The GS Henley road racers were treated to glorious weather on Saturday at Dalton Barracks, for OTRT’s event in this year ORRL. Temperatures well south of 20’C, and extremely light winds (almost unheard of for an airfield circuit) suggested a fast race ahead, and Pete once again prophetically said “It’s definitely a bunch sprint race”. He’s said this for every race so far, with 0% accuracy. We had 7 entries in the men’s race, and 2 in the womens;
- Lydia Brooks
- Judith Burne
- Nick Cooper
- Paul Elcock
- Pete Ganderton
- Adam Gardner
- Matt Hayden
- Mark Hughes
- Ben Wrigglesworth
The light breeze from the west meant that there was an awful lot of crosswinds, and not much tailwind. In the womens race this caused a number of riders to become detached from the pack throughout the course of the race, with an initial fiery pace being set. A reduced group came into the finish, with the sprint being taken by Phoebe Davies. Lydia came 5th after a tough race.
In the mens race, there were plenty of attempts to force a break clear from the off, including Paul Elcock using the race as an interval session, forcing other teams to chase him down. There were also attempts off the front by Matt “New Tyres Please” Hayden, who unfortunately later succumbed to a puncture, his 3rd in 3 ORRL events. As the race approached the hour mark, the continued attacks and pace started to take their toll, and a group of 10 riders slowly rode off the front during the headwind and infield corners part of the circuit. All the ORRL league clubs had representation, including Paul and Pete from GS Henley, and they quickly got organised and stretched the gap out into a race-winning move. This was compunded by a couple of crashes back in the pack…all the GS Henley riders avoided these, however unfortunately Rhys WIlliams from Mickey Cranks had some breakages…we wish him well for a fast recovery. A few other riders lost some skin, though all walking wounded.
As the break came into the finish, there were a couple of digs to try and find out any tired legs. Paul went long, dragging the break into the finish at high speed, before Geg Fitzek from Cowley Road timed his sprint perfectly to take the victory, closely followed by Callum Macleod from Vision Cycling, with Pete grabbing 3rd place (while grumbling about youngsters and fast-twitch muscles). Paul rolled in to to take 10th place, with the pack coming in safely about 40 seconds later.
Huge thanks to Outdoor Traders Race Team for a well organised event, where everyone also had a great chance to work on their tan.
Full Results can be found on the British Cycling website
The league results are updated, and GS Henley maintained their lead, though with 4 rounds to go there are still plenty of points up for grabs.
- GS Henley – 135
- Cowley Road – 88
- Mickey Cranks – 80
- Outdoor Traders – 74
- Didcot Phoenix – 39
- Bicester Millenium – 20
- Oxonian – 8
The next race is Woodstock on the 9th July, then GS Henley’s own round at the Wallingford Festival of Cycling on the 16th July. Martin Merryweather, organiser for the Junior National Road Champs, is still on the lookout for volunteers to help run this..if you can help, please contact him here.