A mixed bag of races and performances this week, from time trials and road races.
Wansbeck 21 mile TT
Mark Reed and Tania Tucker were flying the flag for the Race Team at the Wansbeck 21 on Saturday, with Tania finishing 7th lady.
National Youth Circuit Race - Hetton
Josh Craven, Matty Wells, and Daniel Holmes were repesenting the club at the highest level at the National Youth Circuit races on Sunday at Hetton.
Matty put in another strong performance, where 70 riders battled their way around the narrow circuit. Daniel was also making his season debut and digging deep in what was a very fast race. Matty got a great start and quickly settled towards the front ready for the imminent break, which at 26mph didn't take long to materialise at 2 km with ~30 riders pulling clear. With attacks coming thick fast and 2 prime laps the group was trimmed down but stayed together apart from one heroic sole break away. At the bell Matty moved up to the front and lead up the penultimate hill but was unable to hold position on the decent and a coming together in the last 100 metres, which he somehow managed to control, meant he finished 22nd towards the back of the lead group. Meanwhile Daniel was battling round, largely on his own, but will no doubt have benefitted from competing with other riders at this level.
Josh had a tough race with the Youth A boys, and retired part way through.
Philip Russell Memorial Road Race
Adam Wild took part in the Philip Russell road race at Stokesley in North Yorkshire. The race came down to a bunch sprint with Adam finishing safely in the pack.
Jack Murray Memorial Junior Road Race
Craig took part in his first Junior Road Race on Saturday 18th April up in Scotland - report by Graeme Gow.
The event was the Jack Murray memorial Trophy, organised by Dunfermline CC. Although a junior race, it was incorporated within a cat 3/4 senior race. Not surprisingly Craig was the youngest competitor in the field and competing against Cat 2/3/4 juniors, however that did not phase him. This was also Craig's first dabble into the world of "real road racing", complete with outriders, neutral service cars and a neutralised zone before the start to ensure all was fair at the off.
After a couple of miles at 15mph, the flag was dropped and the race proper started. It was a 9 lap 7km course, which gave the spectators plenty to see. Each lap also had 111m of ascent. The peloton came past on lap 2 and Craig was well placed in 10th wheel looking extremely comfortable.
Due to the compact chain set that came with Craig's bike, his gearing would have given him a 3 inch advantage with every pedal revolution, so I changed it to a standard 39/52, to keep the commissaires happy (what sort of tangent is he off to now, I hear you asking?). Well due to the rush job I didn't get the front mech adjusted correctly and unfortunately Craig's chain dropped off the front chainring. Unable to get the chain back on without stopping, the inevitable happened and the peloton began to disappear into the distance. The bunch came past on lap 3 and there was no sign of Craig. Shortly afterwards he came past on his own and let me know his chain had come off
He continued to push hard and was eventually caught and lapped by the main group with three laps to go. The positive side of this was he took it in his stride and stuck with them with ease for the remaining laps. Many other dropped riders were also picked up by the pack, but were very quickly ejected out of the back again. Craig showed he has the ability, just not the luck on the day.
Every day is a school day as they say and the whole experience was a great learning experience for Craig. Next weekend he will return to Northumberland to take on the Sloan Trophy. Let's hope the cycle gremlins stay away this week.
For the record, Craig finished as 14th Junior and picked up another 2 points for his licence - proof that it is worth finishing!