Sunday, 17 March 2013

Weathering the Weather and a First Team TT Win

This weekend saw more extraordinary weather. Incredibly, despite the sheer volume of rainfall, we saw two races with barely a drop from the sky on Saturday.

First up was the Team MK early season warm up race at MK Bowl. Neil Wass and Michael Skipsey ignored the downpours and pitched up without a warm up for the 2/3 category event.

"It was pretty quick from the off," recalls Michael Skipsey. Neil was straight into the action and joined a breakaway move with local favourite Aaron McCaffrey of Virgin Active and and Jonny Shuster of Corley Cycles. This was brought back after 3 laps though and as the Prime whistle blew, Neil decided he needed a break. "I thought I'd keep an eye out though," he recalls. Sure enough, the pace eased after the sprint and he joined another Corley rider, Ben Chapman. The two formed a strong attacking partnership and built a sizeable gap on the group, despite attempts to pull them back.

Michael Skipsey did his bit on the front of the bunch and sacrificed popularity for teamwork by managing attacks off the front.

is it me or is that front tyre looking soft?
Continuing their charge, the leading duo were joined by Justin Belcher from Banbury Star who added strength to the break. All was looking promising for Neil until, with 2 laps to go, he punctured and had to pull off into the finish area.

Justin and Ben stayed away, with Ben taking the win for Corley.

As supporters on the line commiserated, Neil was unperturbed: "I was pleased with my efforts today. You can't get upset about a puncture - at least I know there's a bit of form there."

As the race concluded, Tony May and Ross Clarke were battling around the A5 Rangers 31mile Hilly course in Northamptonshire. Incredibly, the rain held off for them too, and Ross took 3rd place in 1:15:56 behind Matt Botrill and and Tejvan Pettinger.

Combined with a strong performance of 1:25:29 from Tony, the TTers took home the team prize.

Sunday saw Paul Caton racing the LVRC Fleche Waltonne event organised by Welland Valley CC

Having travelled up to the Welland Valley, he remained optimistic. This annual event is known for its Flandrian Style semi paved sections, so it's tricky enough. But Sunday brought snowy conditions which for the first time ever led to a cancellation. The video explains enough. After two laps, the organisers decided that a peloton riding in car tracks was enough. Paul was a touch disappointed - he had just broken away with a small group over a climb, but even his glasses had frozen over and the gears were jumping with snow in his cassette. Bravo to Paul for toughing it out! Thanks to georgehallscycles for the video.

Thanks to team member Richard Burch for the MK video and pictures

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