The 2.4 mile closed circuit includes technical chicanes and an uphill stretch just before the finish. A large field of 60+ riders lined up for the combined 3rd and 4th category race, including Martin Sanders and Stu Waite.
Both Wightlink-LCM riders got in a small break early on, but this was soon brought back by the chasing pack. On the 5th lap there was an intermediate sprint: Waite broke away with 300 metres to go and kicked hard to take the midway honours.
On the final lap Sanders and Waite worked together, with Sanders riding though the bunch to reach Waite who was working to close a break. Sanders put in a huge effort to close the gap to the break with Waite on his wheel. With the bunch now all back together, Waite was in a great position for the final sprint. As can sometimes be the way with these races, an inexperienced rider chopped across Waite’s lining causing him to take evasive action and bring his bike to a sudden stop on the grass verge.
Following this race, Edward Sutton lined up in the 16-lap Elite, 1st and 2nd category race. This was only his second race at this level. The racing was hard and frenetic from the start, and a high number of attacks went continuously away, meaning for plenty of short full out leg burning efforts.
With 5 laps to go an 11 man breakaway formed and soon gained some considerable distance. Smaller groups formed trying to bridge the gap, but in the end the strong breakaway stayed clear. Sutton hung onto the chasing pack on the run in to the line, and finished safely with the bunch.
Earlier in the month, Wightlink-LCM Systems’ newest team rider Stu Waite lined up in the 4th Cat Winchester Criterium, for the 30 minutes plus 2 laps race on Sunday 17th August.
Just ten minutes into the race around the small course a rider managed to collide with the barriers which meant the race was put on hold for 10 minutes to clear up the crash. The race was now shortened to a remaining 10 minutes + 2 laps, making for some hard and fast racing.
Mistakenly positioned at the rear of the bunch on the start line, Waite had a lot of work to do to get to the front. A breakaway of four riders went clear, and the gap was soon too large to cover. Coming into the finishing straight Waite was slowed down by a rider taking the corner too hard. Despite this, he put in a big effort to hold off the rest of the peloton to claim 5th place. This gained points towards his 3rd cat licence.
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