Monday, 1 July 2013

The Coleman Delivers!

Local hero takes shock victory in thrilling finale.

A tantalising start sheet for the third annual TMG Horizon Road Race featured a rich selection of regional strong men .  With local teams such as Arbis-Colbert Cycles, CC Luton, G.S. Henley, LBRCC, London Dynamo, Python Racing Team , Team Quest and Twenty3C all fielding at least three riders, it was clear that the £100 first prize was going to be hotly contested.

Only twenty kilometres into the race a strong breakaway group took flight , featuring local favourites Simon Cannings, Mike Broadwith and Doug Coleman.  It was an ominous sign for anybody looking to sit in the bunch that this was not going to be an easy day.  Showing that there was no shortage of fire power further back, a chase group had already sensed the danger and was in pursuit at 34 seconds with the bunch a further 25 seconds behind.

Gunther Zechmann of Zappi’s cycling club took the honours in the lap 2 prime by a slender margin as the lead group buckled down to work with the pressure intensifying behind them.  By lap three, the pressure of the pace began to show as the lead group started to splinter with weaker riders in the lead group losing contact and the main field bringing the gap down to 54 seconds. 

Lap 4 saw Gunther Zechmann continue with his attacking style to take the 2 Prime of the day but his pace was at risk as he was begging for hydration from spectators.  Having forced the pace with his sprint, it emerged that only the Arctic Sram duo of Mike Broadwith and Danny Axford could stay with the acceleration. 

Ratcheting the pressure up another notch, the  Arctic Sram riders followed up with a turn of speed which would put them in a commanding position.  In tight formation they seemed in overdrive for the next five kilometres, but just as it looked like they had hit top speed, Danny Axford launched out of the breakaway and put his cards firmly on the table. 

The remains of the original lead group remained defiant and quickly recaptured Zechmann and Broadwith.  Determined as they were though, they were unable to contain the surge of speed from Axford and as the bell sounded over the finish line, he had built a commanding  gap of over 1 and a half minutes.  Organiser, Neil Wass: “We thought it was all over. Danny is a super strong rider and that kind of solo effort is one of his hallmarks.” 

As the chase group climbed the finish hill to take the bell, Richard Cleaver of Leisure Lakes Bikes made his bed for glory.  With a solo effort for the next five kilometres, it was a big ask to reach the lone leader.  Just behind him, Douglas Coleman of CC Luton had given chase and with sixteen kilometres left, the duo teamed up to attempt to overturn Axford’s impressive advantage. 

Eight kilometres to go, and the alliance was weakening; “The adrenaline was flowing and I could feel time running out,” recalls Coleman.  Raising the pace once more, he left Cleaver behind and the chase intensified through the village of Whitchurch. 

The adrenaline must have kicked in because by the final turn with four kilometres to go, Coleman could see Axford ahead: “That was one hell of a carrot,” he smiles.  Chasing all the way down the 60kmh plus descent from Whitchurch, his pursuit was merciless.  By the bottom of the finish hill, the gap was down to tens of metres and with two riders slugging it out for the win like two spent boxers, the throng of spectators was treated to a thrilling finale.

With only 100 metres to go, an exhausted Axford was overhauled by the 28 year old Coleman from Hemel Hempstead.  Axford had clearly given his all and by the finish line Coleman had a decisive gap of 6 seconds. 

For Coleman it was a dream scenario: "I’ve had a couple of wins but to win on this local circuit with a lot of friends watching made it extra special."

Promoter, Neil Wass, was delighted with the result: “It’s been a great morning of racing.  All the fast guys got stuck in and gave us a truly entertaining three hours. A fantastic finish; you couldn't have scripted it better!” 

TMG Horizon cycling team plans to raise the event to National B status next year.

Jubilant: Doug Coleman begins to raise his arms for the victory

So Close: Danny Axford refuses to give up and holds off the advancing attacks

more pictures in our flickr set here
and more pro photos from Thomas Van Bracht at 
finish line video at

Full Result

1 Douglas Coleman CC Luton 2nd 03:00:09
2 Danny Axford Arctic Sram RT 2nd @6"
3 Colin Roshier Team Quest - The Bike Shop 3rd @41"
4 Richard Cleaver Leisure Lakes 2nd @50"
5 James Locker V-Sprint Racing 2nd
6 James Local London Dynamo 2nd
7 Simon Cannings 2nd
8 Owen Jeffries Northern CC/Dave Kane Cycles 3rd
9 Ben Carty Private 3rd
10 Robert King Private Member 2nd
11 Sean Dines Team Corley Cycles 2nd
12 Jack Beezer Edinburgh RC 2nd
13 Ben Macland VC Meudon 2nd
14 David Palmer MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling 2nd
15 Steven Hurrell API - Metrow/Essex Utilities 2nd
16 Chris Grange LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
17 Adrian Lawson Cadence RT 2nd
18 Graeme Clarke LBRCC-Solgar 4th
19 Matthew Gittings AW Cycles 2nd
20 Luke Souter Banbury Star CC 3rd
21 Pete Smith Jewson - MI Racing 3rd
22 Jonathan Marchini Beeline Bicycles RT 2nd
23 Bad Number London Dynamo ?
24 Adam Capes London Dynamo 2nd
25 Dan Tamplin Aylesbury CC 2nd
26 Stuart  King LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
27 Michael Broadwith Arctic Sram RT 3rd
28 Osama Assem Finchley RT 3rd
29 Glenn McMenamin 2nd
30 Jason Gurney 2nd
31 John Peters CC Luton 2nd
32 Darren Parker Python Racing Team 3rd
33 Stephen Morrell Aylesbury CC 3rd
34 Richard John Spirit Bikes Racing Team 3rd
35 James Archibald G.S. Henley 3rd
36 H Christian Rudolf De Laune CC 2nd
37 Ian Baynes LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
38 Tim Edwins LBRCC-Solgar 3rd
39 Sam Williamson Hemel Hempstead CC 3rd
40 Bad Number GS Henley ?
41 Bad Number Twenty 3c ?
42 Andy Marriott Spirit Racing Team 3rd
43 Simon Oxenham VC10 2nd
44 Edward Catford 4th
45 Stephen Colbert Arbis - Colbert Cycles RT 2nd
46 Andy Lack Kingston Whls CC 2nd
47 Ken Buckley AW Cycles 2nd
48 Stuart Williams Reading CC 2nd
49 Campbell Noon Virgin Active 3rd
50 Gunther Zechmann Zappi's Cycling Club 2nd
51 Robert Taylor Aylesbury CC 4th
52 Damien Breen Kingston Whls CC 2nd
53 Bad Number Python Racing Team ?
54 Richard Stanton Arbis - Colbert Cycles RT 2nd
55 Stephen Wood Peterborough CC 3rd
56 Philip Starr Python Racing Team 2nd
57 Fraser Houston Team Quest - The Bike Shop 3rd

finish line times

lap one [not complete lap] 0:25:56

lap total elapsed lap time
two 00:56:00
three 01:26:13 00:30:13
four 01:56:30 00:30:17
five 02:27:53 00:31:23
six 03:00:09 00:32:16

fastest lap 00:30:13 over 20.4km = 40.48kmh

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