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Tactical Racing amongst the favourites opens the door for three new winners

Johnston wraps up the overall but the men’s series goes down to the final round

The top two matched each other pedal stroke to pedal stroke

The main favourites, who have dominated the top of the standings so far this series, were foiled as they marked each other out of the race and the rest of the field did not hesitate in taking advantage. Andrew Edwards (Bristol RC), Christopher Wright (Army Cycling Union) and Lucy Driver (Forever Pedalling all took their first wins of the series whilst Aimee Parsons (Avid Sport) took her second 4th cat win in a row. Lauren Johnston (Avid Sport) was only a whisker away from the overall series win going in to round 9 and confirmed her victory with a round to spare. The men’s overall, on the other hand, is still in the balance. A top two finish for John Russell (Bristol RC) at the final round will see him snatch the win from Charlie Revell (Team Tor 2000 Kalas).
The men’s 2nd/3rd Cat races this winter have been fiercely competitive and very entertaining, and a despite a change from the wintery conditions of the past few rounds to a benign, almost spring-like day, the racing did not disappoint this week either. Bristol RC were out in numbers looking to make life difficult for Revell at the top of the standings, and the series leader decided that attack was the best form of defence, launching the first move straight from the gun along with Josh Griffiths (Bristol South CC). It wasn’t long, however, before the tables were turned and Revell was now chasing the opening salvo from Bristol RC; Edwards had launched clear with his teammate Russell locked on his wheel.
Revell showed his usual composure to pick his moment to bridge the gap and once he had joined the leading pair Edwards stopped pulling on the front and the bunch were back in touch. The moves kept coming as Steve Cottington (Bath CC) and Adrian Lawson (Latchem Sunwise) got off the front, and the pair were joined by the ever-active Edwards as the breakaway seemed to be getting established, with Jared Linden (Royal Dean Forest) looking to bridge and make it a group of four.
The bunch appeared to be settling down behind, until Revell kicked the hornet’s nest by launching his way off towards the leaders. He was immediately marked by seven riders, including Russell, third overall Rob Hardyman (Forever Pedalling), seventh overall Tim Southcombe (Somerset RC) and one of the riders who featured in the successful break last week – Morgan Curle (Giant – Halo). Russell was the first to make the bridge to the leaders, shortly followed by Revell and the rest of the chasers, and it looked like a decisive group of nine was going to ride away from the rest of the bunch. Indeed, they had quickly established a seven second gap, with all the main favourites present.
But the combination wasn’t working and with Harry Tucker (Avid Sport) leading the chase behind, the gap was coming down, rather than extending. Despite Linden, Edwards, Southcombe and Curle breaking away from the escape group to try and create a selection that would work together, a few laps later the whole race came back together. As the big hitters declared a ceasefire, Sam Gaskin jumped clear, joined by Linden and Tom Brookes (Bristol RC). However, half a lap later, the escape had shuffled, with Edwards jumping past the leading three and Linden managing to grab his wheel whilst the other two were gradually reeled back in by the bunch.
This gave the front pair freedom to ride, and four laps later they had managed to establish a twenty second advantage. With the win riding away from them, those who were not racing for overall positions needed to do something to change the situation and it was Curle, Brookes and Elliott Barratt (Bath CC) who jumped clear into the gap to try and bring the leaders back. Brookes dropped off the back of the other two, and then Barratt struck a pedal, leaving Curle chasing solo having closed the gap to eight seconds with four laps to go. However, that was as close as the young rider got, with the gaps starting to go out as the finish approached, and the question was no longer if he would catch the leading pair but if the bunch would catch him.
Linden had been in successful breakaways early in the season as a 4th Cat, but he did not think that his sprint would be enough to take the win from Edwards, so with one lap to go he made a jump to solo for victory. He initially got a gap, but as the pair rounded the penultimate bend they were back together and Edwards made no mistake, finishing several bike lengths clear to take the win. Curle had still been hanging on ahead of the bunch going into the final lap, but a late escape from Revell, Russell, Southcombe and Hardyman consigned him to seventh place, just holding off the first to finish from the main group, Jamie Atkins (University of Bristol) by a single bike length.
Revell had needed to put two riders between himself and Russell to secure the series win, and with a third and fourth placed finish respectively, he did not do enough to stop the final round becoming the deciding race. Hardyman’s fifth place secures his podium spot, and keeps alive the slimmest of chances of catching Russell in second overall. A podium finish for Southcombe and Linden next week could see them take fourth overall.
