Manchester Wheelers 2 day, Day 1 Stages 1 (Prologue) and 2; 28 August 2016

By Adam Baines

As the twilight races of the 2016 season arrive John Myburgh, John Bamford, Ste Feeney and myself were really looking forward to one last 2 day event to be hosted by our neighbours Manchester Wheelers. Stage 1 being a 1.1km individual time trial and Stage 2 a 45 min Crit, today was going to be all about power men and positioning.

The TT was one lap around the Tameside circuit, after we’d done a few laps reconnaissance it became clear that stage 1 was going to be won on balls alone. At 1.1km It’s too short an effort for power to make much difference. But a tight cambered right hand hairpin turn was going to be where the stage was won or lost. If you can take your brain out and any thoughts of self-preservation you’d probably be in the top 10.

Adam Baines - MCR 2 Day TTI was up first, set off strong reached ‘the corner’ and my survival instinct just kicked in, found myself dabbing the brakes. Having lost most of my speed it was then a sprint to the finish. All in all, it was too short an effort for it to hurt so it was time to just roll back cool down and wait for the afternoon race. Time 1:17:445.

Next up was Ste. Ste’s experience and guile told him that the overall win will not be affected by this Prologue and saving your legs for the rest of the weekend was probably (and turns out was) the right way to go. Ste cruised round in a within touching time of 1:20:544.

Following on from Ste’s lead was BamBam who employed exactly the same tactics, he rolled in after 1:21:713.

Next up John ‘the beast’ Myburgh with a max power output of over 1400watts this was surely his playground. But like the rest of us he has some sense. He used his brakes on ‘the corner’ and came home in 1:17:340 fastest of the Chronomaster boys.

Congratulations to Alistair ‘hairy legs’ Thomas who took the win in a heroic, some might say suicidal, time of 1:13.793!!!

Stage 2 Crit
Now this stage was only 45 minutes long so with a lot of strong legs around I knew this was going to be a very fast HARD race. The circuit is very narrow and with 50 riders on the course it was going to be very hard to move anywhere once the race had started so:
Plan A get to the front.

Getting to the front early would make all the difference. As soon as we were allowed on the course I made for the start line. Willing to sacrifice a long warm up to be at the front I stopped as soon as I reached the start line. That was until I was moved on quite abruptly by what can only be described as the William Wallace of the commissaire world.

He’d obviously failed his Police entrance exam and was now taking it out on middle aged cyclists trying to enjoy a nice weekend of racing. Rant over I’ll move on. After another half lap a tried to make my way to the start, 3 metres behind where I was previously stood only to find that 30 cyclists had already stopped. I and the rest of Team Chronomaster were now at the back.

Plan B hang on for grim death!
Predicatbly the race started and it was full gas from the gun. The peleton was immediately strung out and gaps were appearing everywhere. Within a couple of laps Bambam punctured and after a lap out he was given a chance to chase on. But the pace was just too much for anyone to be able to chase back on and Bambams race was over before it had started.

A group of about 15 riders got away early and at that point it looked like it would stick. SO I went for it, trying to bridge I got away from the main bunch and seemed to be making progress but it was just too fast and a bridge too far. I spent 5 or 6 laps on my own before a counter chase caught me. I went to the back of this group but hung on and that’s where I stayed for the rest of the race. Ste had also made it in to this group.

Unfortunately, John M had got caught behind a few riders who were losing the wheels. The constant bungee effect of the sprint out of the hairpin had split the bunch to pieces and John was just too close to the back to avoid it. He got lapped and the stage was pretty much over for him.

MRR 2 Day Crit Ste and AdamSo it was down to Ste and me and it was hard, Majorca hard. At the point of exhaustion, I had a moment and clipped my pedal in the corner (schoolboy error). I nearly high-sided off the track but luckily held on and had to chase back on to the back of the group. The little bit of adrenaline probably helped me. Unable to move up the bunch without dive-bombing the inside of corners (and it just wasn’t worth it) we held on to the back ‘for grim death’. Coming across the finish with what was left of ‘the bunch’.

It was a great day overall and some great team camaraderie. The only question was how much did we have left in the legs for tomorrows stage on the savage Oakenclough!?!?

Results:
Stage 1 (prologue)

  • Winner Alistair Thomas Sportcity Velo
  • Team Chronomaster
    • John Myburgh 13th
    • Adam Baines 15th
    • Ste Feeney 37th
    • John Bamford 44th

Stage 2 Crit

  • Winner Dan Wheelan Ominpex Bio-racer
  • Team Chronomaster
    • Adam Baines 20th
    • Ste Feeney 21st
    • John Bamford 34th
    • John Myburgh 38th

Overall GC after Day 1:

  • Leader Dan Wheelan Ominpex Bio-racer
  • Team Chronomaster
    • Adam Baines 14th
    • Ste Feeney 21st
    • John Bamford 37th
    • John Myburgh 38th
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