Race Report – Minehead Grand Prix Jacob Thomas U14

I’d been looking forward to the Minehead Grand Prix for ages. It was a town centre crit and one of the biggest races in the region. I knew it was going to be difficult as lots of the local riders wanted to win here. It was great that it was a really sunny day.

Over 20 riders lined up on the start. But my race was almost over before it started when the rider next to me struggled to clip-in and almost put me into the barrier. This meant I was already off the back going into the dead turn, but I managed to get back on and move up the group along the back straight.

The course was mostly straight, flat and wide, and the pace was kept high the whole time. We were strung out along the straights and came together for corners. This meant it was hard for anyone to get away. Lots of riders tried, but nobody could make it stick.

Half way through the race was a sprint lap. I decided not to try for it and to save my legs for the finish.

By this time a few riders had dropped off the bunch because of the pace, but mostly everyone was still together expecting a bunch sprint.

As we were coming up to get the bell for one lap to go, a North Devon rider attacked hard out of the final corner. I was halfway down the group and quickly started to move up. My teammate, Reuben, had seen the attack and already got on the wheel.

The attack slowed before reaching the dead turn at the end of the finishing straight, and by the time we were on the back straight, everyone was together. It was definitely going to be a sprint.

As we approached the final corner I moved up the group and I came out of the corner in about third wheel. I didn’t want to make the first move as the corner was a long way from the finish, so I waited for someone else to launch first.

A Taw Velo rider came flying past me on the right so I started sprinting. I got level with him about half way along the straight but my back wheel kicked out and I lost some speed. I went again, put my head down and carried on sprinting. I passed him and managed to hold the advantage to win by around half a bike-length. It was a great race and really fun to be riding on closed roads.

Troy Wheeler – Fully Sussed Summer Series

New member and Junior MTB racer Troy Wheeler reports on his latest race:

Last weekend saw me at Fully Sussed – ‘summer series’. This event was known to be your typical grass and roots XC event, fast climbs, and some great single track. Despite the continuous rain in the day – the track held its dryness (And luckily the weather stayed away from us for the race!). I went out in the early evening for a practise lap and soon came to realise my legs seemed quite stiff! I worked them off with a higher cadence. The track was smooth, flowing, and hardworking. I knew there would be great racing this evening.

At around 7:15 our race began; with some big local names behind the line I knew I was in for an hour of pain! As the whistle blew I went with my typical race plan of attack off of the start, it worked which gave me a good lead by the end of long hauling fire road climb, unfortunately I suffered a mechanical on the first lap causing me to drop to mid pack.

After the 1st lap I knew I had my work cut out. I climbed back up to 1st place senior, where I then unfortunately suffered another 5 mechanical s through the race, all due to a broken clutch on the rear mech! I ended in 3rd place, this to me was acceptable due to the circumstances. All in all was a brilliantly fast and flowing track. Great event put on by Fully Sussed.

Thank you to MDCC for the support.

 

Mid Devon CC Womens Race Team – Season Update

 

MDCC Women’s Race Report ( 2018…so far)

 

So despite little written reporting from us, the women’s racing scene has been pretty active so far this season.

 

One of our main aims is to encourage other female cyclists  to give racing a try and to explain a) just how much fun it can be and b) how there is something for everyone. Whether you are a sprinter, a time trialist or just a total novice wanting to have fun, make some new friends, and see what you can achieve.

The thing to do is just to …start!

 

We have been forming links with some other local clubs female cyclists, with the intention of doing some races together as a south west type combined team (the more the merrier right!?). 

 

A group of four of us entered the Three Day Bedford stage race earlier this year, and MDCC was really keen on supporting us. Sadly after everything was all sorted, the race was unexpectedly cancelled…but it’s definitely on the agenda for next year!

We travelled up recently to South Cerney Road together and between three of us ( two mdcc and one wheeler) managed two top 10s ( a 4th and a 7th) and to take the sprints prize.

 

We meet up socially for rides (and obligatory coffee and cake) We take each other on guided reconnaissance of the routes of certain events before they take place, as both a social and for those who plan on entering to get to know the course from those that have done it before.

