Four Stars, Sian Marsh, Hayley Holland and Luke and Matt Norris all represented the club at Milton Keynes Bowl on Thursday night. Organised by Team MK the races were held on the inner circuit on another hot summer evening.
Sian and Hayley are both still relatively new to cycle competition and this was in fact Hayley’s first foray into the world of crit racing. The closed-circuit nature of MK Bowl makes it a great venue for learning the ropes of racing, offering no real dangerous corners to contend with. Both riders entered the Women’s Cat E/1/2/3/4 race and the small field of approximately 20 riders, provided a great way to get racing.
With the race distance only being 30 minutes + 3 laps, there were attempts to break right from the start, with most using the incline to launch. These were however, all quickly shut down, with Sian often leading the charge. She tried her own solo attack, creating a gap that held for a lap before being swallowed back up. This was the most successful attack of the night and the group stayed together for the remainder of the race before ending in the predictable bunch sprint.
Sian finished 10th, going too early on the sprint and learning a lesson as she watched the other riders fly past. However, it’s not all bad, as this means she earned the point she needed to move up to Category 3. Having only started cycling last year, and road racing this season, this is a great effort.
Hayley put in a great ride and used the race as a learning experience to help gear up for the next race at the Bowl the 5th August.
Moving on to the men, Matt Norris took part in the Cat 4 race. This comprised a field of around 30 riders, racing the MK Bowl circuit in clockwise direction, with the finish atop the hill. Matt performed well, putting in fantastic work in the lead group throughout the race only to unfortunately lose them on the final climb and finish 17th.
Son Luke, now a Cat 3 rider, starred in the final race of the night – the men’s Cat 2/3 race, with a larger entry of around 40 riders. In similar fashion to the women’s race, attacks were launched throughout the race, with one small group getting 12 seconds over the chasing group only to be brought back. Luke had a strong race and finishing in the bunch sprint with a top 20 result.
Whilst we’ve mentioned that Sian and Hayley are still relatively new to cycling, particularly racing, we shouldn’t forget that the Norris family are also recent converts. All four are a great inspiration, making great progress in a short space of time.