The women’s race started in cagey fashion, with all the riders looking to take advantage of the full BC points on offer. Meg Dickerson (Forever Pedalling) is never far from launching an attack though, and she was the first to try and escape, shortly followed by Emily Slavin (IRIS Race Team). However, a large part of the women’s series this winter has been the tenacious riding of Rebekah Nash (University of Bristol) in second place overall. Nash has clocked up lap after lap on the front of the bunch, and when she has the bit between her teeth, it is very difficult for any riders to escape.
And Nash was straight on the coat-tails of the next move as Driver looked to go clear, joined by Hodges (Avid Sport). The trio were brought back and less than a lap later, it was Nash who was back on the front driving the pace along. This presented the opportunity for Dickerson to again try to get clear, but Nash was again having none of it.
As the race entered its final phase, the next big move came from series leader Johnston, who was not waiting for a sprint and made a move to get away solo. She got a gap, but with two laps to go work from Dickerson and Hermione Harrison (Cowley Road Condors) had brought her back to within the bunch’s grasp. It was all back together as the riders took the bell, with sprinters Driver, Harrison and Charlotte Berry (Performance Cycles) lined up along side one another as the fight for position started behind Stephie Price (Cotswold Veldrijden).
Driver was the first to launch her sprint as the bunch entered the home straight, and the Forever Pedalling rider carried this momentum all the way to the line going further clear with every pedal stroke to take the win by three bike lengths. Harrison jumped off the wheel of Johnston to take second ahead of the series leader whose third place was enough to wrap up the overall. Hodges continued her remarkable sprinting improvement to finish fourth just ahead of Dickerson and Berry. Nash and Prince paid for all their early work rolling in at the back of the front group.
But both Nash and Prince can be satisfied with preserving their overall positions; Nash held onto second ahead of Hodges who is now 15 points behind going into the final round and Prince is in a close fight for a top 10 finish. Johnston now has 330 points, a full 115 clear of Nash, and with only 50 points available in the final round she has underlined her dominance throughout the series with an impressive margin of victory.
The men’s 4th Cat race saw a hard early tempo from Francis Eddolis (Veloton), Samuel Whitehead (Bristol South) and Wright put a lid on any early moves. However, as the race passed the halfway stage Lewis Revill (University of Bath) made his move as the race went up the home straight to get clear of the bunch. The bunch were in no mood to let him go, however, and held him close within reach. This presented Wright with the opportunity to make the short jump across the leader one lap after Revill’s initial attack.
This gap to the front of the bunch gave the pair the motivation to work together and with three laps to go they still were preserving their slender advantage, being pursued by a bunch led by Chris Downham (Bristol RC), Corey Snell (Ely RC) and Tom Stoneham (London Dynamo). One lap later, Wright had ridden clear of his breakaway companion to give himself a twelve second advantage going into the final three kilometres and as he started the final lap the leader had nearly 20 seconds advantage.
Wright had timed his effort to perfection and was able to sit up and enjoy his victory as he cruised up to the finish. Behind, Joel Thomas (University of Bath) was able to capitalise on his teammates work up the road to take the win by a bike length from Snell with Stuart Hardy (Bristol RC) finishing one place ahead of his teammate Downham.
The women’s 4th Cat race saw an impressive field of 16 riders take the start, the second largest women’s field this series. Cowley Road Condors had come with the biggest team, with three riders and the top two from the previous two 4th Cat races, Aimee Parsons (Avid Sport) and Olive Holliday (Somer Valley CC) were also present. Janet Horton (Merthyr CC) was the first to try and make an escape, with Emily Walton (Beeston CC) also keen to drive the pace at the front. Walton was rarely outside the front two or three riders in the bunch with Hazel May (Imperial College) and Kate Millard (Clevedon) also sharing some of the pacemaking.
With three laps to go, it was still this trio occupying the front spaces of the bunch, but behind them Parsons and Holliday were now waiting to pounce along with Heidi Blunden (Racing Chance). Indeed, as the riders entered their last lap, it was Parsons who had taken the lead and was starting to ramp the pace up. She wasn’t waiting around for the sprint though, and she put in a carbon copy of her move last week to light the afterburners before the final corner and carry that gap all the way to line to take another win.
Holliday was closing fast, pursued by Lucy Rowe (Das Rad Klub) who hid in the group well until the sprint. Blunden was fourth ahead of May and Walton who paid for some of their work on the front of the group early in the race. Despite the reduced series points for 4th cat races, that result puts both Parsons and Holliday in with a good shot of a top 10 finish overall with the pair sitting in 11th and 13th respectively. They will have to earn a top 10 the hard way though, going up against the senior riders in the final round.
Thanks to Graham Young for the photos.

