Race report for Noel Jones RR from Mid Devon CC Race Team Junior Steven Jones. Steven’s been getting some good results as the season progresses:
On Saturday afternoon we traveled to Hereford for the Noel Jones Memorial road race. I knew the course from the junior national earlier in the year – the only difference was it the finish, this time on the flat rather than the climb. The break formed very early – Ben Lockett, George Fowler and Owen James. The gap extended to around a minute and held for the remaining 2 hours of racing, with the group going down to 2 as Ben was dragged back with a lap to go.
In the bunch it was fairly event free, no pressure as I had no expectation of doing that well in such a strong field of more experienced riders. Every ascent of the 12% climb had me slipping back in the group, on the final time just slipping off the back with 6 others. The following descent was taken at nearly 80km/h in an attempt to get back on, and it succeeded, getting back on with around 7km to go. I carried speed from the chase through the bunch to get up to the front, going into the final 3km in the first 30 wheels but struggling to find a gap to move up further as riders spread themselves all over the road. I was happy just to be finishing in the bunch after my last race on that course…but somehow I scraped through in 15th, much to my surprise; a minute down on the 2 remaining from the break – George Fowler taking the win from Owen James.
It didn’t last however, the race organiser announcing at the prize giving that all riders who finished it the bunch were to be disqualified after dangerous riding by a large number of riders in the final. This meant only the 2 riders in the break received points. The result was still the same to me though, and I came away happy after a good weekend.