Four riders from the Wightlink-LCM Systems Cycle Race Team travelled to Winchester on Sunday to take part in the second of the Omega Criterium events. With challenging conditions and a strong field of riders, the team gave a good showing.
In the Elite category race, James Ebdon, Sam Baker and Tim Wiggins lined up in a 30 strong field of high level riders. The race started at a blistering pace, pushing upwards of 25 mph despite the two 180 degree hairpin bends in the short circuit. The team pushed hard in the main peloton in the early part of the race, working to keep the main field together in the hope of ending the race in a bunch sprint. Unfortunately, Ebdon fell victim to a rear puncture in the first ten minutes of the race, and was forced to retire. With the circuit leaving little room for error, Baker was also unfortunate to be caught behind an incident that caused him too to be dropped from the main field and also retire from the race.
As the challenging circuit caused the field of riders to splinter into smaller groups, Wiggins found himself in one of the back groups, just behind the heavily reduced peloton. Putting in some mammoth efforts, Wiggins and his two accompanying riders managed to pull themselves back up to the main peloton just in time for the field to come back together for the sprint finish. Kicking out of the last corner, Wiggins managed to attain a strong 7th place in the sprint. Adding to his similar result last weekend, this moves Wiggins up to 4th place in the series overall.
In the 3rd Category race Kev Foster also gave a strong performance; holding his own in this new higher level field for him. He came away with a very respectable 10th place, which will further help him to move up the categories this season.