Lucy and Fran make their way into the front group of the Women’s 3/4 race in the biggest women’s field ever at Odd Down.

Lauren managed to get in a break and ended up taking another 2nd place in the Women’s E1/2/3.

In a full men’s field, Will, Harry and Tom all managed to find space to work with each other.





First time the juniors had raced together and Will took 8th in his first ever men’s race.

9 of the women’s team post race following strong teamwork and strong results.

Odd Down Winter Series Round 3 – Race Report

Beresford and Gadd Show their class in commanding victories

Largest women’s field in Odd Down’s history

Oliver Beresford (VC Venta) produced one of the most clinical performances we have seen at Odd Down in the past few years, taking victory in Round 3 of the Odd Down Winter Series from a solo breakaway with room to spare. Beresford responded to an early move from Plan2Ride’s Dan Colman but soon found himself out alone ahead of the bunch with almost 40 mins of racing remaining. With no organisation behind, and Beresford riding consistently, even a late counter attack featuring Ashley Hutchinson (VC St Raphael), Colman, Kieron Goodwin and Adrian Lawson (both Nopinz Latchem Development Team) failed to make any substantial inroads into the breakaway’s lead.

As Beresford cruised round the final laps to his victory, the exodus from the main group continued behind the chasing quartet, with Jamie Atkins (University of Bristol) and Rob Abraham (Bikestrong-KTM) also getting away in the closing stages. That pair could not get close to the battle for second, where Colman dispatched his rivals in the sprint with Hutchinson taking third. This race was all about the 2nd cat series leader Beresford though, who is looking like it will be hard to stop him taking the overall honours.

The women’s overall 2nd cat standings are starting to look like they will be a close-run thing, with the top three riders now covered by only 10 points. Lucy Gadd (Storey Racing) and Lauren Johnston (Avid Sport) had come into Round 3 tied on 45 points, having both taken a second place behind Louise Hart (Performance Cycles) in the December Rounds.

Both riders like to attack, and when Gadd countered a move from Luck Monk (Exeter Wheelers) Johnston was the only one who could respond to set the pair off to build a substantial lead. Behind, Maria Powell (Radeon-Bike Science) was working with Monk to keep the leaders in check whilst Avid Sport’s Emily Slavin was clinging to their coattails as her battle with the twists of the Odd Down circuit continued.

As the race entered its final stages, with their lead over the chasers secure, Gadd and Johnston began to size one another up in another tense and cagey finish. Both riders have had success in the sprint, and so we ended up with a stalemate where neither rider wanted to blink first. In the end, Gadd had too much power for her rival, despite being forced to lead the sprint out, and ended up coming home two bike lengths clear.

In the chasing group, Powell and Monk could not shake Slavin and she showed her strength in a straight line to charge away for third place.

With 30 riders on the start line, the women’s 3/4 race was the largest field assembled for a women’s race ever at Odd Down with the 3rd cat riders looking to take advantage of not racing against the 2nd cats and the 4th cat riders getting a taste of what awaits them when they move up to 3rd cat.

Having scored a podium finish and a 5th place in the 2/3 race last week respectively, Becky Evans (PDQ Cycle Coaching) and Powell were the riders to watch, and it was Evans’ pace-making in the early laps that began to split the group. She was joined initially by Powell, Lucy Collins and Rose McGovern (Cowley Road Condors). With the alarm bells ringing back in the bunch Rosie Lyon-Smith (University of Bristol), Olive Holliday (Velovitesse), Lucy Scott and Fran Bromley (both Avid Sport) latched onto the back of the leaders with Beeston CC’s Emily Walton caught chasing on her own. With a chasing group of eight riders forming behind, the race was taking on its definitive form.

Bromley could not hold the pace of the leaders, and so found herself dropping back into Walton’s grasp, leaving a group of seven riders to compete for the win. Into a gentle headwind on the finish straight, Evans showed the sprint that has put her into the clear lead in the 3rd cat overall standings to edge out a strong challenge from Lyon-Smith. It was a messy sprint, with Collins and Holliday finding themselves boxed in on the right and ending up on the grass. The pair held on for third and fourth respectively.

There was also a large field for the men’s 3/4 race, with Bath CC fielding the largest team of eight riders and it wasn’t long before they set to work putting the rest of the pack under pressure with repeated mass surges to the front of the bunch. Their efforts threatened to split the field on a number of occasions, most notably when a trio of Bath riders escaping together. The rest of the pack were up to the task, but Bath’s efforts were not in vain as the gaps were being prised open and the field of 50 starters was shrunk to just 19 by the finish.

This left Rob Pears (Bath CC), who had been prominent in the moves throughout, the chance to put his speed to work and take the win from Liam James-Morris (Team Backstedt/Hotchillee) and Cian Roberts (Towy Riders) in the sprint. Bath’s collective riding was further rewarded with Elliott Barratt and Charlie Shields scoring fifth and sixth as well as Steven Cottington making it four Bath riders in the top 10 with ninth.

Wessex League Round 12

Due to there being no Western League race this weekend gone, we headed over to Dalton Barracks in Abingdon for Round 12 of the Wessex CX League.

Signed on, number pinned, and spot selected in the pits Jense went off for his recce.
The venue was a real multi surface affair with an even mix of gravel, grass, mud and tarmac. The weather was dry and clear.

Due to the strong numbers in the Wessex League, every race is gridded, and Jenson found himself on the front row – always a good thing as the start is so important.
The whistle sounded and they were off. The hammer had been dropped and the pace was fierce.

Getting a fantastic start, Jense found himself at the head of the race on lap one. This was short lived though as he went into a sharp left a little too hot. The bike slipped and that was the only opportunity the chasing pack needed to slip through. Whilst the error was minor, it had pretty much sealed the fate of the race. From this point on, Jense was chasing from 4th not really knowing the form of the riders he was chasing down.

It turned out that the three in front were tidy riders and fourth would be Jenson’s overall finishing position.
What we didn’t realise at the time though was that fourth overall was actually second in class as two of the riders in front were U14.
Happy Days!

All in all a fantastic morning with great weather, not too much mud and a chip waggon to boot.
Even better when you take into consideration Jenson competed in his club 10 TT the day before and had crossed the line immediately behind his breakfast! Well done Jenson!