Round Nine Results:

Women’s 4th Cat

Pos No. Forename Surname Club / Team Name
1 101 Aimee Parsons Avid Sport
2 6 Olive Holliday Somer Valley CC
3 12 Lucy Rowe Das Rad Klub
4 2 Heidi Blunden Racing Chance
5 8 Hazel May Imperial College
6 13 Emily Walton Beeston Cycling Club
7 5 Joanna Goodhead Avid Sport
8 10 Kate Millard Clevedon Wheelers
9 14 Sophie Barnes Army Cycling Union
10 3 Sally Crocker Salt and Sham CC
11 1 Toni Bassett Cowley Road Condors
12 9 Eleanor McKay Cowley Road Condors
13 16 Janet Horton Merthyr CC
14 4 Charlotte Fraser
15 15 Maryke de Vet Cowley Road Condors
16 7 Helen Kuhlman Velo Club Walcot

Women’s E/1/2/3:

Pos No. Forename Surname Club / Team Name
1 8 Lucy Driver Forever Pedalling
2 7 Hermione Harrison Cowley Road Condors
3 3 Lauren Johnston Avid Sport
4 2 Molly Hodges Avid Sport
5 1 Megan Dickerson Forever Pedalling
6 10 Charlotte Berry Performance Cycles
7 4 Rebekah Nash University of Bristol
8 9 Stephie Prince Cotswold Veldrijden
9 5 Emily Slavin IRIS Race Team
10 6 Karen Spiteri Avid Sport

Men’s 4th Cat:

Pos No. Forename Surname Club / Team Name
1 19 Christopher Wright Army Cycling Union
2 107 Joel Thomas University of Bath
3 15 Corey Snell Ely Race Club
4 46 Stuart Hardy Bristol RC
5 3 Chris Downham Bristol RC
6 21 Nick Cox
7 16 Tom Stoneham London Dynamo
8 7 David Kinnair EvoVelo Karbona
9 22 Ben Keenan Veloton Team
10 4 Francis Eddolis Veloton Team
11 12 Lewis Revill University of Bath
12 13 John Roberts
13 14 Matthew Skeats University of Bristol
14 18 Samuel Whitehead Bristol South CC
15 1 Paul Chessell Gloucester City CC
16 10 Michael Parkin-White University of Bristol
17 20 Thomas Riches Veloton Team
18 8 Christopher Owram Chepstow CC
19 2 Ted Cross Yorkshire RC
20 5 Hywel Griffiths
21 9 Hamilton Palmer

Men’s 2/3:

Pos No. Forename Surname Club / Team Name
1 7 Andrew Edwards Bristol RC
2 16 Jared Linden Royal Dean Forest CC
3 19 Charlie Revell Team Tor 2000 Kalas
4 20 John Russell Bristol RC
5 9 Rob Hardyman Forever Pedalling
6 22 Tim Southcombe Somerset RC
7 6 Morgan Curle Giant CC – Halo Films
8 1 Jamie Atkins University of Bristol
9 14 Przemyslaw Kozak Royal Leamington Spa
10 8 Edward Gray University of Bath
11 27 Sam Gaskin
12 101 Christopher Hill Bristol RC
13 24 Benjamin Wainwright Team Tor 2000 Kalas
14 23 Harry Tucker Avid Sport
15 10 Paul Hayward Cwmcarn Paragon CC
16 29 Andrew Turner Bristol South CC
17 3 Tom Brookes Bristol RC
18 5 Steven Cottington Bath CC
19 15 Adrian Lawson Latchem Sunwise RT
20 61 Elliott Barratt Bath CC
21 18 Charles Pearson Cambridge CC
22 4 Alex Collins Primera-TeamJobs
23 25 Adam Whitehead Bristol South CC
24 17 Jonathan Oxley Ride 24/7
DNF 21 Christopher Smith
DNF 13 Thomas King Cycle Club Ashwell
DNF 28 Tom Sharp Bristol RC
DNF 2 Robert Borek Forever Pedalling
DNF 30 Josh Griffiths Bristol South CC

