Richard Santhouse and Stuart Quick were back in the mix in at a criterium race series at MK Bowl, in the last week.
The RBL Race Series -Event 2 , promoted by the RAF Cycling Association, was Richard’s first race around the Bowl circuit a 1.1km , not quite as oval , more kidney or peanut shaped. Stuart knew the circuit quite well, having raced there a few times previously.
They entered the Cat 4 race a 45 minute + 3 laps of the circuit, which is about 20 miles. The Armed forces, had quite a few entrants, both from the army and RAF and this soon became apparent from the race tactics.
A slow but steady drizzle, making for wet and quite treacherous on the tarmac surface. The race started promptly at 2PM, the organisers being very efficient, keeping everything running smoothly. A tight bunch remained together for the opening laps, which started at quite a quick pace and achieved dropping a few as the race went on. Richard and Stuart stayed in the main bunch, occasionally pulling on the front at times. When the rain started to fall very heavily toward the midway point they both decided to sit in the bunch to conserve some energy and pick their way around the circuit in very low visibility and avoiding the big puddles now forming on the circuit.
As the end of the race approached they were both were showing to be very strong, with only a field of 11 remaining it was clear that someone was going to miss out on vital points. On the last lap with pace increasing, a rider attempted to overtake Richard on the outside of a corner, there was a coming together , brushing shoulders and elbows. Richard, proved to be stronger, holding his ground and the other rider skidding off.
The final sprint was completed up a slight incline towards the finish line, which saw Stuart Quick finishing 7th and Richard Santhouse 8th. This was great achievement for both riders securing points on the board to help support Cat 3 license. Richard wished the opponent who crashed a speedy recovery.
Both of our valiant competitors, later competed in Banbury Star time trial on the same evening.