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Sep 21

Knottingley Velo – Double points score

The season may be drawing to a close, but the Hull Thursday Racing Team are still competing in the local racing scene. The latest event saw myself (Mark Walker), Josh Ravn and Danny Posnett tackle the 55 mile Knottingley Velo Road Race on the 13th September.

Personally, I wasn’t expecting much, with the 6 mile lap offering little to a climber such as me, whereas Danny was after just 2 points to break the 100 point barrier and Josh was probably hoping for a mass bunch sprint to make the most of his strengths.

I was keen to settle in as early as I could, but my poor skills in clipping my feet into the pedals left me freewheeling from the village hall for far too long, leaving me last on the road (not like I’ve been there before!). I did move up come the start and finish line, about half a lap later, and managed to have a go off the front. I escaped with one other rider, but the move only lasted a kilometre at most.

No sooner had we been caught though, that Danny then attacked. Perhaps his reputation preceded him, as no one was willing to risk the pain of going with him so early. So while the bunch questioned what to do, Danny’s lead grew all the time. Ruben Plaza at the recent Vuelta came to mind. Would he be able to do the impossible and stay away to the finish? Alas it wasn’t to be, and a lap later he was caught. First by a small group, then swiftly followed by the whole bunch.

Around lap 4, I was on the offensive again, chasing a move by Steve Ward of Biemme. It took me a while to hunt him down, but after a few seconds rest I took to the front, keen on establishing our advantage. I was perhaps the stronger, as not long after we got away, Steve indicated that he didn’t have the legs and duly dropped back to the bunch. In two minds, I decided to ease up, not willing (more likely not able) to go another 5 laps solo.

Next up was young Josh to go on the attack, although he didn’t strictly force the move. Sitting in second wheel, with myself in third, he managed to get away in part to my shocking cornering skills. Having noticed what was going on, he pressed on with Tony Grassby of Peak RC and with only one rider willing to chase from the bunch, it looked like a good move.

However, Josh’s reign at the front was short lived, as a sudden wave of attacks came, causing his lead to be eradicated. It was here where dangerman Rob Watkinson of Doncaster Wheelers made his move. Attacking numerous times, before breaking the stranglehold of the bunch. He broke free, and I wondered if that was the last we’d see of him due to his immense time trial skills.

After a few laps, including a trip to the back to take on food, I was on the offensive, following a home rider from Knottingley Velo on the back straight. No one seemed up for the chase and what started off as a small gap became suddenly quite big. I jumped on sprinting for all I was worth and after a slight break, I started to work. It looked like another doomed move, as rider after rider soon caught us around the start and finish line and I was expecting the entire bunch to catch us before long. However they never did, and with a group of about 7, we started to pull away.

With 2 to go we could see a group of 2 or 3 ahead, and it was only about a half lap later that I realised that Danny was one of the escapees, which in fact totalled 5. I was now working out numbers, knowing that points went down to 15 and there were 13 of us away. I knew I was a shoe-in for some points, but how many I wasn’t sure.

We bridged to the group ahead with less than a lap to go, but as soon as we did Rob Watkinson attacked. Clearly no one had the legs to go with him, with the exception of Giles Pidcock of Chevin Cycles. The two were soon off into the distance and the group of now 11 were somewhat taking it easy, saving their legs knowing the finish was arriving soon.

It wasn’t all action up front though. Worryingly, in the group behind, Josh was following a young rider from Beeston RC who ended up on the wrong side of the road coming up to a blind bend. He carried on and was hit head-on by a car. Needless to say he went flying, with his bike almost hitting Josh. It was a really nasty accident and apparently no one really knew what to do afterwards, whether to race or just sit up. The rider who was hit didn’t receive life-threatening injuries (somehow) as far as we were aware, but the nature of the crash was horrific.

Up ahead the finish line was now fast arriving. With the two up front well away, there was a fight for 3rd place. Not long after Pidcock won the sprint ahead of Watkinson, came an attack from Matt Bulmer (All Terrain Cycles) who powered away unchallenged to take 3rd with about 400 metres to go. Once the sprint revved up I found my legs wanting a little, so I used others’ slipstreams to pass a few riders and take 9th on the line, whilst Danny ended up 5th – and break the 100 point barrier in the process. I could have done a bit more to take maybe 7th, but I was thrilled to get points on a course not really suited to my abilities.

Behind the action wasn’t entirely over. Someone touched Josh’s rear wheel and sent themselves flying to the ground, along with about 20 others. Josh came in unscathed, but didn’t realise he was sprinting for 14th thinking that there were more riders up ahead. He ended up coming 16th, the worst place to come in many senses with points only going down to 15th and was gutted in not knowing what was left on offer. Nevertheless, he’d ridden a great race and will hopefully be encouraged to do some more 2/3/4 category races next year.

Overall a really good day for the team, with another 21 points collected. With just a few events left, we may be able to establish ourselves in the top 10 of the BC Yorkshire club rankings, which would be a great achievement for the club.

Results

PositionNameClub nameRider statusCategoryPoints
1Giles PidcockChevin Cycles.com TrekFinished2nd30
2Robert WatkinsonDoncaster Whls CCFinished2nd25
3Matthew BulmerAll Terrain CyclesFinished2nd21
4Jon WilkinsonChevin Cycles.com TrekFinished2nd17
5Daniel PosnettHull Thursday RCFinished2nd14
6Cameron JeffersBill Nickson Cycles RTFinished2nd12
7Steve CollobyCC Abergavenny/JP Signs & Prin...Finished2nd10
8Jake BeachKnottingley VeloFinished2nd8
9Mark WalkerHull Thursday RCFinished3rd7
10James HarrisFeatherstone RCFinished2nd6
11Thomas DavisonKnottingley VeloFinished3rd5
12Chay CurtinKnottingley VeloFinished3rd4
13Stephen GibsonPeak Road ClubFinished3rd3
14Mark DaviesTeam Cystic FibrosisFinished2nd2
15Jay McCarthyCycle Sport PendleFinished2nd1

 


Mark Walker
HTRC Road Racing Secretary