Gruelling race for St Ives cyclists

St IVES Cycling Club hosted the Anglo Polymers Road Race on Saturday, on a challenging course around Sawtry, Upton and Monks Wood. The gruelling 60 mile race, the 11th round of the Eastern Road Racing League championship, started at Huntingdon Leisure Cen

St IVES Cycling Club hosted the Anglo Polymers Road Race on Saturday, on a challenging course around Sawtry, Upton and Monks Wood.

The gruelling 60 mile race, the 11th round of the Eastern Road Racing League championship, started at Huntingdon Leisure Centre and the riders rode the early stages of the race behind the safety of the neutralized lead car.

When the teams dropped down Wood Walton Hill, the green flag was waved to signify that the racing had begun in earnest. A fast first lap saw many riders being dropped from the bunch as the St Ives quartet of Tom Caldwell, Andy Wylde, Leo Falkner and Nigel Burns pushed the pace ever faster.

Breakaways proved almost impossible in the stiff headwinds, but with one lap remaining a group of four riders slipped the clutches of the bunch by taking turns to battle against the wind. Local interest was kept alive with two riders in the break, in the shape of St Ives resident Paul Verlander, riding for Team Endura, and Cambridge CC's Glenn Vinnicombe.


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On the final climb through Upton, Vinnicombe found reserves of strength, and launched his sprint for the line, eventually powering across the line some five lengths clear of Verlander.

St Ives riders Caldwell and Wylde finished well up the results in a respectable 18th and 19th respectively, but Burns was not so lucky, suffering a puncture on the penultimate lap.

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