Sunday, 28 June 2015

Win at The Bowl for Jason

no cars at The Bowl of course; yes it's a library photo
Ah, the Bowl. Our favourite Hunting Ground. Well actually on a Tuesday night with the LVRC regulars that is. The regular BC Crits can be a bit more dicey and that's where Jason, our newest member has been struggling a touch.

He's had a fair bit to contend with since he returned from Asia last Autumn. Firstly, there was the re-acclimatisation. Then, once he'd got used to the cold, there was the training. Then he had to get used to hanging around with us. Then his bike snapped. And after all that, he had to revert to 4th cat as a result of his repatriation. Then last weekend, he phoned in sick and had to miss the Ginger Smallwood Road Race.

the excitement of Cash
He has joined a few training sessions with our racers, prompting many a prediction and plenty of bike shop counter innuendo along the lines of 'dark horse' etc. But so far, all the talk has passed without placings and it would be easy to lose patience [although patience is something we tend to be pretty good at].

Not easy for our Jason then. But he stuck with it and got used to the format with a few blasts round Hillingdon and The Bowl over the spring. 

Three weeks ago, he endured a brutal National Masters Road Race which proved there was a decent amount of form to work with.

Finally, on Saturday at the Big Events Crit, he decided on a combative strategy; that is to say, he clipped off the front and no-one followed. For another 40 minutes.: "I was a bit disappointed to be on my own," he says. "It was flaming hard work." Spoken like a true road racer. We like wheels to sit on.

But he did stay away, netting both the Prime and the win, with a gap of over a minute by the end. "We knew he could do it," Ian Baynes said afterwards. "He's pretty experienced and you can see that he's relishing the training, so I'm sure it won't be long before the next few points drop." Adding his congratulations, Neil: "He wasn't sitting up was he? No slacking there, looking forward to getting him in the next cat up!"

Monday, 15 June 2015

Letchworth Grand Prix 2015

Paul nipped up to Letchworth for a Crit yesterday; round 2 of the 'Tour of Hertfordshire' town centre series. Having already taken 2nd in round one on the testing twisty circuit in Bricket Wood he was looking forward to taking on a stronger field of riders on the more flowing Letchworth course.

'You need to get near the front early,' says Paul and he was true to his word. Fast off the start line, he took the lead and strung the bunch right out into a long line for the first lap. The pace remained high but it did not stop a small group of 3 forming off the front containing eventual winner Mike Jackson of CC Luton.

The bunch was not giving up however. Chasing hard, the break never gained more that 15 to 18 seconds and with the pace that high, the trio cracked under the pressure leaving only Mike who was being reeled in quickly over the last few laps.

As the pace of the chase took its toll, the peloton by now had disintegrated leaving only 5 riders to sprint in for 2nd with Paul sitting nicely in 2nd wheel entering the final lap.

Plenty of kamikaze moves from riders that had been sitting in through the last few corners followed. It was all a question of timing so Paul held his nerve and preserved his punch. Taking a few riders wide whilst still maintaining a great position for the final sprint, he launched with 150 metres to go and took the sprint by a tyre width.
crit-ical - Paul Caton at the Letchworth Grand Prix

"That was he fun," he reflected. "It feels great to get a high placing against riders who are 10+ years younger than me!"

Although we haven't had official confirmation, we reckon he's now the series leader in the Masters category by a fair old margin. Bravissimo!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Win for Steve at the Linc RRA 50

Steve nipped up to Lincolnshire yesterday. Not sure why but the main thing is he came away with the win for Vets on Standard.

As usual, he reports it was "hard" and modestly played it down but for someone who was in intensive care two years ago, it's a particularly sweet result.

Full race result posted here, thanks veloUK!