Seven members of the Wightlink-LCM Systems Cycle Race Team traveled to Portsmouth for the 2nd round of the Omega Circuits league on Sunday.
This latest challenge was the highest number of riders sent to a race for a number of years, pointing to the team’s increasing growth and strength.
Due to high numbers of entries in the 4th category race the field was split in half and there were 2 races held. Matt Allsopp, Ian Hayden and Ed Sutton lined up in the first race with Martin Sanders in the second. Both were 30 minutes plus 3 laps of the 500 metre track.
After a slow start in the first race, Allsopp and Hayden attacked from the front of the bunch and soon had a gap over the peloton with another rider. Letting the other teams chase, Sutton sat in the bunch and waited until the trio were caught before counter attacking. This was to prove the move of the day. Sutton soon he had a gap over the bunch with another rider. Allsopp and Hayden stayed in the peloton and slowed the pace increasing Sutton’s chances of staying away. The escapees soon gained a lap on the bunch.
Coming into the finish, Sutton moved forward in the group and took 2nd over the line with Allsopp taking 8th and Hayden finishing his first race of the season safely in the bunch. This gave Sutton 8 points and Allsopp 2 points towards their 3rd category licences.
Shortly after, Sam Baker, James Ebdon and Kev Foster lined up for the 50 minute plus 3 lap 3rd category race. The team’s plan was to use Ebdon’s good form of late and force a breakaway with him in it. The pace was fast from the gun and after only 5 minutes of racing, Ebdon attacked from the front of the bunch to try and bridge the gap to 2 early breakaway riders. Shortly after, 6 other riders joined the trio and they all started working well together. Seeing this Baker and Foster disrupted the chasing pack and slowed the pace of the peloton down. This meant that the 9 breakaway riders soon had half a lap up.
Coming into the finish, Ebdon left his sprint to the last possible moment because of the headwind on the finishing straight. Lunging for the line he took 4th place overall.