Seacroft Wheelers Spring Road Races for 3/4 category and 2/3 category riders took place in Selby on Sunday 26th March and members of our Junior Race Team were there hoping to score some early season points.
It was a mixed outcome over both races as team managers Martin Pollard and Ian Cullen report. The 3/4 race saw Harry Hunt finish a great 10th place for 1 point – see Harry’s report on his race below – with Toby Kitching on his wheel in 11th. James Coates unfortunatley got caught up in the aftermath of a crash which dropped him well down but safe.
Not so good for the 2/3 race as Robbie Pollard had to pull out half way with a mechanical and Tom Cullen also had problems with his bike after being caught up in a huge crash on lap 5 that had him landing in the nettles. Tom got back on but had to retire.
Harry has taken time to write a great report on his ride on the Junior Race Team Facebook page.
‘It was a very chilly start, driving out there, but it felt like the temperature was rising by the minute and once we had assembled for the neutralised section I decided on shorts and T-shirt being adequate clothing .
This was both mine and Toby’s first experience of an actual road race so I was quite nervous but comforted by it only being 3/4 cat and a very flat course except for two railway bridges.
So we rolled out on to the course and had a reasonably calm first half of the race, breaks regularly tried to get away but nothing stuck. James got up the road multiple times trying to break away, and once got away with five riders who looked strong but they were reeled back in. Some attacks were starting to look very promising but the main chasers were looking tired so I moved up to the business end managing to chase down a couple of solo efforts and was feeling good. After 5 laps (of 7) and 27 miles, still no breaks had got up the road so there was still a big bunch of around 40 riders going into the last 10 miles.
There were a few last ditch efforts but still no one had got away with 2km (1.24 miles) to go. On the back straight everyone wanted to get to the front and I was forced off of Toby’s wheel by some big bloke. However, I had the advantage of being able to get through smaller gaps but to get back up to the top 15 I chose to smash it round the outside instead. From here I was waiting and expecting at some point to get swamped by a surge of big burly men but this never happened…
Coming into the second to last corner I had selected the wheel I would stick to when I felt the nudge of someone hitting my back wheel and a clatter of carbon behind. Luckily, I was unaffected. Then as I exited the final 90° left hander I started my sprint with everything I had left but it was a long way to the finish and people were burning out and going backwards all around me (one of which on the floor from a touch of wheels but I avoided this) and managed to hang on just a little further to roll it across the line in a decent position.
Little did I know until Martin Pollard checked his video footage that I had outsprinted most of the group for 10th place in my first road race!
Toby finished just on my wheel and James not far either so a really strong showing from the team. We all felt really strong and good to put the improvements shown from Tom Murray’s FTP tests into reality, with good results thanks to his training.
Also big thanks to sponsors OTE for a delivery via Tom today, which we can’t wait to get using’.
Great report Harry. There’s a career as a journalist waiting for you when you finally retire from professional cycling!
Full results on the BC website here. Thanks to Martin and Ian for the photographs.