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Bike Shed UEx - May News

29th May 2014

What a busy few weeks for the Bikeshed-UEx riders; mixed fortunes throughout but great performances
in all weather conditions.
 
Al Murison took a fine win in the Bournemouth Wheels Criterium in wet and slippery conditions around
the town centre. Having placed 2nd in the race last year, Al used the knowledge of the last few hundred
metres to good effect and won by half a wheel. “I came past with a bit of speed and just about held it;
very, very pleased.” This is an excellent win against good opposition and bodes well for the summer
months. Well done on a deserved victory.
 
 
A few days earlier, again in rotten, wet conditions, the guys raced the ‘1 Day in Dorset RR’ around a hilly
and testing course centred on Milton Abbas. The race was a real test of attrition and trying to avoid the
many punctures. With both Ash Martin and Al suffering from flats due to flints being washed onto the
course by the heavy rain, it was Andy Feather who sat comfortably in the top 15 or so all day, until the
decisive move with 20 miles to go. Joining Eliot Porter from RaphaCondorJLT, and going full gas, they
maintained a 20 sec lead going into the last few miles. A rider form Arbis-Colbert bridged to the leaders,
and in the sprint Andy finished a very creditable 3rd in a good quality and difficult race.
 
 
At the SW Divisional Championships based around Hatherleigh in Devon, warm weather greeted the
field in what was obviously going to be a very tactical race. Covering all the early moves and being proactive
when needed, the guys rode with a great deal of thought and confidence. An early but dangerous
move was covered well by Oscar Hutchings, as splits and counter moves happened behind. Being
outnumbered in the 4-man break and susceptible to being worked-over, Oscar used his head and waited
to see how the last lap would play-out. Andy was sitting-on George Pym’s wheel in a counter move,
forcing him to work as he chased, eventually joining the break as it slowed. Now having 2 riders, the
guys tried to set Andy up for the climb to the flat finish. Oscar did all he could for Andy, however George
took a deserved win. A tactical race with Oscar a fine 6th and Pete Medhurst riding very well and with
patience to finish 12th in his second long race of the weekend after finishing 10th in the BUCS RR in
North Yorkshire (!) the day before- a great effort by him.
 
The previous week the riders were greeted with foul weather at the revised Lincoln GP. The race was
littered with crashes, punctures and cross-winds even before reaching the famous Michealgate climb
and City circuit. Unfortunately, Pete Medhurst’s front wheel went from under him on a fast bend and he
came down heavily, but thankfully unscathed. However, the crash put him out. Ash Martin was riding
very well until bad luck of a different kind came his way, spectacularly. Making his way into a 20 man
break which included many of the favourites, and with 20 secs lead, Ash came out of a left bend only to
be greeted by “a bloody big dog” running across the road; the dog took Ash out at 36mph, leaving him
battered, bruised but thankfully mostly ok. A real piece of random bad-luck to end a highly promising
ride. Oscar Hutchings, riding his first Lincoln, survived the carnage of the revised big loops, and entered
the finishing circuit in the vastly reduced bunch. The pace and spread of riders up the cobbled
Michealgate climb proved however to be the last straw , but his experience of the event will only do him
good in future events at Lincoln, where knowledge is key. Meanwhile, Al avoided all the troubles, and
rode very well to finish the 200km event in a group placed 42-50th, comfortable on the climb and through
the remainder of the lap, a highly creditable ride on a very difficult day.
 
The previous weekend saw the Cycle Wlitshire GP in totally different conditions, with warm sun and light
winds. The course is centred around Wilton, and the opening laps take the riders up the steep Fovant
climb and around the local villages, where good crowds greeted the riders. However, Al suffered
misfortune this time, being brought down by a crash in front of him, no physical harm, but this put him
out of contention. Ash Martin punctured, but received service and paced himself back to the peloton well.
However he got back to the bunch just as they hit the climb hard, Ash just getting dropped. Meanwhile,
Andy had made his way into the break of the day with a 19-man group up the road by over a minute.
When another small group bridged, this was obviously the decisive move. Real misfortune however,
when Andy started to suffer cramp in the last 5 miles, and tied-up badly after an excellent ride at the
front for over 90 miles. Really good riding from Andy. Oscar rode very well all day, sitting mid bunch and
finished a very good 56th in his first taste of this level of racing. Real promise from the guys.
 
In amongst the weekend races, Ash took his first win in an E12 event, beating Marcin Bialoblocki to the
line at Ilton, and Pete recording 2nd place at The University of Exeter Westpoint crit.
 
So, all in all, a very busy time with a real mix of fortunes but with the lads in good spirits throughout.
More info, photos and reports can be found at the team’s Facebook page Bikeshed UEx.

Thanks to Eammon Deane for the photos.