Monday, 29 April 2013

Mixed fortunes on another cold weekend

Steve Clarke at the VTTA (East Anglian) 25, thanks to Dave Jones
Ross Clarke showed the way this weekend as some of our riders struggled to match some of their early season promise.

On Saturday, Tony May led the way on the E2/25 course in Cambridgeshire through hail showers and high winds with a time of 56:28 in the VTTA event with Steve Clarke following on 56:54

Sunday saw Paul Caton at the LVRC Finchley Road Race. As round 2 of the Mstina series, he was keen to get a solid result but, by his own standards, was found wanting when the race hotted up: "I missed the big moves today," he admitted. "And to be honest, my legs didn't feel great either." Placing 4th in his category, he is joint 2nd in the Mstina series standings. "It's still early days," he continued. "Hopefully that's my bad day out of the way for the season!"

Michael Skipsey finished in the main group: "I'm hoping for some form once the temperatures get back to a decent level," he joked afterwards.

Ross Clarke made his return to Road Racing after a 6 year absence on Sunday. Riding the Reading Road Race at Woodcote in Oxfordshire with Neil Wass, he was prepared for a tough race - and got one. With a 2km crosswind hill on each lap, the circuit proved a challenge for the category 234 field.

In the move - Ross Clarke at the Reading Road Race on Sunday - photo - Graham Robins for British Cycling
The race was stopped temporarily on lap 2, and once it got going again, the gloves came off and Ross made sure he was near the front as a gap opened up over the climb. Cementing his place in the break of 12 riders with some strong pulls, he did his fair share of work to ensure that, despite a desperate chase from the 2nd group, the move stuck. Crossing the line in 9th place, he was pleased with his performance: "I knew I wouldn't be strong in the sprint because of my Time Trial Focus - the shortest intervals I do are 10 minutes! But the background form seems to be OK so I can sharpen things up a bit with a bit more work. It was good fun and as starting point, I'm quite pleased with that."

Neil came in with the 2nd group Ruing his missed opportunity, he admitted to being disappointed: "I let myself get too far back on that climb," he reflected. "It was a simple error, but we held the break within sight most of the way, and the main group were much further back from us so I guess that's a positive."

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