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Aug 04

Blyton Circuit Race – HTRC dominate

Usually Tuesday nights are reserved for training rides or time trials for Hull Thursday lads, so a trip down to Blyton near Gainsborough on Tuesday 21st July was something of a novelty.

 

I was joined at the event by Danny Posnett, who made something of a last minute decision to come, and Josh Ravn, who was still in search of the 3 points needed to get his 3rd cat licence.

 

The course was a mile or so of pan flat tarmac with a number of sweeping right hand bends. The wind was the main issue with the course been so exposed. We were to start under handicap rules with 4th category riders and 3rd’s who were over 50 going first. Next up were the 3rd category riders and then the 2nd’s, 1st’s and Elites – although no Elites turned up for this as far as I’m aware.

 

The race was to last 50 minutes and 3 laps & to start off with the pace in my group was fairly gentle. I wondered if we were going to catch the group ahead at the rate we were going. However when I saw Josh freewheeling in the group up ahead I realised that they were going even slower. So by around 10 minutes into the event, our two groups merged. No one seemed willing to work and it felt that they were just waiting for the inevitable catch by the group up ahead.

 

Having gained my first bc points of the year on the previous Sunday, I felt somewhat liberated and was just wanting to have a play around on the night. So upon realising what the other riders were doing, I put in an attack to try and bridge up to the rider up ahead. It worked, but in doing so I’d dragged everyone else with me. So I decided to wait and sit in and see about trying again later on. My move had started to encourage other attacks, though, and riders were starting to try and break the elastic.

 

Most of the moves came to naught, but I countered a move from one particular rider on the back stretch and by the time I looked back I was completely on my own with a decent lead. The group of the 2nd & 1st cats including Danny, who’d done things the hard way by joining solo after a 3 lap chase, had caught us by this point, so I wasn’t expecting to be out front for long.

 

However after a lap I was still in the lead and the same thing again the lap after. I was suffering like crazy into the headwind section but trying to keep a smooth rhythm so as not to blow completely. By the third lap away I had to go down a gear into the headwind and was caught soon after, but it was good TT practice anyway.

 

When I was eventually caught I had to then sprint on to the back wheel of a Clay Cross rider, who had the audacity to tell me to pull out of the race as I wasn’t going fast enough for him. He even assumed I was a lapped rider! The guy was crazy, as you could tell by him smacking his thighs at the end of the race and cutting across the dirt to cut corners at every opportunity.

 

After all this my legs were burning and i was virtually last of the group. However the group was still big enough to allow me to recover. Danny then hit the front and strung the group out big time with 2 to go. Splits were starting to develop in front of me and I was struggling to hang on after my last effort. I had to bypass 2 groups due to riders swinging off with the pace. I was somewhat relieved when the lead bucnh eased up a tad allowing me to get back on in the process.

 

Hang on i did, and by the time we hit the bell lap we were all together. Not for long though as a searing acceleration from Danny allowed him to pull clear with no one on his wheel. Within seconds of him attacking i knew that he would get the win, despite the head wind. I made sure no one managed to get away and get up to him, which didn’t win me any popularity points from the riders comments, but at that point I couldn’t care less.

 

With the win seemingly in the bag, the next move came from Billy Robinson of Squadra RT with our own Josh Ravn glued to his back wheel. With both of them having to ride junior gears, their legs were pumping up and down at great speed down the fast back straight. I then followed a couple of other riders who tried to react leaving me in around 6th on the road.

 

As we hit the finishing straight, Danny cruised over the line for the win, but it was behind were the real action came. Josh, needing 3 points (7th place) to get his 3rd Cat license, was still right in the mix. Not only had he done well to follow a strong move by Billy, but then out-sprinted him for 2nd giving the team its first 1-2 and Josh his 3rd Cat licence.

 

We weren’t done there either. I’d just about hung on to the riders ahead of me once the sprint started. I knew i didn’t have the speed to overcome them in a sprint but by hanging on to their slipstream i was getting dragged along, preventing anyone passing me on the line. I eventually finished 9th which gave me a another point to my tally & the team a total of 19 BC points from the night in the club standings.

 

All in all a great night for all 3 of us & perhaps the most successful night we’ve had since we established the team at the start of 2014. Absolutely chuffed for Danny, who took his 2nd win of the year, but to see Josh’s joy at gaining this 3rd cat he’s been chasing all year was a real delight. He’d started the year with a flyer and it seemed inevitable he’d get his 3rd cat in no time but the wait for another point since March had been perhaps longer than anticipated, so it was great for him to finally get it.

 

Blyton Circuit Race

Mark Walker, Danny Posnett and Josh Ravn of Hull Thursday and Billy Robinson of Squadra RT

Blyton Circuit Race

Danny Posnett, eventual winner

Blyton Circuit Race

Danny Posnett, showing his cornering tekkers

 

 

Mark Walker
HTRC RR Secretary