Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team riders Jerry Cooper, Kev Foster and Russell Thomson were at Goodwood last Tuesday for the final round of the Southdown Velo Race series – 3rd cat.
As always, the pace was fast from the start with a number of riders attacking off the front of the bunch of around 60 riders.
Cooper was deployed to chase some of the breaks down whilst the team’s plan was to work for Thompson so he could use his speed if it came down to a bunch sprint at the end.
After 50 minutes of racing the 3 laps to go board came out and it was decided Cooper and Foster would try and lead Thompson out down the inside into the chicane on the last lap. Unfortunately, Cooper got caught on the wrong side of the bunch so it was left to Foster deliver Thompson to the front. Thompson reached the Chicane in the lead for the final time but with a fast-charging pack on the outside of him, he was forced onto the grass, luckily staying upright.
Cooper came through onto the finish straight in the bunch followed by the 2 other Wightlink-Wight Mountain riders.
Matt Allsopp and Kev Chant visited Goodwood for the E12 2nd cat race on 16th July, the last of the year for the Hargroves series.
The race started at the usual fast pace in which there were several attacks in the opening 2 laps.
On lap 3 a rider would make a move and open a gap to the main bunch. Allsopp and Chant reacted quickly to this and made their move to bridge across to this with 2 other riders forming a breakaway of 5. After 30 minutes in the break, the pace, unfortunately, became unsustainable for the Isle of Wight duo who dropped back into the bunch and got themselves ready for the bunch sprint.
Allsopp lead Chant out to 4th place and 5th in the overall series standings.
Racing at this week’s Portsmouth Omega Circuits was Kev Foster and Russell Thomson, both competing in the 3rd category race.
A smaller than usual field of 18 riders took to the Mountbatten Centre circuit.
With no dominant team to control the race, the attacks came thick and fast with both the Wightlink riders working hard to chase them down and keep the bunch together.
Midway through the 35 + 3 laps race, 2 riders managed to gain a slight gap. Quick thinking Thomson kicked away from the bunch to join them. The trio seemed to work well for a short time, but were reeled back into the bunch.
As soon as they were caught, a counter-attack came from some of the younger riders in the field and a group of 5 gained a substantial lead. With only 3 laps to go, it was clear that the break would not be brought back in time.
Thomson and Foster positioned themselves for the bunch sprint resigned to the fact that 6th place was the best on offer.
The pace ramped up for the last 2 laps with Thomson at the front of the bunch putting in a huge effort keep the pace high.
Meanwhile Foster was mid bunch seemingly out of contention when suddenly the field thinned allowing him to unleash his sprint. He managed to pass several riders, crossing the line in 7th place, with Thomson finishing in the bunch.