Team Green were out in force at the second round of the Victoria Park Crits.
Thanks to Kenilworth Wheelers for organising a fantastic day in the beautiful setting of Victoria Park in Leamington Spa. The sun was out; and the temperature started to rise as Team Green fielded riders in both the 4th Cat and 3rd Cat races.
In the two 4th Cat races; both Sam and Tom rode well, with Tom launching a staggering amount of attacks off the front of the bunch as they rolled around circuit that ran the perimeter of Victoria Park.
Course and Elevation Details from the Victoria Park Crits.
The course was relatively simple, forming a oval over the flat parcours of Victoria Park. The only taxing section of the circuit was the right hand straight (running parallel to Victoria Street in the above picture), which was a false flat and into a headwind.
4th Cat Race #1
The first Fourth Cat race set off at an almost pedestrian pace; compared to the previous week’s Keith Carther. Tom was quick to launch an attack off the front as soon as the race started; however the bunch worked to bring him back.
Tom continued to launch attacks whenever he could; in order to try and force the bunch to split; and thanks to some teamwork with Sam providing a block; he managed to gain half a lap on the bunch; before anyone realised they were being blocked.
Despite the numerous attempts to split the bunch from Tom and other riders; the bunch was all together going into the Bell Lap. On the right hand straight; heading into the headwind was where two competing lead out trains assembled ready to steamroller into the Finish. Sam lead the left hand train; with a rider from Derby Mercury leading the right. Unfortunately; it was at this moment that a catastrophic accident impacted the right hand train and brought down several riders. Luckily the left hand train with Sam; was unaffected and continued on to the finish; with Sam finishing safely in the top fifteen.
We’d like to wish the three riders who were seriously injured in that crash a speedy recovery; especially the Derby Mercury rider who broke his collarbone. Get well soon chaps!
4th Cat Race #2
After the crash at the conclusion of the first race; several riders decided to call it a day and retire early. A reduced field took to the circuit for a shortened second race.
Again; Tom was very active at the front; launching attacks every few laps, however despite his best efforts he failed to make a move stick and the bunch stayed together until the end.
With four laps to go; Sam went clear of the bunch with a group of three other riders; however as so often is the case in fourth category races; the group didn’t gel and work well together. After a lap on their own off the front; the catch seemed inevitable. It was here that Sam took a gamble and launched an attack from the small group and put in a strong pursuit effort in a bid to stay clear of the bunch. Unfortunately the gamble didn’t pay off and half a lap later Sam was swallowed up; however recovered enough in the bunch to still take part in the gallop to the line and again secured a standing in the top fifteen.
3rd Cat Race #1
Team Green’s resident power house; Phil, wasn’t at one hundred percent going into the first of the third category races; suffering from quite a bad cold. Despite advice and warnings from the team doctor; Phil was adamant he was going to put on another good showing for Team Green.
As with the fourth category races earlier in the day, the simple course made a bunch gallop inevitable. The more experienced third category riders rode well together to tick off the laps one by one until five laps to go. This played right into the hands of Phil; who despite struggling with his cold all race; engaged the afterburners in the bunch gallop and came from several positions back to secure an amazing eighth place in the sprint! Another amazing show of power from Phil!
3rd Cat Race #2
The second third cat race followed pretty much the same formula as the first; with very few attacks and an intact bunch rolling into the finish.
Phil’s cold; had worsened by this point, no doubt exacerbated by his earlier efforts. Not only did Phil now have to contend with another bunch sprint; he now had difficulty breathing and developed a ferocious cough every time he took a deep breath.
Despite all of this; Phil fought on and in an amazing show of perseverance; powered on into the sprint; going full gas into the finish. Unfortunately a second top ten finish wasn’t to be for Phil, and he got blocked in on the side of the course as other riders failed to make their moves.
Well done again to Phil, Sam and Tom for putting on another good show for Team Green!