Not content to let cousin Jack Coates take all the glory – see separate report – James Coates put in a fantastic performance for 14th place and 9 points in the 2017 Junior Men’s Road Race National Championships at Wallingford on Sunday 16 July. And it was his birthday!
James too the time to put a report on the Junior Race Team Facebook page.
“Where do I start….
“First of all, it was my 18th birthday and I was just happy to take part in the National champs. Never mind be in the winning break, it all started 50 miles into the race where I and 2 other riders attacked before the 2nd to last climb of the day, We got to the climb with a sizable lead on the peloton. We had a good group and caught some riders up in front of us from an earlier attack. Up the climb I looked back only to see Tom Pidcock and Dan Tullet bridging the gap to our group of seven.
“After the climb Tom drove the pace all the way on the false flat and after that effort we had a 58 sec lead over the main bunch and was only 30 seconds from the front group on the road. We had over 25 miles of racing left to do but with some top riders in the bunch we were determined to stay away. We all worked together and slowly we clawed back the lead group of 6 riders, and just after the feed zone we caught them.
“Now a group of 15 we were sure that the peloton couldn’t catch us with only one lap left to do. The second time up the climb the favourite Tom, launched a brutal attack and only 5 riders were able to go with him. What remained of the break, tried to get some form off order to try catch them back up but no matter how hard we rode the gap kept growing until they had about 25 seconds on us. Then It was just trying to get to the finish before the peloton could catch us. Surprisingly we held the gap and wasn’t caught and my group ending in a sprint finish racing for the minor placings in which I got 14th out of 120 riders
“My team’s mates Tom and Rob, didn’t have the legs to hold on to the front group up the steep climb after 50 miles of racing, still a top effort from them and they will be up there at the next national at Bath.
“As a team I know we don’t have the biggest budget, or the best riders we are kind of the under dogs and to get a good result like this is an amazing feeling and has boosted my confidence loads, hopefully more to come.”
James was one of only 20 riders out of a field of 120 to finish the race, just 1:28 down on the winner, Louis Rose-Davies of Canyon UK.
Confirmed results from the British Cycling website.
The team has commented that James’s ride has boosted the confidence and moral of the whole team. Well done James!
Photographs courtesy of Ian Cullen.