It may have been a gloomy and miserable afternoon that greeted the riders for the second race in the series, but all the racing was far from it.
The 4th cat race started 90 seconds before the 4th Cat Women set off and James Parkes (Army Cycling Union) started the action in the 4th Cat, as did Alison Hinds (Welwyn Wheelers) in the Ladies. As a result of her early activity she was awarded the Look Mum No Hands Combativity Prize comprising a dinner for two at their Clerkenwell store.
Soon after the Women’s race broke up into pieces with Emily Bates (700 CC) leaving the rest and winning on her own; she wins some pleasure or pain with Nicole Oh of Peloton Physio. The men’s 4th cat race formed a similar pattern from last week with Rupert Graham (Sigma Sport), riding away and lapping the field, even more impressive than last week. He very sensibly stayed behind the group to have a clear run to the line for his victory salute.
Rupert moves up to 3rd cat. and wins a pair of Ryder Eyewear glasses. The E123 race had 59 riders line up for their 1 hour plus 5 laps race. Ieuan Woods (Charlotteville CC), James McCarthy (Twickenham CC) and Hadyn James (Reading CC) started the action moving away from a splintering main group, but they were pulled back within 2 km; this, however, set the pattern for the race with many attacks and splits during the first half, until finally with the persistence of in-form Robert Cheng (MonoCC) a leading group was formed, he unfortunately missed it! Four riders pulled away, Rory Palmer (London Dynamo), Darryl Lusardi (Willesden CC), James and John Hale (unattached), they worked well together and held their advantage to the finish.
Third cat Woods tried desperately to move across, got very close but could not quite make it, but was rewarded with a solo ride to 5th place. In the headwind finish Rory Palmer (London Dynamo) eased away from 3rd cat Lusardi with Haydn James 3rd and Hale 4th. Their efforts made an interesting race, staying clear from the main group with committed riding.
Written by Lucy Collins