Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Coleman scores National Points in 3rd race

Coleman & Wass continue progress

Glade Road Race, April 10, 2011 - Douglas Coleman & Neil Wass headed to Essex for another Elite level Road Race today. Having completed the Peter Young Memorial 2 weeks earlier, they were optimistic: "We both knew the course," says Wass afterwards. "It's an advantage here because it's pretty lumpy."

Continues Coleman: "I placed a couple of times here last season, but the field looked a bit stronger this time."

Amidst fresh and clear sprng weather, the race went hard from the gun, with the duo missing some early moves, one of which stuck: "The top guys were, frankly, out of my league," says Wass. "My strategy is to try & support Doug and sweep up some points further down the field."

Neil Wass (2nd left) leaves nothing in the tank
Another move went on the 3rd lap, and Coleman was frustrated: "My positioning wasn't great at that point and once I saw the gap, I knew it was too late."

The rest of the race saw them growing in strength & confidence in a rapidly diminishing group: "It was very much my kind of course," continued Wass. "There was one main climb and two secondary hills in each of the 9 laps. The main climb tended to eliminate the weaker guys and it was very much a race of attrition."

Bizarrely, such was the reduction in numbers that it became deceptive as to the nature of the race: "Because there were relatively few riders in our group," continues Coleman. "I thought there must have been a boat load of them in the front groups."

As it happened, there were relatively few, and the testing pace of the main bunch had dropped more than a handful of quality riders.

Doug Coleman (left) tucks before his final sprint for 19th

On the last lap, Coleman decided to attack out of the bunch and after one attempt which was brought back, he went again: "I just thought I had nothing to lose so I may as well test myself." Staying away up the finish hill, he came in with 19th place, only 3:15 behind the winner. Wass arrived in the same group for 24th place.

"On the day, I was disappointed," concludes Coleman. "I could have perhaps followed one of the earlier moves and been in one of the small front groups. But it shows I'm heading in the right direction." Wass continues: "When you realise how many people were jettisoned out of the back of the group, it makes you feel better. 3 laps were run out a over 41kph and we climbed over 1500m over 90 miles. You can't beat that kind of training !"

Organiser Will Hedden says in his report that "the field gets stronger every year." Nick Walker, team DS adds: "Our guys went all out and took some scalps themselves. Hopefully we'll continue this progress because it's certanly looking good at this early stage."

Thanks to Martin Orpen for the pictures

full result here

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