VCB’s Richards in the money from combative award and prime

Mark Richards of Velo Club Baracchi came away from the Ike Saul Memorial Road Race in Cambridgeshire with winnings from the award for most combative rider as well as the intermediate sprint prize.

Richards was ably supported by fellow VCB racers Liam Gentry and Nick Esser and all of them had risen early to get to the event for the 8.30am start.

The race of sixty-five-miles for riders of categories 2/3/4, promoted by Cambridge CC in the Eastern Road Race League, was run on five laps of a 13-mile circuit through the villages of Bourn, Arrington, Orwell, and the Eversdens, finishing in Kingston.

It was not in the flatter part of the county and there was an elevation gain throughout the race of over 1,000 metres. Despite this it was run at an average speed of 24.6mph.

Esser said, “The action was thick and fast with Gentry and Richards in close attendance at the front for the majority of the race.  Gentry was first to break free with a London Phoenix rider creating a lead of over 1:10. At this point the race convoy inserted their support vehicles in behind the break, but no sooner had this been done the peloton surged and brought back the 2-lap breakaway within 10 minutes of full on racing which saw over 20 riders go out the back.”

“Next was Richards who, in an attempt to create a breakaway, was left to go solo with 17 miles to go. The gap grew to 45 seconds but the traditional late surge of the bunch saw Richards consumed with just over a mile to go despite Gentry’s best attempts to be the proverbial spanner in the works.”

Richards on his solo break (photo by Nick Nicholson)

“With his wits about him he still picked up a top-15 placing in the gallop to the line with Gentry top-20.”  Despite not winning the race itself (won by a Strada rider) Richards came away with the highest earnings of the day from his two awards.

Esser survived safely in the bunch, sprint riding the whole race with one good leg as he had pulled a muscle in the warm-up.  His successful finish of the complete race distance gave him confidence for the 2017 season.

John Thompson rode the “Brazier’s Run” 104-km audax on Saturday, organised by Victoria CC and based at its club hut at Ugley in Essex.  It consisted of two loops from the hut.

For the first loop, the first info control was after just 7 km’s near Newport.  The next was at Gt. Sampford (27km) and then back to Ugley (50km).  For the second loop, the first info control was at High Easter (73km) and the second near White Roding (82km) and then to finish at Ugley.

Thompson said, “I finished in about 5 hours 40 minutes, which I was happy about. There was little wind to speak of.  The first loop was quite tough, with some good hills in the Thaxted area, but the second loop was relatively gentle.”

On Sunday Thompson rode 50 miles on a ride into Norfolk, reaching “rather pretty wooded lanes to Ashmanaugh and around RAF Neatishead” and treasuring memories of “nice roast beef and treacle pudding for dessert” at the Norfolk Kitchen in Gt Yarmouth.

Just two VCB riders turned up for the Sunday club run and took a spin of about 46 miles in Suffolk and Norfolk, stopping on the return leg at Bungay for coffee and cake.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply