Paul Caton travelled to mid Wales on the 19th May to take part in a unique event called the Ramin Minovi Memorial, a 2 stage single day event. The first stage was a short 2.5 mile time trial followed in the afternoon by a 50mile road race over an extremely tough circuit which included a 10 minute climb, to be completed 6 times. The winner would be decided on the combined time of the two stages.
Unusually the weather was warm and sunny with temperatures reaching 21C in the quiet town of Presteigne where the event was based.
Paul finished mid field in the TT but lost 30 seconds to Charles Zenettacci and 5 seconds to John Stephenson which was to prove crucial later in the overall standings. "The TT was a bit short," said Paul afterwards. "I felt like I only started motoring in the last half mile but then I guess it's the same for everyone."
At 1pm the riders lined up for the afternoon's 50 mile road race with around 40 riders in Paul's group. The race started at the base of the 800ft climb and on the first ascent he found himself in a group of just 9 riders. On each of the following laps the group reduced dramatically - multiple attacks on the climb resulted in a rapid succession of riders being shown the rear door.
|It looked a bit like this - actual pic to follow.|
With a lap to go the group was down to three with the other two riders being Zenettacci and Sephenson.
"I knew the other two had better TT times than me," continued Paul. "I had to gain some time, so I launched a few attacks on the first part of the climb and opened a gap." The others, however, were wise to his explosive strengths and he was gradually brought back as the road levelled slightly. "No matter what I did, I couldn't quite shake the other two off so decided I would go for the stage win which I managed launching my sprint with 200 metres to go," he concluded. "It's nice to be able to play to your strengths and go for glory.
This pulled him up to 3rd in the General Classification. "It's a shame I couldn't quite hit the overall," he concluded. "But nothing really beats that hands in the air business over the line!"