Andy Ward and Joe Staunton of the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team travelled to Laughton in Sussex on Saturday to race the Ride Sussex Summer Road Race.
Strong winds, gusting up to 30mph, were the deciding factor of the day on the mostly flat course. A solo rider was allowed to ride away on the first lap and stayed away for the duration of the race whilst the main bunch had spurts of chasing and further attempted breaks.
On the penultimate lap an attack was instigated by a fellow Island Games rider whom Staunton had raced with 3 times already during the week. Staunton instantly went with the rider and they built a gap working together. The bunch, now more worried of several riders up the road worked hard to draw the 2 man break back with 1 lap to go.
The lead into the final sprint was very fast with the wind behind the riders. Ward in his first road race showed great discipline, staying towards the front of the group, keeping safe and positioning well for the final sprint where he finished 15th.
Staunton, having had a lap to recover from the breakaway attempt, worked to the front of the pack and timed his sprint perfectly at 50m to go to win the bunch sprint and come 2nd Overall.
This result gave Staunton enough points to achieve his 2nd Category Racing License in his first racing season.
Last Wednesday (1st August) the team’s James Pett travelled to the Mountbatten track in Portsmouth for the 3rd cat circuit race.
From the start it was clear that it was going to be a fast pace with constant breakaways and attack’s, which Pett was involved with throughout.
With 10 minutes to go 1 rider managed to get away from a 3 man break, staying ahead of the pack till the end. Pett positioned him self well on the last lap sprinting to the line to take 2nd place, which has now earned him enough points for his second category license.
Towards the end of July 4 riders travelled to the Mountbatten track in Portsmouth for the 3rd cat circuit race.
Jerry Cooper, James Pett, Andy Ward and Joe Staunton lined up with 28 other riders for the 40 min race on 18th July.
With the bunch travelling at a steady pace from the start, it allowed a number of early breaks to happen. The Wightlink riders worked well on bringing them all back successfully.
As the pace increased during the race there were attacks but none were successful with Pett,Ward and Staunton staying near the front of the bunch placing themselves well for the final sprint. Pett pushed for 3rd, Staunton 7th, Ward 12th and Cooper finishing just behind in the chasing pack.