap or two, some more failed attacks went, before one group managed to get a promising 15-20 second gap. A few more clipped off the bunch to join, and before long it was 10 strong. Karl was back on the front helping with the effort to keep them in check, but the group were pretty strong and this looked like a potential winning breakaway.
I had now moved up, as we approached the last prime I saw Tony Workman start to press hard down the inside. I already had a bit of momentum moving up, and so I jumped on his wheel. As we got round the corner I saw we were not being followed, and I took a turn to press a bit harder. On the back straight, into the headwind, I dug deep to complete the bridge to the group, and as we hit Monster-Munch corner we joined the break. 12 riders. Surely it was worth it.
But only about half the group were working at this point, with the rest of the bunch never more than 20 seconds behind. Rather than risk getting caught and end up with nothing, I helped out with the effort to stay away. It was very frustrating after making the bridge to know there was so much baggage, but what else could I do? I’m no sprinter…
We got to the last lap, still with such a small gap, still with half the group working, but we survived to the last corner. Inevitably, the baggage found a miraculous bit of form and all sprinted for the line taking taking the podium. The rest of us rolled in just behind, myself taking 10th place.
So it wasn’t a complete waste of time. It was a good bit of training to get my racing legs back after a full month off. I stayed upright, and walked away with just a few more points.
- Ryan Ashcroft VCUK PH-MAS Junior Cycling Team
- Chris Fallon Liverpool Mercury (Dolan) CC
- Jordan Doig Pedal Power RT
- David Gleave East Kilbride Road Club
- Jake Cowen The Nab Racing
- Ben Trotter Macclesfield Wheelers
- Adam Darbyshire The Nab Racing
- Paul Wilkinson North Cheshire Clarion
- Andrew Disley Harry Middleton Cycling Club
- Kristian Zentek Team Chronomaster
- Matthew Nowell Kuota – Spinergy – GSG
- Tony Workman Lancashire RC
- Anthony Greenhalgh
- Andrew Martin Champion System VCUK Racing Team
- Daniel Minor Lyme RC
So the final stage is now over, and there is no more Pimbo until 2016.
I’ve included some photo’s from a number of photographers at the race today who did a fantastic job capturing the race, and very kindly allow their work to be used by others. So thanks to Ellen Isherwood, Stephen Salmon, Dan Monaghan, Stephen Stuart and Paul Best. Their photo’s are credited above. See the links below for the full albums.
Finally, I’d like to thank the organisers and supporters from HMCC for putting on a great race, keeping us safe, and feeding us so well at the end. Cheers!