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Aug 31

A Blyton brace for Posnett

Once more the Hull Thursday Racing team headed south of the Humber for the 9th Blyton circuit race on Wednesday 12th August. We had a strong team present, with recent 3rd Cat. Josh Ravn, Matt Johnson, Neil Dean, myself (Mark Walker) and Danny Posnett.

 

Beautiful sunshine presented itself to us on the start line at 7.30pm. As the event was handicapped, first off were the 4th and 3rd Cats over-50s containing Neil and Matt. Mine and Josh’s group, which contained just 10 or so 3rd Cat. riders, were next and had around a minute deficit on the previous group but with around 2 minutes advantage on the Scratch group containing Danny.

 

Having ridden the 7th edition a few weeks earlier I’d anticipated a fairly easy pace to begin with, so I was somewhat shocked at the initial pace as within a few hundred metres I was gapped, requiring something of a sprint to get back on. The group wasn’t working particularly well it must be said with just a few riders taking turns but the pace was high nonetheless. I managed a couple of stints on the front, but I wasn’t too keen to repeat my efforts from the previous event where it was an inevitability that we’d be caught, and time on the front was a bit of a waste. That was the mindset I had for the night, but I should have perhaps guessed that with the faster pace of tonight’s group, that the inevitability of getting caught was anything but inevitable.

 

We soon caught Group 1, but despite this I wasn’t feeling particularly strong. My recent good form seem to have deserted me and whereas in previous races the pedals felt light and easy to spin, tonight they felt like blocks of lead with any gear feeling one too many. The wind had something of an effect as it was pure crosswind for a lot of the course meaning shelter was at a premium.

 

In the group behind they were a little bit all over the place by all accounts, with individual riders attacking perhaps in a bid to bridge solo to us up front. It got worse when two riders collided and a crash ensued. As far as I’m aware nothing was damaged other than pride but it hardly did the group any favours in their pursuit of us.

 

Suddenly, with the sun setting in the distance, we’d hit the time limit and the laps were now counting down with just 3 to go. We were still out front but now only just. The attacks came by the time we hit the 2 To Go sign with Matt hovering over the back wheel of one particular rider. When he eased up, Matt countered and gradually gained an advantage. The guy on the front of our group was getting no help in his chase of Matt, and having been on the front almost all race was now tiring. Matt pressed on and by the bell lap he was still away with a good lead. Could he hold it to the line?

 

As we headed out of the first few corners the scratch group had caught us and Danny was now itching to make his move, repeating ‘I wanna go, I wanna go’. We all were, as both me and Josh had felt that we had enough in the tank to go for a long one. However we were loyal enough to Matt not to bother whilst he was away, and onto the back straight he still had a 100 metre gap. Unfortunately, with an impending sprint about to start, the pace was ramped up considerably and Matts advantage diminished and then evaporated completely. However this was the time to pounce. Danny was 2nd in the group, I was 3rd and Josh 4th. As soon as Matt was caught Danny wasted no time in attacking. His initial acceleration gained little, but as soon as the turbo kicked in he was off. Game over surely.

 

Coming up to the last corner I was swamped left right and centre with no where to go. I don’t like sprinting and banging elbows at the best of times, but tonight seemed particularly fraught. Josh had done well to get in the mix but would the bunch catch Danny?

 

It was close, but looking through the riders I could see a celebratory punch in the air from Danny clearly showing he’d made it ahead in 1st. Josh did well to get 9th with myself 18th, unable to make any ground once an opening presented itself on the outside of the pack. Neil was around 25th with Matt a little further behind, perhaps a bit crestfallen after his magnificent effort.

 

But the accolades went once more to Danny who’s proving something of a dominator of the Blyton circuit. 2 out of 2 for him and up to a total of 92 BC points for the year. He’ll be back for the final edition in the Blyton series I’m sure, where he’ll be looking to make it a hat trick of wins.

 

Mark Walker
HTRC Road Race Secretary