Race Report – Velopark Winter Warmer Criterium

The 2017 Road season started at the Velopark on Sunday 19th February. Mid Devon CC Race Team managed to place a rider on every race podium! Dave Lewis unleashed a killer sprint to take 3rd in the 4’s only. Mark Coombe took 3rd in the 3’rd Cat only to be knocked off a few days fracturing his kneecap so best wishes to him and hopefully he’ll be back in action soon


Ash Towey made the break in the Elite race and held on for second. Here is Ash’s thoughts on how the race unfolded

The first race of the season is always an odd one, you know you’ve been hitting some good numbers but you can never tell whether this will translate into results. The weather was good, overcast and dry which is ideal with a circuit like the Velopark – no rain please. A reasonably small field took to the start line in the E,1,2 race which is pretty standard for this category of criteriums. With such a small field it was naturally going to break up and would end up in a bunch vs breakaway battle. I knew which side I wanted to be on. Around 10 minutes in a Tri-uk rider was just off the front and the main group seemed to have eased off as they were bunched up. I took this opportunity to get a soft break where I could just roll off the front unnoticed, this worked and as I got a slight gap I put the gas down in such a way that the group behind would not think I was going hard. This was important because I did not want to ‘threaten’ them, I was happy to get a gap and let them think they could chase back on later. I went straight around the tri-uk rider once I was off the front, keeping a hard pace, I was prepared to put my nose into the wind. After settling in I was soon joined by the Tri-uk rider and another rider from Exeter Uni. We then got down to business, swapping turns religiously, no hesitation. All three of us knew that if we wanted to stay away we would have to work together and hope that the main group would not cooperate. This worked well as we held our gap and increased it slightly to around 10 seconds.

From previous experience a full hairpin bend is usually enough in a breakaway at the Velopark so we adjusted our effort accordingly. Around 40 minutes in I did sprint for a flag, turns out it was the women’s race finish and I needn’t have sprinted. Easily confused. After this minor blip we got back to working together and we kept pulling turns until the last lap. The usual cat and mouse ensued, I made a little move into the second to last hairpin to test the waters and then slipped to the back. With a headwind sprint this was going to be the best place to go from. I also know that I do not have the most powerful sprint but was prepared to give it my best shot and hope that the other two had used all their matches. On the final bend the Exeter uni rider made a break for it and I made an effort to follow but was unable to and so went as hard as I could for the line just pipping the tri-uk rider to the line. We worked well together and were all happy to have stayed away, it’s more fun in a breakaway.

Jenny Corser took the win in the Women’s race with a another great performance


4th Cat only
1 Evan Rouse Propello – Carb Cycles
2 Matthew Stephenson Salt & Sham Cycle Club
3 Dave Lewis Mid Devon CC
4 George Charles UPC – Rockets & Rascals
5 Thomas Bass Salt & Sham Cycle Club
6 Darren Webb Somerset RC – The Bicycle Chai…
7 Paul Gallimore Army Cycling Union
8 James Scott Mid Devon CC
9 Michael Hoare UPC – Rockets & Rascals
10 Mark Byrne Plymouth Corinthian CC

3rd Cat only
1 Alfie Peters Team Novo Nordisk (Development…
2 Corey Bale Cycle Team OnForm
3 Mark Coombe Mid Devon CC
4 Mark Lees Southfork Racing.co.uk
5 Mark Gibbs Tanks Direct Cycling
6 Robert Lewis Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA
7 Max Moyles University of Exeter Cycling C…
8 Craig Reynolds Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA
9 Daniel Benford
10 Mark Puddicombe Charterbank Potburys RT

1 Frederik Scheske University of Exeter Cycling C…
2 Ashley Towey Mid Devon CC
3 Giles Greening Tri UK
4 Julian Pitocco Mid Devon CC
5 Luke Barfoot Tri UK
6 Oliver Yates Somerset RC – The Bicycle Chai…
7 Gareth Turner Latchem Sunwise Race Team
8 Joseph Saunders Mid Devon CC
9 Andrew Hitchens Mid Devon CC
10 Jack Salvidge Charterbank Potburys RT

1 Jenny Corser Mid Devon CC
2 Lucy Monk Exeter Wheelers
3 Neve Upton Cycle Team OnForm
4 Louise Hargreaves Salt & Sham Cycle Club