On Wednesday 7th June, Matt Allsopp, Stuart Waite, Adam Holleyman and Ian Hayden popped over the Solent on the Fastcat and raced the regular Wednesday evening outdoor track event at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.
Hayden raced in the 35 minute 3rd Category race. The strong wind dictated that most of the attacks would be on the back straight of the circuit. Without teammates for support Hayden had to be on his guard and not get caught out. His diligence proved worthwhile and he made it into a successful breakaway group and after lapping the field eventually finished 8th with more points towards his promotion to the next category.
In the E/1/2 category race Waite, Allsopp and Holleyman had to fight the strong field and the wind for 45 intense minutes.
With all 3 riders working together to make sure they didn’t miss any crucial attacks or splits in the group, Holleyman eventually got away with 4 strong riders.
The 5 lapped the field and once they had rejoined with the bunch, Allsopp and Waite worked hard to protect Holleyman’s position. After a strong lead out from Allsopp in the final sprint, Holleyman’s legs were jelly and he had to settle for 5th place.
Bad luck in Winchester
On Sunday 11th June 3 riders from the Wightlink-Wightmountain Cycle Race Team made their way to the Winchester Cycling Festival to take part in the town centre criterium.
Russell Thomson took part in the 45 minute 3rd cat race around the technical circuit and with lots of fast and sharp corners, Thomson was favourite to get a good result. After the first couple of laps he was positioned 4th looking like he had control of the race until he took a corner wide ending up hitting the barriers and puncturing his front wheel and ending his race.
After a few events Matt Allsopp and Stu Waite took part in the 1 hour E12 race, the last event of the day.
In front of a big supporting crowd Allsopp and Waite started in good positions with it being critical to be close to the front that was the plan for the Wightlink riders. Allsopp got away in a group off the front and a gap formed after a crash that happened in front of Waite meaning he had to chase back on to get into the 2nd group that had formed.
A few laps later Allsopp’s back tyre lost grip on a bend making him wobble around the corner to correct himself he lost his position and ended up at the back of the group and soon a gap formed leaving Allsopp to ride the rest of his race on his own.
Not knowing his teammate was only just behind him on the chase, Allsopp and Waite finished within a couple of positions of each other: not the result they wanted but lessons learned.
Strong performance by Allsopp
A few days later on 14th June, 6 Wightlink-Wightmountain riders made their way to Mountbatten circuit for the 6th race in the series with Ian Hayden, Kev Foster and Russ Thomson competing in the 3rd Category race of 35 minutes; they started, got round and finished.
In the E12 race Stu Waite, James Ebdon and Matt Allsopp raced for 45 minutes plus 5 laps. Waite attacked from the start and got away from the main group with another rider; they managed to stay away for a few laps but eventually got chased down by the main group.
Another counter attack happened once Waite was caught and Allsopp managed to jump across to it with 5 riders lapping the field. With 20 minutes to go Allsopp and another rider from the leading 5 attacked and made a gap, being joined shortly by the Southern Criterium Champion who was also in the original group. They managed to get away comfortably, slowly being joined by a few more riders with the race averaging 30 mph.
With a lap to go Allsopp was near the back of the group and knew he had his work cut out to get to the front for the finish but managed to get round the riders to finish 2nd.
Waite led Ebdon out in the 2nd group to win the sprint and gain more points towards retaining his 2nd cat licence.