Crit racing is now proving popular with club members, especially Sian Marsh, Paul Whitehouse, Stuart Quick and Luke and Matt Norris. All have been racing again over the last few days. Sian has also ridden a TT, as has Josh Lovell, while the juniors have also been busy – this is a round up of how they all got on.
On Wednesday evening Sian raced again at Bovingdon, in the women’s Cat 3/4 race. She was part of an early breakaway of four riders, who built up a large gap during the race and even lapped the main bunch towards the end of the race. Sian tried to make a break for it solo, but was unable to make it stick on the technical course with the many corners having an impact. It came down to a sprint finish for the breakaway and she came away with a well-deserved 4th place. Sian’s efforts mean she is now only one point away from gaining her Cat 3 licence.
On Saturday, the men returned for the second week to Dalton Barracks airfield for the ART series. Whilst it didn’t rain during the race, the conditions were very wet and the spray was particularly bad.
Matt, Stuart and Paul raced for Banbury Star in the Cat 4 race, while Luke now progressed to the Cat E/1/2/3 race following his win and progression to Cat 3 last week.
The race started with the usual frantic first couple of laps, before it settled down a little. However, the usual attacks kept going off the front, but nothing stuck this week. Stuart had a go mid-way through the race, but that was soon shut down. The pace again was high and as per last week the average speed was about 26.7mph. With two laps to go there was a crash in the middle of the bunch, with three riders going down. There was some crunching of carbon fibre as they hit the tarmac, but fortunately all the fallers appeared to be OK. Thankfully, all three Star riders managed to avoid any delay from the crash and were all set for a full bunch sprint at the end. Around the last corner and into the straight the field then spread right across the runway, making it difficult to gauge possible positions. Final results are still awaited, but we believe Matt, Stuart and Paull were all in the top 20.
Now a Cat 3 rider, Luke moved up to a race which now included all four of the remaining categories – E/1/2/3. Again, the conditions for this race were very wet and the quick pace called for both skill and patience. Still a new comer to racing, Luke managed his pace well and put in a great sprint to get a confirmed 9th place position.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Josh Lovell went time trialling at Redditch Road & Path CC’s 10 mile TT. The K33/10 course was flat and on a nice sunny humid day, with a slight tail wind towards the end, the 64 competitors enjoyed good conditions. Josh was hindered by a bit of traffic, but was pleased with his time of 22:38. On the entry list we noticed the names of members Peggy Simpkins and Michal Wisowski, but no results have yet been published.
Back to Sian Marsh – on Sunday she switched to time trialling at Beacon Roads CC’s “Road Bike only” TT. For someone who only started cycling just under a year ago, she’s clearly very competitive, being somewhat disappointed at her time of 24.51. This was largely due to being held up by a slow moving lorry on the A46 near Salford Priors, which stopped to turn right. Her time still put her fourth woman overall and 3 minutes less than her PB for her first TT.
Finally, juniors Caleb Smith and Jorgie Gillett were back in action again down at Stourport on Sunday for the final round of the West Midlands regional league. Caleb came an excellent 6th in the U8’s, which was a 4 lap race, while Jorgie, in a field of 22 riders came 2nd in the 6 lap U10s race.