Easter weekend racing action

Taking advantage of the long weekend, Otley riders started their racing earlier last week on Good Friday. But was it all Good for them?

Time Trialling

Claire Jessop was over near Hull riding in the City Road Club (Hull) 10 on Good Friday, 30th March. This was the first open event held in the area since suspension of events on the A63 pending discussions with Highways England regarding the proposed ban on cycling on that road.

The very fast V718, on which the City RC event was due to be held, uses the A63 so the V714 was used instead. With the HQ still in Newport, riders head west instead of east for the outward leg, using B1230 and turning at Howden.

Claire reports that “…it was cold and the course slightly lumpy, definitely not comparable with the V718. It was a shame that we’re many DNS’s as it was a well run event, loads of marshals and the road surface has recently been refreshed”.

The event was split into three, one for Tandems, one for Women and Juniors, one for Men. Unfortunately, the sole tandem suffered a puncture so was a DNF. In the women’s category Karen Ledger of Team Bottrill was fastest with 23:56, Claire recording 28:19. Fastest junior was Cavan Walker of CT Onform with 22:01 and Simon Beldon, also of Team Bottrill, carried on his winning ways in 2018 as fastest man in 20:10.

Photograph courtesy of Greg Jessop.

Road and Circuit Racing

Otley Race Team riders Tom Cullen, Joe Howcroft and Robbie Pollard took part in the 2/3/4 category iMann Easter 2 Day held Good Friday and Easter Saturday based at Stanfordham in Northumberland. Each day was to consist of a 60-mile stage, Friday’s 5 laps of Ingoe Moor circuit, Saturday’s 3 laps of Ryals.

Stage 1

Team Manager Tim Howcroft commented on the first stage “First stage of the IMann 2 day and all our team finished safely in the bunch. Not the result we wanted but team talk tonight and our boys are super motivated. Tomorrow is 3 laps up the famous Ryals climb but what ever happens the boys will be fighting all the way”.

Photograph courtesy of Tim Howcroft.

Stage 2

The run of bad weather continued over the Easter weekend, heavy rain resulting in Saturday’s stage being cut from 3 to 2 laps, but that didn’t stop our three riders putting in a good performance, Tom in particular.

Over to Tim Howcroft again for comments.

“Great results for Otley race team, Tom in the winning break finishing 3rd on stage 2, Robbie and Joe 18th & 19th in the remains of the bunch (which was small). Horrendous conditions, well done lads great team work”.

Photographs courtesy of Tim Howcroft

Photograph courtesy of Dave Howcroft

‘The Three Cock Wombles’ as labelled by Tim and Dave Howcroft!

Megan Cullen rode the Oakenclough Road Race in Lancashire on Easter Saturday based at Catterall. Here’s Megs report on her race. Photographs courtesy of Ian Cullen.

“5 laps of a 11 mile circuit, with 270m ascent each lap. Consisted of a large, 60 women field with Elites, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th cats.

“This was my first race on open roads quite a tough one to start with, practically a national field, so I wasn’t excepting anything.

“On the morning of the race it was raining and fairly cold, but after lots of discussion I finally decided to go with shorts.

“It all started well. I felt comfortable in the peloton, till we got to the big climb. Elite rider Nicola Juniper attacked and went on to win the race. I dug in, the peleton split into small groups. I rode around with one other woman.

“For my first ride race it was a great experience, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Next big race is the Witham Hall Junior Women’s on the 15th April, which I’m doing with Otley Team mate Beth Zajac. It’s meant to be a lot flatter, so will hopefully better suited for me”.