 

We also meet for evening meals at each others houses now and again and share lifts to events…

 

We are a lovely and supportive bunch, and if you are interested in joining in with the fun then please message anyone mentioned below. It doesn’t matter how strong a cyclist you are – we all had to start somewhere, and there’s lots of support in the group. And we may be able to learn from you too…

 

So here are some of our results:-

 

Jenny Corser,

Results:-(Crit/ RR)

 

24 March Totnes VP Support races 1st

8 April Hatherleigh Women’s RR 14th

14 April Totnes Vire Support Races 3rd

22 April Rob Wilmot RR 11th

29 April Chittern RR 4th

6 May Cotswold Veldrijden RR 4th

12 May Colin Lewis Cycles GP 1st

27 May South Cerney RR Queen of sprints prize 

 

Results TT

18.2.18 10M 1st (but only two women entered)

15.4.18 17M (forfirs/ Woodbury route) 1st female VET. 

 

Juliet Elliot

I’ve not yet done a huge amount of racing this year but I’m pleased to have tried something new – this season, with the encouragement of Jenny I decided to try my first road race – the Hatherleigh race put on by the club. To say it was a baptism of fire would be an understatement and I didn’t manage to stay with the main group for the entirety of the race (although I didn’t come last either). But honestly, getting dropped didn’t matter as it was so fun to actually be trying a road race (despite being so hard) that I couldn’t wait to try again and see if I could do a bit better. I raced my third road race last weekend and finished 4th!

I’ve also entered two of the crits at the Velopark, most recently the one put on by Somerset Road Club where I came 1st. 

 

 

Ruth Burrows

 

24.05.18 S4/10 22:39 1st female – PB / club 10 female record

16.05.18 S4/10 23:18 1st female

06.05.18 R25/3H Welsh 25 Championships 55:32 4th female – PB / club 25 female record

15.04.18 S7/17S 39:43 1st female – course PB

08.04.18 S8/25S 42:00 1st female

 

 

 

CLC Grand Prix – Morgan and Jacob take wins!

Colin Lewis Cycles Grand Prix

A race report by U14 rider, Jacob Thomas.

The Colin Lewis Cycles Grand Prix on Saturday was my first race in MDCC kit. It was dry and sunny with only a light wind. A good day for a race.

The Under 14s lined up with the Under 16s, so I was expecting it to go off fast. I had a good start and was around fourth wheel going into the first bend. The pace was high from the start. Not too hard, but enough to thin out the main group to around 15 riders.

Every lap or so somebody would try to get away from the group or just go to the front to lift the pace. However, they were always brought back by the bunch. Even the U16s weren’t allowed to get a gap. This is how the race went on for quite a while, speeding up and stretching out into a line as the attackers jumped off the front, then slowing down again as the race came back together.

My teammate Reuben was one of the riders who tried to go off the front. Riders from Taw Velo, Minehead and North Devon also had goes. Even I had a few tries but nothing would stick.

With about three laps to go, Morgan from MDCC and the other U16s finally managed to get a gap while Reuben rode tempo at the front to put off the chase.

After that everyone knew it was going to be a bunch sprint so nobody wanted to commit to another attack.

On the last lap I moved towards the back of the bunch so I could see what was going on. On the back straight a Minehead rider attacked, which stretched out the group so I started to moved to the front.

At the final hairpin I was in about fifth wheel and a Worx rider came sprinting past me on the left. I got on his wheel and used him to move forward. I started my sprint just before the last bend when I was in line with a North Devon rider who was already sprinting. I got the inside line around the corner and continued my sprint to the line. I managed to hold off the North Devon rider and win by a couple of bike lengths.

It was a tough race and everyone was really strong so I’m pleased with my result. When I finished it was also good to hear that Morgan had won the U16 race.

Colin Lewis Grand Prix  – Morgan Gibson

The race was a mixture of u16’s and u14’s and some familiar riders to watch (Sam Medlyn) and some others. It was great to start next to MDCC riders Reuben Heal and MDCC newest racer Jacob Thomas. We started off together and it quickly got up to speed. It was quite an active race with lots of little attacks just tiring out the bunch.

