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25/06/2017 - National Champs E and F cats

Location :

Owselbury, Hampshire

Results :

National Champs E category, & Derek Witt Memorial Race

 

1st Dave Robinson Flex-Tech Ettridge RT

2nd Jim Moffatt CC Luton

3rd  Martin Hulbert V cm

4th  Steve Jolly  Omnipex Bioracer RT

5th Patrick Schils  Velo Schils

6th Jim Rutherford  Secret Training CC

7th Ian Deakin Mid Devon CC

8th Vince Ellis VC Norwich

9th Dave Scargill Birdwell Wheelers

10th Les Liddiard Team Jewson

 Robin Osbourne  London Dynamo

 Andy Roberts GS Vecchi

 John Galway Keswick Bikes

 Terry Meacham   Ride Coventry

 Tony Carter Cuore Masters Team

 Malcolm Whitehead VC Deal

 Jayne Paine Willesden CC

 Phil Jones  Team MK

 Peter Humphries Gilligham & District Wheelers

 Scott McCardle Cheltenham & County

 Ken Jones Omnipex Bioracer 

21st Paul Mason Audlem CC  

 

F category results [and report by Dave Hughes]

1st Ray Robinson Team Jewson MI Racing

2nd Ralph Keeler St Ives CC

3rd Dave Woods CC Luton

4th Rob Matheson Better Cycling

5th Dave Hughes Beacon RCC

6th Ollie Macpherson Planet Velo

7th Philip Cooper  LVRC

8th Alistair Cameron Chevin Cycles.com Trek

9th Paul Allen Cheddar Cycles/Precision Hydration

10th Bob Ford UK Biking

11th Tony Toynton Southdown Velo

12th Joe Rowe Bush Healthcare CRT

13th Don Parry Team Corley Cycles

14th Paul Ridgers Southdown Velo

15th Ken Bradbury Wyre Forest CRT

16th Gordon Smith Graham Weigh CRT

17th Mike Wilson Audlem CC 

18th Peter Jeans Team Swindon Cycles

Dave Hughes writes, 

I cannot tell a lie, I was pleased to have recovered sufficiently, after my crash a month ago, to consider this race a possibility. The big sprinters were Ralph KeelerDon Parry, (defending champion), and possibly myself. However with this sort of terrain and field it would be a case of; a) could you stay to the end and then, b) what sort of sprint do you have left. I was fairly sure that there were riders aplenty that would be determined that it wouldn’t be a bunch sprint, and they had been given the course to do that. And yes, of course it was an uphill sprint!


The race unfolded at a steady pace for several laps. Unfortunately for me, that steady pace was high! At one point, two lads from one particular club sat on the front for mile after mile at a relentless pace on the main uphill section. When a friend of mine, a regular competitor on the LVRC circuit, asked them after the race why they had done that they replied because they didn’t think the race was fast enough! I could only speculate at their fitness levels and beyond that, why not attack us instead of towing us? At least that would have left me behind to suffer in peace. (To confuse the issue even more, one of them was a DNF a short time later).

Suddenly, about halfway through the race, there was a touch of wheels and riders came down right in front of me. I swerved to avoid them and went for a very narrow gap, touching arms with the rider on my left and almost clipping one of the fallen riders handlebars with my pedal on my right. I held it upright but only just. Too close for comfort. I looked over my shoulder. Riders were getting up quickly re-mounting so no real damage. One of them was Ralph. I made my way from the back to the front and steadied the pace down. Someone came past and raised the pace so I just sat second wheel. It was not up to me to tell people not to race when there is a crash, this is a national champs after all. However I didn’t feel good about that and when he peeled off I moved through and steadied it down again. The crashed riders got back on. Ralph had several cuts but was going well enough.

 

Fourth time up the hill and I heard a loud “go on Dave” and saw my Brother-in-law and partner Jo at the side of the road. They had just finished watching on TV, my wife Anne, his sister, finish the European Tri championships in Düsseldorf before hot footing it from Lymington to watch me. labouring up the finish hill. I glanced at the lap board, yes just a couple more laps of pain and it’s all over. While I’m at it, praise for the event team and Tim Crumpton. Their organisation was excellent; efficient and yet not officious. As an example, each race had a different colour for their numbers, ours, F cats, being Yellow, and they had a lap board in a matching colour for each race. Sweet!


Things now started kicking off, with riders attacking, getting gaps and being pulled back. Ralph came steaming past at one juncture and shouted at me to “come on Dave, not again”. There was a break trying to establish itself a short distance ahead. (Ralph and I had had a couple of races recently where people had clipped off and the bunch rued the decision not to chase as we were forced to sprint it out for second place only. One sprint each if you want to know). We pulled them back but there was an ominous “dead feeling” in the legs as I chased. Oops, this just might get painful!
Onto the last lap and I could feel the strength draining. Two lads, (yes I know, lads, over 65 years old race) had broken away and had a good lead. Worse than that, we weren’t chasing that hard. Bronze medal sprint OK people? By now I had little to offer. A couple of people went for it but were pulled back. Then Don Parry went for it, trying to bridge the gap I raised myself out of the saddle and sprinted onto his wheel. That hurt! He looked over and gestured me through. I didn’t refuse, I just couldn’t make it. We all settled back. Don, to his credit, did another pull on the front and it looked to me that he almost halved the lead to the break. However no one took up the mantle to help him, including me. It was also very near the finish and a bunch sprint was now on. We had caught one of the riders but the other was hanging on for dear life. Surely he couldn’t survive. I couldn’t do anything about it and probably wouldn’t anyway at this stage knowing I had very little left for the sprint.

 

The 1 Km board came and went. The pace raised noticeably, the effort even more so as we were now climbing that bloody hill. The lone rider still away but the gap down to about 100m max but not reducing. Jeez but he’s strong! The yellow flag now hove into view. Just starting to be a sprint now and yet the escapee rider is STILL holding on. I’m still in the mix and near the front. Then that moment we all know so well explodes. The moment when nerves or judgement kick in and the sprint kicks off for real. Ralph Keeler goes for it, Don Parry is winding it on as well, I jump, we all jump and the initial feeling is OK. Then it happens, cramp in one calf and seconds later, the other. I’m forced to slow and riders I was catching, now move remorselessly away. I see Dave WoodsRob Matheson and at least one more rider, who I can’t identify through the blurred vision, ahead and pulling away! Then I see Don, a superb sprinter, is also tying up, bloody hell it must have been a hard race. As the line approaches the cramp brings me to an almost dead stop and at least one more rider catches me on the line. Did I beat him or not? No matter really I suppose but a place in the top six of the National RR would be nice.

I stay to chat withRichard Edwards and Jo at the finish before making my way back to the H.Q. When I get there I look at my mobile for news of Anne. Message; “absolutely shocked, came 1st, I’m waiting for the presentation”! My wife had just become European Champion.

At the presentation it turns out I didn’t get in the top six but I am fairly sure that I got 7th . I will have to wait for the results due later in the week. The winner, with that superb solo effort, was Ray Robinson and second, winning the bunch sprint despite his off, went to Ralph Keeler with Dave Woods a very popular 3rd place on the podium. Dave has such a pleasant demeanour and rarely gets the placings his rides deserve due to the lack of a gallop, hence the cheers. My good friend Rob Mattheson was 4th and for once didn’t wait on my wheel for what he calls the “ooomph” moment. I had no ooomph left!

Super day, super race and a proper course. If Rob reads this I will just say “not my sort of course Rob”. He knows what I mean!

What a good day.

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