By Si Deplitch
26th June ’16, Upton (near Pontefract), Yorkshire
8 laps / 50miles
Having done well in the E/1/2 race on the same circuit last season, I fancied this race, when it popped up on the BC calendar. A rolling course with no major climbs and the chance of a bunch sprint after some thinning of the herd suits me.
John B, Nick, Ste and I represented the team. Nick and I travelled across the border into the white rose county with Ste (in his time machine). Race HQ was the local gym, tempted by the weights, instead I proceeded to sign-on.
Following the neutralised roll-out the pace quickened and 2 riders got a small gap on the main group. Knowing the course became an advantage on the 1st lap, as the leading group and a small bunch from the peloton took a wrong turn at a roundabout, the race was neutralised to allow the diverted riders to get back on.
On lap 3, a few riders made a break and quickly gained a decent gap on the peloton. I thought ‘that won’t last’, especially in the headwind on the Eastern section of the loop, but to their credit I was wrong. The grupetto didn’t chase with any organisation, however all subsequent breaks got chased down, including a couple of attacks from Ste on the rise after the start / finish line.
With 2.5 laps to go, on the fast dual carriageway section, I moved to the front of the bunch and started to cover any moves, I stayed with a small group of riders who started to show some commitment and we drifted away from the main bunch. We realised we had a reasonable gap and gained 2 more riders from the peloton, to make a group of 6. The majority of us worked well to stay away. We took the bell with 1 lap to go, continuing to mark any progress from the main bunch behind. Meanwhile the 3 leading riders were out of sight and beyond contention.
I prepared myself for a gallop with our group of 6 chasers, as we started to eye each other up on the run in to the finish. The pace quickened and I jumped on any passing wheels resulting in a photo finish between the front 3 of our group. I timed my sprint well and ‘got it’ on the line, achieving 4th place overall.
Well done to the 3 that stayed away:
1st RALF HODGSON CHAMPION SYSTEM VCUK
2nd ROBERT PAPE VC YORK
3rd TIMOTHY JONES SPOKES RT