Sam and I attacked twice within the first half of the race and on one of them taking along with us another u16 rider Ben Woodland. I was feeling strong and keen to be in a long break away others were not as keen and I was not prepared or able to solo it to victory. When caught I sat in the bunch and sat comfortably in there.

Many riders attacked but were all brought back by riders in the front of the group, I sat in and allowed others to bring back these attacks.

Towards the end of the race with the last 5 laps I moved up the bunch planning on an attack, not wanting to be in a bunch sprint. Toward the front Sam and I agreed we should go on the last hairpin, which is followed by a bend into the finishing straight. On the 3rd to last lap we went, MDCC riders Rueben Heal controlled the front of the bunch along side Jacob Thomas giving me, Sam and Ben a chance to get away. It worked well and we gained a large gap. On the last lap I was in second position behind Sam, he kicked round the bend into the finishing straight, giving me a form of lead out. I kicked out the saddle in the last 40 meters. Side by side I lunged for the line we won me the sprint be an inch.

It was great teamwork from MDCC youth riders and strong riding from Reuben and it was great to hear of Jacob’s win especially as it was his first race in MDCC colours. As well as an impressive win from Louie Priddle in the mens race and a MDCC win in the womens race.

 

Totnes Vire – Support Races

A great day of races supported the main Totnes 2 Day Promotion.  The club saw success with Jenny Corser 3rd in the Womens Race. Matthew Holmes winning the U8 Boys, Ellie Birchall 2nd in the U8 Girls, William Birchall 2nd in U10 Boys and Morgan Gibson Clay 3rd in the U16 Boys. We caught up with Morgan post race:

“To finish off a great day of racing the support races consisted a good number of A and B riders with riders such as Freddy Birchill and Sam Medlyn. It was also great to start next to fellow team mates Reuben Heal and Ewan Warren all representing MDCC.

The race started very quickly with attacks straight away which where all brought back. MDCC riders where positioned nicely near the front and on around the fourth lap in Freddy Birchill attacked which I followed along with Sam Medlyn. We realised we had gotten a considerable gap and kept the pace high at 25-26mph. Taking turns equally and working together we had gained a gap of over half a lap.

With two laps to go Freddy attacked into the last corner which left me trying to get back for the final lap. I got back onto the back of Sam and Freddy on the straight before the last bend only for Freddy to attack from the last corner once again which left me hanging off the back. Sam and Freddy sprinted for 1st place which Sam narrowly won with me rolling over the line about 20 metres behind.

It was a nice result helping out my SW series standing and a good race for all MDCC riders”

 

