Spring Road Race Results
A little late but just a quick page to enable you to see some reports and pictures and results of the races held in early March.
A gloriously sunny day met all those who took part and helped at the event - short sleeves were the order of the day for many as temperatures climbed up to the mid to high teens during the day.
The morning's Spring Chicken started with a full 80 rider compliment - one reserve was left behind without a ride sadly. Just 300 yards after passing the finish line showing 4 laps to go the bunch rounded a fast left hander and half a dozen hit the deck on the still damp (from the overnight dew) roads. Unfortunatley a number needed first aid - and reports of broken collar bones filtered through, interupting the early season plans for a couple of them. Thankfully none were otherwise seriously injured and many were able to ride away from it. None of the Hemel riders were involved.
From reports in the various press and websites it seems a number of attacts resulted in nothing sticking until with just under 2 laps to go Hemel's Gavin Atkins managed to leaver out a gap of around 40 seconds on his own with the front of the bunch policed by the remaining Hemel riders. Gav forged ahead on the rise out of Edgcott down the narrow back road eneabling the blocking tactics to be a little easier for the boys left behind.
On the last lap a small chasing group did manage to slip clear, unfortunately without a Hemel police rider in tow but they felt that Gav had it all under control by that stage. However the course is quite unforgiving and even Gav succomed to the relentless small ups and downs that is the feature of this course, plus the slight headwind along the finish line and he was caught by the chase group halfway around the lap. Coming into the finish the group had only a handful of seconds in hand over a fast closing bunch but Gav took the bull by the horms and led it our from a long way, making his undoubted time trialling skils count and tailing off all but one of his companions. Sadly that rider still had enough to sneak past Gav with 50 yards to go just as Gav was fading... So Gav was frustratingly second once again. All this was watched by what I estimate was close on a hundred spectators from friends and families of some of the riders plus a number of club-runs that all decended onto the race to watch - the finish line was packed both sides! and with several good photographers in attandance with big lenses stretched across the road to capture the moments of the finish battles
As soon as we all watched that unfolding and the remnants of the small break came in a few seconds back we all swung our heads back to see the bunch sprint in full flow coming through the yellow flag and a rider in orange, white and blue flashed down the right hand side and snatched the resulting 7th place sprint by half a bike length from a bunch of around 50 riders. Hemel has found it's own Cav! Ian Baynes was that colourful and swift flash and he gave a yell of satisfaction as he crossed the line, happy in the knowledge he had done well. Close behind in the middle of the bunch was 'Chad' Chris Grange with Sam Williamson rolling in at the back, not wanting to get caught up in any potential stack-ups (that thankfully didn't happen this year). A good team performance all around as all had done their jobs during the race.
Full results can be found on the BC website here: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/75393/Roy-Thame-Cup-&-Sp... with a short report and lods of photos on the initial report here:http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road/article/roa20120310-road-Road--Bar...
The afternoon Roy Thame Cup has all the feel of a big style race. Indeed it IS the biggest race in the UK on the Saturday and the 2nd biggest race of the weekend. So no surprise to see most of the big UK teams attending with many liveried team vehicles too making it quite a spectacular sight in the car park and also with a few of the team cars in the convoy with spare bikes and wheels and famous ex-pro's driving them (Keith Lambert and Chris Newton in the 100% Me team car and Malcolm Elliott in the Node4 Giordana car for example).
Again a full field set off for a race lengthened by a lap compared to previous years (as demanded by the riders and teams). Thankfully the weather had dried the roads during the morning race so despite the pressure being on from the start nothing prevented them from taking the corners flat out. Severl attacks went and were brought back over the firt few laps before eventually the break of the day went, containing 4 riders from arguably the 4 best teams in the race. This meant the 4 best teams would also not chase so it was left to kust one team to do the chasing. The sight of the Team UK Youth all lined out - all 6 riders - at the front of the bunch with 2 laps still to go and the gap at a minute was something rarely seen in races around these parts. But such was the firepower of those 4 up front that they made little impression and when they chasing team tired then the big teams took immediate action and fired up the road a few chasers as back-ups for those still racing for the win.
Going through the bell there was the front group, followed at 50 seconds by a similar sized chase group and then the bunch a further 30 seconds back. All seemed to be completely full gas and fully committed to either stay away or chase back to the front. Around the back of the circuit the chase group split under the pressure, with a couple making it across to the front... or at least nearly did as the just got to the tail of them just as the sprint started through the yellow flag... and the original 4 filled the first four spots with Irish international Philip Lavery taking the win from Aussie Richard Lang and last years winner Tom Moses.
Again full results on the BC website (see above) and short report here:http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road/article/roa20120310-road-Road--Lav...
So a whole days racing was successfull run, but it wasn't a success without the help of all the volunteers from the club and it's family memebrs and even friends of the riders and of course the BC volunteers (Comms, Photo Finish, etc.). Thank you to you all. Too many to mention by name but you know who you are and so do I. thak you.