Report by Graham Robins
There were wins today for Adrian Lansley (PedalOn) and Claire Smith (Cotswold Veldrijden) at the latest round of the Wessex League at a muddy Southampton Sports Centre. Both the winners quickly dispatched their fellow riders to lead from the front winning their race comprehensively.
Our hosts today were Sotonia CC who laid out a challenging course made harder by the overnight rain which throughout the day cut the course top layer turning it into a sticky mud which clogged up some riders bikes making running some sections a necessity. The morning was chilly but there was no further rain and sun came out to brighten the course.
As the race got underway Sam Allen (PedalOn) made a good start leading the riders into the woods for the first time. Close behind the Overton based rider was Lansley and Alex Forrester (Zepnat.com) along with Tom Sewell (Cotswold Veldrijden) and the promoting teams Tom Budden. In the mix on the early laps was Christopher Rothwell but as the laps ticked away so did the young Swindon riders chances of a podium.
So three laps in to the race and Lansley had pulled out 10secs over Forrester and 12secs on Allen, Rothwell was already sliding back at 40secs. In the middle of the top ten there was a good race within a race as Budden, Michael Guilford (VC Meudon) and Joe Hickerton (BPC Spokes) was locked together. The race was going to be decided by a very busy pit crew jet washing bikes sometimes twice in a lap as riders tried to keep the mud at bay.
With Lansley clear and able to select a clean line on each lap his lead built to around 20secs from Forrester and 34secs to Allen with the remainder losing time on each lap there were no more changes within the top ten. At the finish the top four remained unchanged, with Karl Norfolk (PedalOn) finally managing to pass Budden in the closing stages to take fifth. Budden held on sixth with Hickerton going the other way. One rider losing out was Michael Guilford who was caught and passed by Oscar Hutchings (VC Equip-Flix) in the closing stages, whilst Doug Woolett (Maybush CC) closed out the top ten despite being a lap down.
Claire Smith (Cotswold Veldrijden) was the winner of the combined women’s race but she had to get past a few on the opening lap. Making the early lead on the opening lap was Sarah Barber (North Hants RC) followed by Jennifer Forrester (Zepnat.com) and Lindy Larkin (Sarum Velo). However once in her stride Smith quickly dispatched her fellow riders and was soon in amongst the vet50+men.
By the second lap Lydia Brookes (Les Filles) had moved ahead of Forrester but she was unchallenged as next rider was Kate Robson (PedalOn) who was down another 30secs. Holding her position in the mid order was Charlotte Sampson (Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s), however she was not close enough to get the final podium position in the senior category. With Smith now over a minute up on the chasers it was Harriet Guest and team mate Jessica Conner (Cotswold Veldrijden) who were down in sixth and seventh but secure on the podium in the vet category. The third different category in this race was a junior one and this was won by Connie Stevens (PPV).
All the action of the day was in the vet50+ race as several riders vied for the lead on the opening couple of laps. The first too lead was Dave McMullen (Cotswold Veldrijden) followed by Kevin Holloway (GS Vecchi) and Gary Barlow (Reading CC) along with Robin Delve (Mid Devon CC) and Mike Williams (Fareham Wheelers).
At the mid race distance and with all the changes taken place it was Barlow who had gravitated to the top ahead of McMullen and Delve although the West country rider was nearly 2mins behind the leader. The top ten also included Holloway and Martyn Dymond (C&N cycle RT) despite the two riders being 2mins 30secs and 3min 30secs behind respectively. The top race positions were now settled and it was only the time gaps that changed as the final laps ticked away.
In the mixed vet40+ and junior race there was a tussle at the front throughout as Paul Lloyd and Dan Guest (Cotswold Veldrijden) who resumed their battle but for the first time in the mud this season. The two riders could not be separated for most of the race as they swapped the lead with each finding different parts of the sticky course to their liking. Angus Hawkins (PPV) was in control of the junior part of the race with Matthew Coulson (PPV) the second junior albeit a further 1min 47secs down.
A rider who has been looking forward to the first mud of the season was Anthony Turner (Cotswold Veldrijden) and he wasted no time cutting through the field picking off riders on each lap and taking a fine fifth place and the final spot on the vet40+ podium. Jay Allen (PedalOn) finished in tenth place but in doing so he took the third step of the junior podium.
A rider in top form and still without a team Euan Macleod led the youth race right from the start to the end. The young Reading based rider set a blistering pace as he opened out a lead of over a minute within a couple of laps and finished 1min 47secs clear of second place rider Max Edgington and 1min 55secs ahead of third place Felix Clacy both from the Solent Pirates youth team. Also unattached Amelia Prior was the winner of the female section of the race.
(full results here)
1st Adrian Lansley PedalOn 60mins 47secs
2nd Alex Forrester Zepnat.com @36secs
3rd Sam Allen PedalOn @57secs
4th Christopher Rothwell PM ‘3min 30secs
5th Karl Norfolk PedalOn @5mins 04secs
6th Tom Budden Sotonia @5mins 43secs
7th Joe Hickerton BPC Spokes Racing @5mins 58secs
8th Oscar Hutchings VC Equip-Flix @6mins 53secs
9th Michael Guilford VC Meudon @8mins 10secs
10th Doug Woolett Maybush CC @1lap
1st Claire Smith Cotswold Veldrijden 39mins 54secs 1st vet
2nd Lydia Brookes Les Filles @1min 17secs 1st Senior
3rd Jennifer Forrester Zepnat.com 2nd Senior
4th Kate Robson PedalOn 3rd Senior
5th Charlotte Sampson Hargroves Ridley Montezuma’s
6th Harriet Guest Cotswold Veldrijden 2nd vet
7th Jessica Connor Cotswold Veldrijden 3rd vet
8th Lindy Larkin Sarum Velo
9th Sarah Barber North Hants RC
10th Rachel Clay VC Meudon
1st Paul Lloyd PM 39mins 31secs
2nd Dan Guest Cotswold Veldrijden @6secs
3rd Angus Hawkins PPV 1st junior
4th Matthew Coulson PPV 2nd junior
5th Anthony Turner Cotswold Veldrijden
6th Mike Simpson beeline Bicycles RT
7th Anthony White Royal Dean Forest CC
8th Tim Hyde PM
9th Tim Jones Cowley Road Condors
10th Jay Allen PedalOn
1st Gary Barlow Reading CC 41mins 47secs
2nd Dave McMullen Cotswold Veldrijden @23secs
3rd Robin Delve mid Devon CC
4th Kevin Holloway GS Vecchi
5th Martyn Dymond C&N cycles RT
6th Phillip Boarer GS Vecchi
7th Mike Williams Fareham Wheelers
8th Malcolm Cross VC Venta
9th Tim Costello GS Vecchi
10th Chris Hutchings VC Venta