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Apr 19

Keith Carter Memorial RR – A war of attrition

April 12th marked something of a home fixture for Hull Thursday with the Keith Carter Road Race taking place over the arduous Newbald course, which was to go up the Cote de Newbald 6 times!

 

However for some, 6 times hardly seems enough with the firepower of HTRT’s Danny Posnett and Graham Morgan on show. They were supported by Josh Ravn, Will Thomas, Shaun Nicholson, under the weather Matt Johnson and George Leighton. As it was our ‘home’ event, we also had additional club riders in TT supremo Jim Trevor and Rich Dean participating. One rider missing was myself. After a somewhat short comeback I was then knocked off by a car and forced out due to injury. Although what was more painful, 6 times up Newbald or a broken collarbone, is up for discussion.

 

After a debrief on Townend Road, the riders were off and up the climb of Newbald under neutralised conditions. Many of the riders were perhaps unsure at this point if they’d see the finish.

 

First time up the climb in race mode, the majority of the group were still together but with one exception. Shaun was clearly having a bad day and was a fair way behind. He did something though which was quite remarkable which I’ll explain later, but for now he was struggling.

 

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Billy Robinson, Squadra RT (No 42) climbs alongside Graham Morgan, Hull Thursday RT

 

 

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Danny Posnett, black helmet, climbs Burgate

 

 

Over the crest of the hill to mark the end of lap 1 and splits started to occur, where the crosswinds were at their strongest. Fortunately Danny & Graham made it across but the rest had to be content with their place in the second group. The first split of half a dozen expanded to 11, including the dangerous Paul Rymer from Wilson Wheels and 4 riders from Arrow Cycles. Their team manager must have been pleased.

 

By the time the group came up the hill for the 2nd time they were well clear. Was this game over for everyone else I wondered? When the main bunch came through HTRC were a little short in numbers. Josh was toiling just a few yards off the rear of the bunch, struggling to close down those final few metres. Next up was Will in a group off the back, followed by Jim & the joyful Rich, who looked like he was on a club run from the grin on his face. Its not meant to be fun this racing lark, Rich!. No sign of Matt though. He was clearly still struggling from his previous weeks illness and ended up having to abandon. Shaun was still on the go, however, refusing to give up.

 

Onto the climb for the 3rd time closing in on the halfway point, and the group of 11 was still in tact and their gap was still increasing. It was here when I managed to hitch a lift in the back of the first aid car been driving by Neil and Mandy Dean. We were behind the main bunch which suddenly picked up Josh at the top of the climb. Had he tried to break away and was now getting caught I wondered. Alas that was not the case. He’d had a problem with his chain and had to sit out a lap. He looked comfortable once he rejoined the group though, but the legs gave out a lap later and he had to call it a day.

 

Being in the first aid car we had exclusive access to the radios shared within the race convoy, and we had constant time checks been thrown our way between the leading group and the main bunch. Within a lap the gap expanded from 1 minute 40 to over 3 minutes! By this point the race was over for the second group, with Josh later remarking it was slower and more social than a club ride with racers talking between each other.

 

The leading group though was starting to crack. Perhaps expected under such pressure. It had fallen to just 5 riders, Rymer, Robert Webster of Arrow Cycles and Billy Robinson of Squadra RT. Importantly from our point of view, both Danny and Graham were still in there.

 

The group shrank in numbers yet further up the penultimate slog of the Cote’. Rymer and Webster had attacked and were away with a 20 second lead. Could the HTRT duo pull it back? Time was running out if they were to do so.

 

Despite a huge turn by Graham on the back section of the course, the first into the finishing straight was Paul Rymer, who’d dropped his breakaway companion, Robert Webster, to win solo by nearly half a minute.

 

After these two came a black and white HTRT jersey of Graham. Or was it? Charging up to the line was in fact Danny who’d dropped Billy and Graham for yet another 3rd place, despite having cramp for large portions of the last lap. Graham was next followed by Billy, who deserves credit for such a great performance at such a young age. It was a while before the top 10 was completed, with nearly 7 minutes covering 1st to 10th.

 

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Posnett powers up the climb in the second group

 

 

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Graham Morgan approaches the finish for 4th place

 

 

 

Next HTRC rider was Jim in 28th place, followed by Rich nearly half an hour down in 34th place. Yet, amazingly, there was still another HTRT rider to finish in Shaun. He’d spent the majority of the race propping up the bunch alone. Lap after lap he carried on, when most of us, including me no doubt, would have packed up long before. For that he deserves respect in my opinion and showed the character we like to display in our club of not giving up. Fantastic effort to all that finished though, with only half the field completing the event.

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Richard Dean rides to the finish showing his grit and determination

After today’s stellar performances, the team now has over 50 BC points and are in the top 5 in the Yorkshire Club Rankings. Its defied my expectations for sure, especially when you consider that Newbald marked the first event were we scored any BC points in 2014.

Hopefully this success can continue for the remaining months of racing.

 

Mark Walker
HTRC RR Secretary