St Ives cyclists in tense finish
EIGHTY riders took to the roads of Huntingdonshire at the weekend as St Ives Cycling Club hosted the Anglo Polymers Road Race. The riders completed five laps of the circuit between Woodwalton and Upton, for a total course distance of 55 miles. Nigel Burns
EIGHTY riders took to the roads of Huntingdonshire at the weekend as St Ives Cycling Club hosted the Anglo Polymers Road Race.
The riders completed five laps of the circuit between Woodwalton and Upton, for a total course distance of 55 miles.
Nigel Burns, Paul Rennie, Mark Thomson, Andy Wylde and Tom Caldwell represented St Ives in the race, which began at Huntingdon Leisure Centre.
Prior to the race Thomson had said he was planning to sit in for three laps then make a break - this went the way of all the best plans as circumstances took over and on the first climb a very strong rider from the Interbike team broke away.
Thomson was the most alert out of the St Ives contingent and jumped on his wheel, working hard for the next few laps and building up a substantial lead at one stage.
The remaining St Ives riders sat up in an effort to slow the bunch as well as chasing down riders who broke away in pursuit of the two riders at the front of the race - both legitimate tactics in cycle racing where teams work together to protect their team mates in a break from the pursuing bunch.
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With St Ives CC working well together to contain the bunch - helped by the Interbike squad who also had a rider up the road - it looked as though the two riders would stay away to contest the finish alone.
However, on the last lap a determined chase reeled the two breakaways back into the pack and everyone was back together again.
Caldwell tried a last gasp effort by attacking on Coppingford Hill four miles from the finish. He managed to break clear, but one rider alone will always struggle to remain away from the pack in the final stages of a road race unless there is an incident behind.
By Upton, with one mile to go, Caldwell was caught and the race came back together for a bunch sprint. With a long straight run in the sprint often begins too early and the riders ran out of steam before the line.
Sadly for Wylde, who was hanging back and waiting to time his effort, this didn't prove to be the case and he was left with 20th position for his troubles with the remaining riders finishing safely in the middle of the bunch.
INFORMATION: Visit www.stives-cc.co.uk