Womens
1 Alexandra Sheehan Bianchi Dama
2 Emma Cockcroft Bianchi Dama
3 Jenny Corser Mid Devon CC
4 Jess Norrish NDW
5 Naomi Waters
3/4 Race
1 Benjamin Mallett Cycle Sport Dynamo
2 Wayne Hitchcott Team Tor 2000 KALAS
3 Hamish Fletcher-Cooney All Terrain Cycles Ride In Peace
4 Michael Rogers Plymouth Corinthian CC
5 Ben Richards Tanks Direct Cycling
6 Les Thomas TRI UK
7 Thomas Bass Latchem Sunwise Race Team
8 Phil Walter Tanks Direct Cycling
9 Simon Szender Exeter Wheelers
10 Rowan Ellis 1st Chard Whls
U8 Boys
1 Matthew Holmes Mid Devon CC
2 Jamie Young Tavistock Whlrs NorthShoreGallery
3 Alexander Pearcy Tavistock Whlrs NorthShoreGallery
4 Tristan Lyness
U8 Girls
1 Lauren Fox Wheal Velocity
2 Ellie Birchall Mid Devon CC
3 Eloise Wilson Taw Velo
4 Madeline Woodger
U10 Girls
1 Eva Fox Wheal Velocity
2 Georgia Mahoney Taw Velo
3 Lara Dix Tavistock Whlrs NorthShoreGallery
4 Orla White Tavistock Wheelers
5 Olivia Luckham Tavistock Whlrs NorthShoreGallery
U10 Boys
1 Louis Wright Minehead Merlins
2 William Birchall Mid Devon CC
3 Rhys Cooke Taw Velo
4 Elliot Albert Wheal Velocity
5 Bayley Woodger Mid Devon CC
6 Jacob Start Mid Devon CC
7 Morgan Wilson Taw Velo
U12 Boys
1 Joseph Wright Minehead Merlins
2 Reuben Stacey NDW
4 Oscar Elliott One and All Cycling
5 Ewan Dix Tavistock Whlrs NorthShoreGallery
6 Reuben Walter Minehead Merlins
7 Thomas Roodhouse Wheal Velocity
7 Noah Thomas Exeter Wheelers
8 Henry Birchall Mid Devon CC
9 Lucas Earthy BCDS
10 George Watch Minehead Merlins
U12 Girls
1 Hollis Morrish NDW
2 Alice Clark
3 Emma Luckham Tavistock Whlrs NorthShoreGallery
U14 Girls
1 Eleanor Ley North Devon Wheelers
2 Olivia Earthy
3 Emma Spriggs Taw Velo
4 Abi Greaside
U14 Boys
1 George Eames North Devon Wheelers
2 Finlay Walter Minehead Merlins
3 Charlie Tompkins Taw Velo
4 Benjamin Bisson WORX Factory Racing
5 Reuben Heal Mid Devon CC
6 Fin Mead Taw Velo
7 Jacob Thomas Exeter Wheelers
8 Shaun Duffield North Devon Wheelers
9 Henry Howells Mid Devon CC
U16 Girls
1 Hannah Rainger North Devon Wheelers
2 Phoebe Clark Exeter Wheelers
U16 Boys
1 Samuel Medlyn Clive Mitchell Cycles
2 Freddy Birchill Southfork Racing.co.uk
3 Morgan Gibson Clay Mid Devon CC
4 Tyler Lindo Propello – Carb Cycles
5 Ben Woodland North Devon Wheelers
6 Oli Allen Pilgrim Flyers
7 Joe Howsley Wadebridge Coasters Cycling Club
8 Evan Warren Mid Devon CC
9 Jack Dallym Honiton Spinners

Race Report – Harrison reflects on the Totnes 2 Day

Stage 1 consisted of the Haytor hill climb. Something I was looking forward to having ridden it several times with Ian Cullen during training rides. On the Thursday before I headed out for a recce of it and did a pb on the hill and 16th overall. Only just behind the Tour of Britain times so I was looking forward to seeing how I’d go.

I completed my warm up and was ready to rock. I started off steady ish, but pushed on hard up the steeper section before cattle grid. I then did this similar technique the whole way up. Very hard on steep, back to around threshold on the flatter parts. This worked and I rolled in 4th with 13.31 which I was chuffed with. The support from club members on the hill was great and really helped me to push right to the very end!

Stage 2 was the Velopark crit. My aim was to hold my position right at the front and go with some moves. This worked and I remained in pretty much the top 5 or 10 the whole race till right toward the end when the sprinters began positioning themselves so I slipped back to avoid the carnage.

Stage 3 was the final stage. I was still 4th on GC. Not much happened early on in this stage other than St Piran controlled the race not allowing anything to go more than 20 metres up the road. Then will from St Piran attacked with a couple others. They then shut down the race and the yellow jersey was forced to chase. With under 1 lap to go on the long climb. Bialoblocki attacked. I went with him but he was just too strong and simply rode away from me. I looked behind and the bunch were chasing but not super hard. I knew he’d gone at this point. I then tried again with around 5kms to go with Alex from St Piran. We got a gap but because I was 4th on GC I was chased down hard by the bunch. In the end I rolled in 17th in the bunch which was very depleted with only around 45 finishing!

