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Race Reports - 05/04/15

9th April 2015

The biggest event of the last week was the first round of the British Cycling Elite Road series, the Chorley GP in Lancashire. Andy Feather lined-up against 140 others, including all the domestic professional teams, which were expected to dominate the hilly 190 km race. The first lap was relatively steady, with the field scouting not only the course but each other too. An early break of 2 riders built up a small lead, but on the 2nd of 5 laps, a sizeable group of 15 established a lead of over a minute, and with all the Pro team well represented, this was destined to stick throughout. Despite the wearing down nature and distance, Andy never looked in any trouble, but was obviously reliant on the break to be pulled-back for a high overall finish. Despite attacks, counters and a few solo moves, the leading group were not to be brought back, and going into the last lap, the now very much reduced main bunch, eased off the chase. The last time up Rivington climb, Andy made a move to try and encourage a few others to get away and secure a top 30 finish. Try as he might, no-one went with him, and despite another big effort to get away in the closing 2km, looking for top 25, he was ultimately destined to finish a highly credible 42nd in a vastly diminished field. Good riding throughout.
The team took the 3rd Time Trial win of the year, with Josh Jones winning the Bristol South 25 miler in a time of 55.46, 90 secs ahead of the field. This obviously indicates some really promising early season TT form and bodes well for the targets ahead. In the local Northover TT, Josh was 3rd and Oscar Hutchings 4th, again very promising TT form.
The Good Friday ‘Classic’ at Castle Combe is always a highly popular event and attracts big fields, this year was no exception. Alex Sheehan lined-up against good quality opposition, all eager to try and put an early season marker down. Try as groups might, nothing was destined to get away on a calm and mild day. However, with a lap and a half left, Alex drifted up the outside of the bunch and made a move for glory. The bunch hesitated and Alex had a gap, now she had to nail it! Joined by one of the GB Olympic Development riders, they worked hard together, but with 500m to go, were caught by the bunch, for a sprint finish. A great effort and very worthwhile tactic, exactly the right thing to do. On another day..