L-R: Russ Thomson and Martin Sanders
L-R: Russ Thomson and Martin Sanders

The first 4th category cycle race for over 2 years was held at The Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth on Sunday, with Wightlink-LCM Systems members Martin Sanders and Russell Thomson taking to the track to try and gain more points to jump to 3rd category.

As the race started on what was a summery Sunday morning a few riders went off the front to make a breakaway, but every attempt was chased down and neutralised. The race was sure to come down to a bunch sprint.

As the final lap bell was rang Sanders began to increase the pace, which stretched the bunch out. Thomson was sat pretty on Sanders’s wheel into the final corner and managed to deliver the perfect sprint winning by over 3 bike lengths.

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Following Thomson’s win, his teammates Ian Hayden, Kev Foster and Sam Baker raced for 45 minutes in the 3rd category event.

The trio used the strength of the team to try and weaken the opposition with repeated attacks and to get a break going; as the race unfolded it became clear that this tactic was not going to work.

With a change of plan, Hayden, Baker and Foster then proceeded to chase everything down and keep the bunch together for a sprint at the end, where despite being boxed Hayden managed to grab 5th place with a deserved 10th for Foster and Baker just behind.

In the 50 minute Elite 1st and 2nd category race, Stu Waite returned from his illness and started well, but unfortunately suffered a mechanical in the early laps which brought his race to a premature end.

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday 27th July, Ian Hayden, James Ebdon, Connor Ambrosini, Austin Head and Kev Foster all took part in a 3rd cat race at The Mountbatten Centre.

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A full field took to the circuit as Ebdon and Head tried to split the field several times but these attempts were eventually reeled in.

Latterly, Hayden and Head gained a 50 metre gap on the bunch with another rider, but with the organisers shortening the race, the trio were caught in the charge for the line.

Having put in this huge effort, the pair were unable to recover for the finishing sprint, and finished in the bunch alongside their teammates.

Next in the elite race were Adam Holleyman and Matt Allsopp. A 5 rider group managed to make a break and stayed away for the duration of the race. Unfortunately, Holleyman & Allsopp were in the chasing pack and both had to work tirelessly to stop the 5 from gaining too much distance.

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Coming into the final lap Allsopp gained several places as he sprinted for the line. A possible 10th place for him and another point towards retaining his 2nd cat licence.

As ever, the team would like to thank sponsors Wightlink, LCM Systems and Wight Mountain for their continued support.

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