In the end I came 7th on GC and 1st junior. It was great to represent the club and show the colours of the club within this race at the front and up there on GC. Thanks to everyone from the club for the support and help running this event. It’s fantastic and the race wouldn’t happen without you! Next up I have E3 Harelbeke UCI 1.1 over in Belgium which is one of the biggest one day events over there so hopefully I’ll have some good legs from the Vire!

Thanks for reading.

Four Firs TT – James Tribble takes Third

After what can only be described as a very environmentally challenging start to the race season in most disciplines, time trialling has been very slow to start and I’m still not into it yet! I’m hoping May will bring better weather and less turbo sessions. While lots of you have been using zwift I have been in my happy place looking at the back of my garage door, focusing on pain and suffering.

The prep for the Four Firs couldn’t have been worse, I’d ridden the course twice that week trying to improve my descending, as I’ve got older my sense of mortality has taken priority. The day before I’d been hit with a migraine something I suffer from very rarely (thank god), I’d finally got out of bed at 7pm and built my bike ready for the mornings shenanigans. The bearings in my disc wheel had seized and I spent what can only be described as a lifetime when you can’t really focus to free them up and get some grease on them, still feeling rough and noisy but good enough to not be a DNS. I arrived at the hq and the weather was as expected, Wet! I’ve ridden it 3 of the last 4 years and it’s never not rained. I’d felt empty and lethargic, most probably due to the fact I’d not eat on Saturday and been in bed for almost 14 hours. But I followed the pacing strategy as planned, backing off on the descents and pushing hard on the climbs. On the final 4 miles down to the finish I saw 2 riders in front, I passed one very quickly and the other just stayed out approx 200 meters in front they were flying, I finally managed to pass them just before the junction and shouted a few words of encouragement to them. Who turned out to be fellow MDCC member Ruth Burrows.

I hadn’t expected a good result so was happy to have placed 3rd and joint team prize with Lee Sanderson and Ruth Burrows.

Totnes Vire 2 Day Stage Race – Provisional Results

GC Time Position First Name Surname Club
4:10:51 1 William Harper Saint Piran
4:11:16 2 Marcin Bialoblocki Steele Davis Via Roma RT
4:11:17 3 Paul Double Zappi Racing Team
4:11:24 4 Michael Ford Latchem Sunwise Race Team
4:11:37 5 George Kimber Team PB Performance
4:11:38 6 Tom Nancarrow University of Exeter Cycling Club
4:11:58 7 Harrison Wood Mid Devon CC
4:11:59 8 Anthony Moye Spirit Tifosi Racing Team
4:12:10 9 Oscar Hutchings VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:12:12 10 Lee Frost Tri UK
4:12:20 11 Neil Philips Kibosh
4:12:21 12 Ben Irvine TAAP Cervelo
4:12:22 13 Jacob Knight ZeroBC Development Team
4:12:27 14 Jake Hollins
4:12:34 15 Cameron Biddle Halesowen A & CC
4:12:37 16 Harrison Knight ZeroBC Development Team
4:12:37 16 Sean Frost Tri UK
4:12:37 18 Alex Fanshawe Saint Piran
4:12:39 19 Matt Langworthy Saint Piran
4:12:40 20 George Bazley Bristol RC
4:12:43 21 Ruari Grant Veloclub Edinburgh
4:12:43 21 Oliver Blagden BCR Racing
4:12:47 23 Kirk Vickers Rhino Velo Race Team
4:13:03 24 Sebastian Lewis VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:13:10 25 Damien Clayton Kibosh
4:13:10 25 Oliver Hayward Rhino Velo Race Team
4:13:23 27 Oliver Winwood Bratchell Velo Club Venta
4:13:25 28 Alex Platt BCR Racing
4:13:31 29 William Bjergfelt Neon-Velo Cycling Team
4:13:41 30 Ashley Towey Team Tor 2000 KALAS
4:13:45 31 Jacob Aries Primera-TeamJobs
4:13:46 32 Will Tidball PH-MAS
4:13:52 33 Adam Toole BPF Cycling
4:14:09 34 Joe Donahue VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:14:15 35 Ethan Lee VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse
4:14:25 36 George Smith Tri UK
4:15:16 37 Joshua Croxton Team Tor 2000 KALAS
4:15:33 38 Harvey McNaughton TAAP Cervelo
4:17:23 39 Matt Clarke Halesowen A & CC
4:17:31 40 George Skinner Norwood Paragon CC
4:18:37 41 Max Moyles Primera-TeamJobs
4:19:02 42 Ben Lockett Tri UK
4:19:12 43 Tom Fitzpatrick
4:20:07 44 Sol Warwick Penzance Wheelers
4:21:37 45 Andrew Critchlow HJL

