Another strong set of results for RFW this week at round 2 of the NCRA spring Handicap series which we hosted around 3 laps of the 10mile valley course. Unfortunately we were one man down this as Paul Beattie was called into work last minute, but still had 4 riders representing the club, new member Austin Smith, Chris Fowler, Ben Spiers and Stephen Wade. The race got underway with 5 handicapped groups most starting 2:30 behind the next with the exception of groups 4 and 5 being much closer. Group 4 with only 4 riders quickly became part of the scratch group and worked to close the gap to the front of the race. Unfortunately for Stephen, they finished around 1 minute down on the winners. Group 3 with Chris and Ben caught group 2 on the second lap but still had 2 minutes to gain on the leader with 10 miles to go. The now larger group worked well together swallowing up group one at the 1km to go sign. The right hand bend and gradual drag to the finish line always delivers a close sprint and today was no exception. The race was won by Peter Brooks of 45 Road Club. Ben and Chris produced a strong sprint to take 3rd and 5th, with Austin finishing in 10th.
Veteran RFW rider Peter Nix kicked off his 2017 race season this Sunday at the Baines Racing LVRC round on the tough 42 mile Towcester course. The riders had to contend with changeable conditions throughout the race including rain and cold winds typical of a early March road race which produced some great racing. Nix, an E-group rider (60-64 age category) rode a strong race to finish 3rd in his age group and 11th overall in the DE race which was dominated by two 1-man breakaways.
Rocko's Nathan Joyce started his racing career in style this weekend riding off the front of his handicap group in the first of the 2017 NCRA race series to take the win. Joyce dropped his group on the first climb and continued to ride solo for the following 25 miles, finishing almost 2 minutes clear of any other rider.
2nd place was taken by fellow Rocko rider, Sam Woodfield, during his brief return to the UK between training blocks. Branislav, Steve and Chris also all got in the top 10 meaning RFW took 23 of the 46 points available on the day. A great start to what promises to be a groundbreaking year for the RFW race team
Full Result :-
1st Nathan Joyce- Rockingham Forest Wheelers
2nd Sam Woodfield - Rockingham Forest Wheelers
3rd Robert Ward - Cycle Team On Form
4th Tom Medley - WVCC
5th Paul Pardue - Peterborough CC
6th Daniel Leverton - WVCC
7th Branislav Mosnac - Rockingham Forest wheelers
8th Max Silifant - WVCC
9th Stephan Wade - Rockingham Forest Wheelers
10th Christopher Fowler - Rockingham Forest Wheelers
Congratulations to Peter Kucak for a convincing 3rd place in last nights 4th cat crit at the Rockingham Speedway. Peter only needed 2 more points this season going into the race to reach his goal of 3rd Category, but smashed this with earning a well deserved 7 points. Well done Peter!
Report by Julian Freeman
Warm, sunny but windy conditions greeted the riders as five of the Rocko road race team comprising Pete Bradshaw, Ben Spiers, Sam Woodfield, Peter Kucak, Julian Freeman, took to the start line for ten laps of a circuit that included 11 times up the hard but fast climb to Southwick water tower.
With good conditions and a motivated field it was a quick race from the start with laps being run off at around 25.5 mph, over the course of the race a few attempts were made to get breaks going including a strong group including Pete Bradshaw which stayed away for over half a lap. Eventually two riders sneaked away and as the bunch struggled to get a chase organised another rider surged away. These three riders did well to stay away to the finish given the windy conditions.
With just 7 top 10 places left up for grabs the bunch exploded up the final ascent of the hill to the finish line with Pete Bradshaw in the mix at the line taking a great 8th place, with Sam Woodfield and Julian Freeman not far behind in 12th and 18th places respectively. Ben Spiers and Peter Kucak both finished strongly and well inside the top 30 after working hard all race.
Report by Julian Freeman
Rocko riders contested the 55 mile Peterborough CC Road Race at Sawtry in Cambridgeshire - Julian Freeman and Steve Wade. Warm and sunny conditions greeted the riders but a stiff breeze made for some challenging conditions during the race on exposed areas where the crosswinds caused some gaps in the strung out bunch. The course was a mixture of wide exposed roads and one very narrow 2 mile section with a poor surface and numerous potholes. The race featured two climbs each lap including a long but fast drag of 2km up to the finishing line.
Although there were numerous attempts during the race breakaways were finding it difficult to stay clear, probably due to the windy conditions. Steve Wade was very active at the front of the bunch and tried to get into several moves but this wasn't to be his lucky day. With a lap to go 18 riders pulled clear over the top of the hill including Julian Freeman, but with a lack of cohesion this group was soon caught by the bunch.
On the last lap one brave rider, Christian Vincent from East London Velo took his chance and broke clear. Riding strongly into the headwind he maintained his gap all the way to the finish to take a great victory. The final long drag to the line saw no attacks take place as what was left of the bunch shadow boxed in readiness for the sprint. In a very close and hard fought sprint for 2nd place Julian Freeman took 6th place . Steve Wade came in safely in the main group after an active and attacking race.
A great event that was well organised by our friends at Peterborough CC.
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.
NCRA Rockingham Handicaps
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.
NCRA Keysoe 3/4 Scratch RR by 45RC
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
RFW Road Race Secretary