It was an evening to remember for the club’s 4th Cats at Odd Down Circuit yesterday.
4th Cat Only Race
After a mixed season, some bad luck (or were they just excuses!) and seeing the 3rd and 2nd Cats piling on the points it was their turn to take the glory. With 6 entered in a what looked like a competitive field there was a clear sense that we all needed to up the ante and ride more as a unit instead of a disparate bunch hoping we’ll get in the points. There are no guarantees at this level but riding and supporting each other plus covering the important moves ensured those looking for points could keep their powder dry for the finale.
As it was, Steffan went on at least 4 solo attacks with 1 or 2 looking like they’d stick as he’d done previously at the Cycle Fest. With Bath Uni’s Ed Mason consistently sitting close to front most were shut down within half a lap.
The main bunch was whittled down to approx 20 riders for the final 3 laps. It was at this point that Sam, Phil and Graham made their moves with Ed Mason still looking like the danger man, Barney, Laurie and Steffan were close behind looking for any kind of gap to get to the front. A splint in the bunch after two riders almost ran into one another on the top corner left the well positioned Sam, Phil and Graham in a group of 7-8 going into the final corner.
Phil, followed by Sam and Ed Mason hit the final corner in the lead with Phil providing Sam with the perfect lead out to hold off Ed for the win by about half a bike length. Graham closely followed in 5th with Barney, Steffan and Laurie finishing just outside the top 10. The win takes Sam up to 3rd Cat with Graham also progressing after a previous 3rd place finish. Phil finally got the top 3 spot he’d been looking for as a target for this season. It’s all about the individual points in this game but it was a team effort that got them there.
Club President, Pete, returned from Summer CX duties to partner Mike in a large field, the 2/3s races at Odd Down have been very well supported this summer by the local clubs and are extremely competitive. They were both very active early on but missed the main break which quickly built a sizeable lead. They were a couple of failed attempts to bridge the gap but by half distance the break of 7 was long gone.
Late in the race Pete was able to get into a secondary group who were all looking to to mop up the final 3 places. Unfortunately previous efforts meant there wasn’t much left for the final sprint.
Winner of the race was Luke from Live2Ride, his 2nd win in recent weeks, who fought off competition from Deacon of NFTO and Ben from Ride 24/7.
Massive thanks should go Jon Arnold and his wife Helen who have run all the Walcot events this year. He’s now off on a well earned holiday. He’s been very well supported by Rich Wood (finish line photography), Angus McKendrick (gate duties) plus a few other club members but the bulk of the work is down to him each week.
We hope to run one further Walcot event on 26th Aug. More details once the paperwork has been sorted with British Cycling. Next racing at the circuit is in 2 weeks time when Somer Valley are the organisers.