Junior Tour of The Mendips – Louie takes the Points Jersey

Junior Tour of The Mendips

This was my first time racing this  as I didn’t get a place last year. After being ill all week running up to the race and still feeling ill on the race day I was unsure  how I would go.

Stage 1 – 4km TT

I finished the TT with a time of 6min 16 sec which put me in 51st. This left me feeling hopeless and demoralised. But I had to put this behind me for the next stage in 2 hours time.

Stage 2 – 105km Road Race

The course was mostly rolling with no steep climbs other than at the very start for KOM points. I came 4th in the sprint to the top for the KOM points just behind the jersey winner for that day. I sat in the top ten of the bunch for 1 lap when I decided to make my move with Welsh rider Brecon Burnett. We soon had a large gap of about 1 minute when a few others bridged across to us. We all worked smoothly but the bunch picked up the pace. After 3 laps of being out solo we were caught. But I still had good legs! I kept trying and trying and whilst trying I was picking up all the Points for the Points jersey competition. I had won 2 sprints and got 2nd in one.

With 3 laps to go I started my sprint to grab some more points (which I did) and found myself off the front with the same guy I was in a break with at Cadence. He shouted to me “come on let’s keep this up” so we put the hammer down and pushed on. A few people bridged to us and we soon had a large gap of around 1 min 30 on the peloton. Coming into the last lap I knew that the break was going to work. You just get a feeling it will. There was 5 of us up the road and working in a Chaingang – the gap did start to come down but they were too late. We were on the final straight. Unfortunately I picked the wrong wheel to start my sprint and they came around me and I got 4th… AGAIN. But I was put into the Points jersey which I actually won because there wasn’t any points sprints on the next stage. I took the jersey by 3 points ahead of Matt Ellis who took the win. I also moved from 51st on GC to 14th! Overall my best stage.

Stage 3 –

This was the stage that should have suited me this most. Sadly I had left so much out on the road the previous day I had some very tired legs. On the 2nd climb of the day I was gapped from the peloton leaving me and about 20 others to chase hard to get back on. After about 30 min of solid chasing we made it to the peloton. I moved straight to the front to make sure I wouldn’t get gapped up any of the other climbs. We started to chase the break down but sadly didn’t have any luck, they were too far ahead. Coming into the final climb about 1km to go my legs have out, but this was to be expected after putting such a big shift in the day before and still having some underlying illness. I was left feeling knackered! I finished up 34th overall but the winner of the points jersey. I was a little disappointed about the last stage and to end up so far down on GC but I was over the moon to take the points jersey and 4th place on stage two.

Huge thank you to MDCC for the support as always and to my Dad for taking me to the race. None of this would happen without them. Now looking forward to Totnes Vire and seeing what I can do there.

Cadence Junior Road Race – National Series Round 1

The Mid Devon CC are proud to have a squad of 4 talented Junior riders for 2018. This weekend saw the first of the National Series in Wales with both 2nd Year Juniors Louie Priddle and Harrison Wood representing the club. To have two riders place in the Top 10 in an event such as this is a remarkable achievement. Louie came in 4 and Harrison just behind in 6th. Massive congratulations to them both.

Louie Priddle

This was a race I was unable to race last year but this year I was able to. I had heard and read a lot about this race from previous years. It seemed like it was a race to break away on – but not to early and not too late! On the Saturday Harrison W arrived at my house for us to drive up and stay at the same hotel in ‘Three Cocks’ right next to the sign on for the Sunday. I went out and did course recon just after we arrived at the hotel and I ended up doing 2 laps whilst Harrison went on for some extra. The course looked tough in places mainly the finish where it went up a 1km climb! There were also some very tight bends with some slippery surfaces due to gravel and mud.

