"Pretty Damn Quick"
The 4th round of our 4th cat race series saw just 14 riders take to the start on a nice sunny evening. There were spirited attempts to break away, most active were Thomas Olver and Daniel Burt. The bunch was very attentive however and nothing was being allowed much distance ahead. It came down to an inevitable bunch gallop and it was Daniel Burt who comfortably took the victory ahead of Matthew Miller and Paul Fearon.
The fourth round of the Women's series saw a tactical race, with riders content to mark each other in order to protect their positions in the series. With Miriam Whitehurst of Somer Valley CC having sown up the series win with 3 race wins already, it was still all to play for in 2nd and 3rd overall. There were several moves to try and break up the group but it inevitably came down to a bunch sprint and it was Miriam Whitehurst riding away from the field in the final stretch to take her 4th victory, in a display of dominance in the series. 2nd place went to Karen Spiteri of Avid Sport ahead or Sara James of Clevedon & District RC, and that was the overall podium for the Women's Overall series too.
What a fantastic finale to our race series. There was all to race for as there was little to split the riders in age categories, overall and in the team prize.
For the overall series it was a must win race for Andy Edwards of BIKESTRONG-KTM, and it was all down to Rob Pears of Bath Cycling Club and his team to stop him. The team prize was also being fought out between Bristol RC and Bath CC. Throw into the mix that the age categories were all still close at the top, it was destined to be a tense and fast race.
Rupert Beale of A.R.T was the first to attack from the gun, but the vigilent bunch were not going to let anything get away that early. John Russell of Bristol RC paired up with 3rd place rider overall in the series Darrell Russell of Veloton Team and had a gap of over 100m on the bunch for a few laps before the fast moving bunch reeled them back in. Darrell Russell was not to be deterred however and found himself in another move shortly after with Steve Cottington of Bath CC. Andy Edwards did some big turns in bringing back these breaks, knowing he had to win the race and being there with no team-mates to support. The boss, Jason Streather of PDQ Cycle Coaching, then attacked and was allowed a lap or two ahead of the bunch.
Then a decisive move from John Russell saw him take race co-organiser Dan Carr of Salt and Sham Cycling Club break clear and look set to battle it out for the victory. The pair worked really well together but unfortunately on the penultimate lap they crashed on the bottom hairpin and had to retire. This left it down to a bunch sprint for the line with Rob Pears taking the victory ahead of Andy Edwards and Christopher Hill of Bristol RC. This sealed the overall series win for Rob Pears with Andy Edwards in 2nd overall.
It was sad to see Darrell Russell have to retire with 4 laps to go as he also came to grief on the bottom hairpin, after such an aggressive race.
This race result led to a very close finish on team points, just one point splitting the top 2 teams, but Bath CC taking the series win and Bristol RC in 2nd.
Thanks to our series sponsors 73Degreesbicycleshop, Ellmore Clothing, Estrella Bikes Limited, AeroCoach Ltd.
Special thanks to Ride On Cycles for continued support at our events. And excellent photographer as ever from Barriebaileyimages.
And finally we could not put these races on without the support of our helpers and officials on the night and throughout the series: Diane and Steve Marshall, Paul Cann, Jill & Chris Streather, Dan Carr, Richard Franklin, Mariano Sanchez-Luppi and Wayne Taylor.