Pete Bradshaw, Chris Fowler and Scott MacCann completed in the latest round of the NCRA summer series scratch race, this week hosted by St Neots CC was a 60 mile 3/4 race around the Sawtry course. With a break of 3 going from the gun, they quickly put a minute gap into the peleton. The break had 2 WVCC riders and a Peterborough rider, making it hard for the bunch to get into a rythm to chase them down. One of the breakaway riders punctured on lap 3 after which the gap started to come down. Just as we caught, Phil Rayner of WVCC put in an attack and managed to get the breakaway riders and a few others to break away once again. The bunch, already tired quickly let an un-closable gap appear. Pete and Scott finished 11th and 14th, while Chris in his first real road race dropped out the bunch just before the last lap.
Report by Daniel Leverton
In wet, windy conditions the atmosphere for a nervous race was set at the NCRA category 2 / 3 and 4th cat only scratch race. The sound of tyre pressure and track pumps filled the eery motor car workshops.
With the circuit set riders opted to warm up on the inner circuit, testing their handling and speed through each of the long sweeping bends. CRUNCH. The track went silent. With very few riders out and little time before the race start, one rider was reluctant through a corner, kissing the tarmac with damage only to their pride.
The race started with thunderstorms overhead and Commissaries hesitant. The 2/3 race set of first with the 4th's 1 minute behind. Reluctant riders neglected to show their face near the front with the two ROCKO's Scott and Daniel working hard with a strong showing of Welland valley riders. The race remained safe and constant with two strong attacks from the Wellingborough Race Team. It wasn't long before the 4th cat group was caught and the pace quickened. Next lap, silence. Again, nerves settled as the long pit lane stretch approached and 3 riders from the Bourne wheelers had collided.
With repeated attacks that didn't stick the two races remained in their set groups. All ROCKO upheld the repeated strong showing from the club. The 4th cat race saw Chris Fowler finish in the bunch and Pete Kucak taking a well earned 10th. The second race was represented by Scott Mccann and Daniel Leverton. Both riders finished in the bunch with Daniel sprinting to 7th.
Report by Paul Beattie
4 Rocko contested the 50m NCRA Scratch at Keysoe - Daniel Leverton, Julian Freeman, Paul Beattie, and (2nd claim member) Scott McCann. With the weather being favourable, a break went literally right after the neutralised start finished. The break was quickly caught within the first half-lap, the Rocko contingent keeping their powder dry and sitting in the bunch, holding a decent position near the front.
With the race three laps in, there were numerous breaks but none were getting away. Paul Beattie chased down a lone rider off the front on the climb into Keysoe village, and sat on the front with Scott McCann for a decent stretch, before the race fully regrouped a couple of miles later.
In the final lap the attacks out of the corners were getting quicker, but with the race all together approaching the 1K to go, the Rocko riders had to get themselves in decent positions. In the bunch sprint the tired legs weren't enough for top-10 with riders flying up the outside. Daniel rolled over the line, with Paul on his wheel, Julian on his, and Scott just behind.
A decent showing for the Rocko in a pretty twitchy race.
Report by Paul Beattie
Sunday 5th saw Paul Beattie, Simon Beesley, Vic Davis, Martin Silcock and Sam Woodfield, flying the flag for the Rocko at the Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo Road Race. Paul Beattie started in the 40-44 age group pen, with a few faces from the NCRA, we were keen to get going from our staggered start times, the pace was very quick for the first 20 miles, with a 27mph average. The pace then slowed slightly as riders got into their rhythm, with a strong bunch forming. After a stint on the front doing some work into the wind, I sat back in the protection of the bunch. The only climb of the day saw riders getting shelled out at Alconbury, before the tough section of Alconbury Airfield, where riders engaged what tactics they could to stay out of the wind.
At 50m, a small break of 10 riders got away from the main bunch after a sharp left hander. After working to get on the back of the break, we then opened up a big gap of the main bunch behind us. Working well we started mopping up riders from the earlier age groups, but didn't take on many other passengers as we kept a high pace. With no climbs and just the exposed fens to contend with, we upped the pace until approx 5 miles to go, where those of us left in the break (about 7) eased off slightly. Inside the final 1k, the cat and mouse games started, with us sticking to each others wheels like glue. With the finish line in sight a sprint opened up, where I managed to punch my way over the line 4th out of the 7 in our bunch.
Paul finished the race in 81st place (overall provisional standing), with a chip time of 3:21:19 and with that automatic qualification for the World Gran Fondo Championships.
Paul Beattie: 3:21:19
Simon Beesley: 3:50:46
Vic Davis: 3:50:15
Martin Silcock: 4:16:08
Sam Woodfield: 3:18:23