On the Sunday I woke up had my breakfast and got in the van and travelled literally 1 min to the HQ! All signed on and kitted up I started a 15min warm up just focusing on getting my legs opened up because I knew it would be a quick start being the first national of the year. We began the sketchy neutral section where there were actually a few crashes towards the back because of people trying to move up. After the first lap we were stopped because of ‘white lining’ and also to let the load of people who crashed get back on. After a good telling off we were off again. People were chipping off the front but nothing was successful. I had to keep the early race excitement under control and focus on what I was want to achieve.

After 2 and a half laps had passed I knew I had to move now because there were two riders up the road gaining time and if I’d go now I thought hopefully others would follow and form a nice group! And that we did. I attacked with Joe West who had been out for two laps prior to that so he was a bit tired. But I knew there was a group of 3 coming up behind so I pushed on even harder to make the gap bigger. The group of 3 made it to me and we worked very well to chase the two out front down. After two laps of chaingang and chasing them down we caught the two up front. We now had a break of 5 and still gaining time on the peloton. I believe I time gap went up to 2mins 40 at its peak.

On the 2nd to last lap one of the Spokes riders From Scotland chipped of the front. From then on our group started looking at each other and not wanting to work. We worked but it wasn’t smooth at all with riders skipping turns and just sitting on (very frustrating after working so well for 65km!) we hit the final climb and the rung the bell to signal the final lap! This was it – we had to push on hard or else we’d start to get caught quickly by the chasing group! Which had Harrison W and a few other strong riders in.

We hit the final climb and I glanced behind to see the chasing group behind about 10s back. I really had to dig deep if I wanted a top 3 now. I attacked half way up the climb and came past the group when cramp hit both my legs, legs on fire I was about 30 meters from the line and I could here heavy breathing and panting just behind me. I sprinted to the line and just missed out on third place by half a wheel length. And ended up getting 4th.

For the first national of the year I was pleased with how the legs were and am excited to be doing the MDCC Hilly TT on good Friday Luxembourg and then Travelling to Luxembourg on the Saturday to race in the Bob Jungels UCI race on the Sunday. Massive thank you to My Dad for driving us around and also MDCC for all of the support given to us.

Harrison Wood

Last year was an eventful first national awakening for me. Being taken out by a motorbike wasn’t exactly how I planned on ending the 2017 race. I was therefore excited and of course a bit nervous for the 2018 edition of the race. I travelled up the day before with Louies dad and I rode 4 laps of the course the day before so I knew exactly what was to come!

Now onto race day. The race started in typical UK fashion. Riders crossing the white lines with a few crashes chucked in the mix as well for good measure. The race was then stopped as I predicted after the 1st lap. They told us off. I got to the front and rolled off the front. Kind of by accident really but still a group of 5 of us rode through and off. I didn’t commit really and after half a lap we were pulled back.

I held my position towards the front until around 60 kms to go from the end when I got caught behind a rather big crash. Luckily I only ended up in a thorn bush which was good ish! However I then had to chase back on for a bit as the pace was pretty high as Louie and a few others had attacked just before. I got back on and it eased. I used this opportunity to move towards the front. Then I noticed a few rides were drifting off so I decided to jump across with just under 3 laps to go. We went hard and eventually the elastic snapped to the peloton and we were away. A group of 5 of us working well together chasing a group of 6 who with around 40 kms to go still had 2.5 minutes on us. With 1.5 laps to go we had caught a few from the break but we’re still 1.5 minutes behind the break. We went even harder and eventually just as we hit the bottom of the final 2 minute climb we caught them. I was done in by this point after a very hard few laps. I rolled over the line to take 6th which I was happy with after having a fairly eventful race.

Next time I hope to avoid crashing and I’m sure the top result will follow! Thanks to MDCC for the support, well done to Louie for 4th and his Dad for taking us!