The Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team 1st and 2nd Category riders were in action again at the weekend (19th and 20th March).
Kev Chant and James Veal competed in the Sandisons 2-Day Stage 2/3 Cat Race in Dorset, which comprised of a 1-mile Hill Climb and a 10-mile Time Trial on the Saturday, finishing off with a 55-mile road race on the Sunday. On the first stage, Kev put in a solid performance, powering up the climb in an impressive 2 minutes 6 seconds to take 2nd place. James came home in 2.23 leaving himself with a bit of work to do in the time trial and road race.
Kev was feeling positive going into the Time Trial and hoping that a quick time would put him in the top spot at the end of the first day. The tough 10-mile course contained 2 long climbs, but the crosswinds and a decent tailwind on the 2nd longer climb made it more bearable for the riders.
Unfortunately, Kev suffered a rear wheel puncture after only 2 miles but managed to power on for the remaining 8 miles to get to the finish line. Despite this, his time of 23 minutes 16 seconds was enough to keep him on course for at least a podium place, sitting in 3rd overall before the road race. James pulled out all the stops in the TT, finishing in a time of 24.03 – 15th on the day – which was good enough to push him up the standings to 20th overall.
The road race on Sunday was the most challenging stage; a circuit with 2 very sharp corners, one of them at the base of a long fast descent which turned straight into a steep climb on each lap.
“I was feeling good going into the race, but that second turn almost brought you to a halt before having to accelerate up the climb; after 2 or 3 laps those accelerations pretty much halved the field, and three riders attacked early on and stayed away to the finish. Unfortunately, by lap 8, James was suffering from cramp and had to pull out and at the same time I had another rear puncture. Luckily, I’d saved enough in the tank to pass most of the remaining bunch on the last climb up to the finish line to nab 6th place.”
Kev just missed out on a podium due to his misfortune, but still managed to finish 6th in the overall classification. James finished mid table but is hoping to improve on this performance in his next race.
1st Category rider Joe Staunton had a busy weekend racing in the March Hare Spring Classic at Lee Valley Velopark in London on Saturday before travelling to East Sussex on Sunday for the prestigious Wally Gimber Trophy, one of the longest-running road races in the UK, which always attracts a very strong line up of top professional teams.
The very windy conditions on Saturday split the race to pieces early on, and Joe dug in to finish in the bunch. The 145km course on Sunday was challenging with 2,400m of elevation gain. Joe was active throughout but missed a decisive split, and he was again left to finish in the bunch. The race was won by former Alpecin Fenix rider and professional, Alex Richardson.
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