Bike Shed UEx - June/July News
18th July 2014
The young guys on the Bikeshed-UEx squad have had a memorable and action-filled last 6 weeks, with great results and good-humour throughout.
The National Road Race at Abergavenny showed the huge potential for our riders to mix-it with the very best UK professionals. The line-up held no fears for Andy Feather and soon into the very trying terrain, groups started splitting off the front. A large bunch soon whittled down to Team Sky, plus 20 others, and on the run-in to Abergavenny, 4 Sky riders plus the Yates twins were off the front. Andy joined David Millar, Alex Dowsett and Geraint Thomas in a 14-man chase group. The pace was unrelenting onto the finishing circuits in town, and it is here that the distance eventually put-paid to Andy’s Championship ride, bowing out at 140km. An outstanding performance in high-calibre company, Andy proved that competing with the best can be achieved and for that he deserves great credit.
Preceding the Road Race, the 2 youngest riders on the squad, Ash Martin and Oscar Hutchings rode the U23 Individual Time Trial, placing 24th and 29th respectively, with the last, brutal climb to stay long in the memory! 4 teams placed 2 riders in the top 30, Bikeshed-UEx being one of them, another great ride by both.
The 5 Day Ras de Cymru is now in it’s 10th year and the competition gets stronger and runs deeper every year. The race proved to be quite eventful on many fronts, both Ash and Oscar being brought down whilst in breaks on stage 2, Oscar spending 5 hours in A&E waiting for stitches in a deep hand wound. Stage 5 showed some tired legs, Oscar bridging to a break after 20 miles and contributing well to drive it along, gained some valuable time at the finish. The final stage, with the long Llanganydr climb at the end, was obviously going to be decisive. Both Ash and Rich Oram marshalled Oscar well, with Ash putting in a mighty 50kph effort to the foot of the climb, placing Oscar 2nd wheel as the climb started. At the end of it all, a 9th place on GC for Oscar, 27secs off 5th, showed great commitment and reflected outstanding team spirit and teamwork.
The 2 Day Kalas Cup run in Somerset was a wearing-down affair in hot conditions. After Day 1 spent at Ilton circuit, with 3 stages, the team of Ash, Al, Pete Medhurst and Al Murison were well placed to have a real go on the road stage. The race soon split, with a good size group off the front, including Ash and Al. After several splits and attacks, Ash timed his effort well to finish 4th on stage, 4th overall and 3rd in U23 competition, again teamwork playing an important part of the end-result.
Elsewhere during this busy period, Andy gained his Elite licence with a win from a 2 man break at Ilton, a great achievement to get the necessary points in less than 4 months. Al Murison went through a purple patch, winning at Westpoint in Devon, Winchester and Perranporth, taking his season’s tally of wins to 5, great going whilst he studied his way to a 1st Class Degree at the University of Exeter.
Pete Medhurst contributed to the winning-streak at Ilton, again winning from a break, Pete mightily driving it along with Ash holding the points leader’s green jersey throughout. Oscar getting 3rd at VC Venta’s crit, Pete again getting in a strong break to finish 5th at Ports NE road race, all resulting in the team being ranked well within the UK top 30 teams, just rewards for their guy’s efforts.
All the team’s fortunes and developments/plans of the University of Exeter cycling programme can be found on Facebook, Bikeshed-UEx and twitter @BikeshedUEx