4 members of the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team travelled to Goodwood motor racing circuit on Sunday (27th August) for the final part of the Chichester Festival of Cycling.
The race was 1.5 hours in length and the riders covered 42miles at 27.5mph. Combined with the hot and still weather this made for some tough racing.
Adam Holleyman needed ranking points to maintain his road racing 2nd category licence for next season so the team worked together to maximise his chances. Ian Hayden, Matt Allsopp and Joe Staunton all worked hard throughout the race to ensure no riders broke away from the main peloton.
4 riders did manage to slip away with 20 minutess of racing remaining, with no other teams helping chase down the breakaway, the Wightlink trio set about chasing them down.
Coming into the final half lap the breakaway were just ahead and despite a strong team effort they remained just out of reach. With only 4 riders ahead there was still plenty of points available and the team set Holleyman up perfectly for the sprint finish into 5th place.
Holleyman said after the race:
“It was great to be part of such a strong team today.
“There were many other teams in today’s race but none of them showed the commitment of Wightlink-Wight Mountain.
“Although we didn’t get the win the lads helped me to 5th place and valuable points towards next season, so a big thank you to them.”
In other team news…
Allsopp up to second in series
On the 26th July Wightlink-Wight Mountain rider Matt Allsopp made a solo trip over to Portsmouth Mountbatten for the 13th race in the series, where he took part in the 45 minute E12 race.
This started off steady with only 15 riders but soon turned into a relentless race of last man standing with attack after attack slowly dropping riders off who couldn’t handle the pace and it soon went down to eight riders.
With 2 laps to go Allsopp and another rider made a break which failed to stay away, then with a lap to go Allsopp jumped across to the group going past but couldn’t get past to compete in the sprint finishing 5th. This gave him enough points to jump into 2nd place in the series.
Hayden promoted to 2nd category
On 9th August, 2 Wightlink-Wight Mountain riders made their way to a very wet and windy Mountbatten Circuit for the 14th race in the series with Ian Hayden and Russ Thomson competing in the 3rd Category race.
The race started with an early attack that Thomson worked hard on the front of the main bunch to chase down and bring back.
With strong attacks from three other riders getting away and holding a lead of half a lap, Hayden launched his own attack to bridge across and make it to the leading riders with Thomson disrupting the chase group, to help slow the pack.
Hayden and the other lead riders worked well together to stay away from the main bunch for the remainder of the race holding half a lap to a strong chase group. Hayden took third in the final sprint, with Thomson finishing comfortably in the main group.
That result now gives Hayden enough points be promoted to 2nd Cat and a new licence.
Allsopp and Holleyman working well together
On Wednesday 16th August Adam Holleyman and Matt Allsopp started the E12 race together.
A solo rider made an early attack and soon got a gap which made all 25 riders work to chase him back before he could lap the field.
Once the rider was caught a counterattack was made which Allsopp went with. Three riders made a gap then Holleyman and another rider jumped across to join them but the main field wasn’t giving up and reeled the 2 teammates in resulting in another attack which Allsopp went with again not realising Holleyman wasn’t on his wheel.
The gap grew and eventually the leading group was 11 strong with the chasing group dropping in numbers with riders not able to keep up and the gap only grew to half a lap after 20 minutes.
With a few attempts from other riders to get away in the last few laps Allsopp tried to get himself in a good position but coming out of the final bend he was sat in 4th and blocked behind two riders, but managed to get past and finished a close 2nd.
A close second for Thomson
Wightlink-Wight Mountain rider Russell Thomson took part in the 3rd Category race at the Mountbatten Centre track in Portsmouth on Saturday 12th August.
The race started hard with a furious pace, which wasn’t helped by the windy conditions, Thomson made some early attacks, but everything was getting chased down. He decided to conserve energy and wait it out for what was surely to be a bunch sprint.
With 2 laps remaining Thomson was well positioned in the front eight riders, the speed increased and he managed to stay out of wind until the final straight.
Producing a powerful sprint he crossed the line half a wheel behind the winner, taking 2nd place and gained more points toward his 2nd Cat Licence.
A win for Allsopp
On 23rd August Adam Holleyman and Matt Allsopp went to Portsmouth Mountbatten for the last in the series of the Elite races.
Due to lack of light it was shortened to 35 minutes plus four laps with 20 riders on the start line. An attack was made from the start, the series leader and 2 others gained a gap straight away and Allsopp knew it was a good move
Allsopp made his way from the back of the group, singnalled for Holleyman to follow and he made the move to bridge the gap.
The 2 teammates worked well together and after a couple of laps joined the 3 riders, eventually being joined by another rider who made a massive solo effort forming a strong group of 6.
The chasing group split to pieces, and a few dropped out the race they soon lapped the field and kept going with a few attempted attacks in the last 10 minutes.
The 2 Wightlink riders worked to bring it back together and with a lot of changing in the pace coming into the final couple of laps a rider went solo, with help from his teammates he made a gap but with Allsopp on his wheel Holleyman chased the rider down with 3 quarters of a lap to go.
Allsopp attacked starting his sprint and making a gap from the other riders he caught the rider by the final corner and could hear the other riders wheels behind him but secured the win with Holleyman finishing 5th after a huge effort in the chase. Allsopp also secured 2nd place in the Series.
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