Overall Series Standings:

Women

First Name Surname Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Total
Lauren Johnston 30 50 30 50 45 40 45 40 330
Rebekah Nash 25 45 25 35 30 35 20 215
Molly Hodges 15 35 20 45 20 30 35 200
Illi Gardner 50 45 50 50 195
Jenny Bolsom 50 15 40 25 25 14 169
Emily Slavin 13 45 30 15 25 25 14 167
Maria Powell 45 35 30 30 140
Megan Dickerson 40 40 30 110
Stephie Prince 25 1 30 35 15 106
Lucy Gadd 50 50 100
Aimee Parsons 8 5 25 30 30 98
Lucy Driver 35 50 85
Olive Holliday 6 20 25 25 76
Karen Spiteri 15 15 9 20 13 72
Elizabeth Pressage 20 50 70
Elinor Spencer 40 25 65
Charlotte Berry 40 25 65
Frances Bromley 20 40 60
Kate Millard 3 6 20 20 7 56
Emily Walton 8 35 9 52
Hermione Harrison 45 45
Katherine Moore 9 15 13 37
Heidi Blunden 7 10 15 32
Lucy Austin 30 30
Joanna Goodhead 5 2 15 8 30
Sally Crocker 4 4 15 5 28
Sophie Barnes 9 8 6 23
Clare Hofmann 20 20
Lucy Rowe 20 20
Deborah Sterling 1 14 15
Rebecca Gregson 14 14
Laura Pittard 13 13
Vanessa Royals 12 12
Charlotte Brass 12 12
Jo Edwards 11 11
Claire Lawrence 10 10
Claire Nott 10 10
Amy Dunwell 10 10
Laura Fenwick 10 10
Janet Horton 7 1 2 10
Hazel May 10 10
Georgie Little 9 9
Sarah Crowther 1 1 7 9
Sue Allen 9 9
Sarah Durrant 8 8
Sorrel Williams 7 7
Toni Bassett 4 4
Taegan Pomeroy 3 3
Eleanor McKay 3 3
Victoria Jones 2 2
Hannah Cockerill 1 1
Emily Harford 1 1
Charlotte Fraser 1 1
Maryke de Vet 1 1
Helen Kuhlman 1 1

Men

First Name Surname Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Total
Charlie Revell 50 50 50 30 40 40 40 300
John Russell 50 45 45 35 10 25 13 35 258
Rob Hardyman 15 35 14 20 25 35 45 30 219
Andrew White 30 30 45 25 15 25 170
Will Page 40 40 15 50 145
David Mixell 40 20 35 45 1 141
Tim Southcombe 15 15 12 40 14 20 25 141
Jared Linden 30 25 30 7 45 137
Edward Gray 20 7 15 30 30 13 115
Jamie Atkins 25 20 25 1 14 6 15 106
Sean Townsend 50 50 100
Colin Smith 25 20 30 14 89
Andrew Edwards 8 30 50 88
Will Perrin 40 1 10 30 1 82
Thomas Bass 20 14 11 4 2 15 12 1 79
Jack Salvidge 14 30 11 13 68
Samuel Gaskin 14 9 9 1 1 6 8 4 12 64
Daniel Martin 30 25 8 63
Robert Borek 45 15 1 61
Morgan Curle 35 20 55
Elliot Barratt 8 2 15 25 1 3 54
James Phillips 50 50
James Dudden 35 13 48
Scott Fryer 35 6 7 48
Steven Cottington 13 8 1 1 5 9 4 2 5 48
Ben Osborne 20 25 1 46
Joe Peatson 11 35 46
Steve Beal 1 30 15 46
Daniel Riggs 1 1 1 5 9 1 8 20 46
Joe Twelvetrees 25 20 45
Nathan Hallett 45 45
Tavis Walker 45 45
Theo Brumhead 3 7 25 10 45
Seb Bernaert 20 20 40
Steve Brown 15 25 40
Corey Bale 40 40
Spencer Hardman 6 15 8 9 1 39
Marlin Barea 4 10 25 39
William Hayes 10 8 20 1 39
Christopher Wright 6 30 36
Steven Whitehurst 14 20 34
Dave Cullen 5 4 25 34
Benjamin Wainwright 1 3 10 8 10 32
Chris Downham 6 15 10 31
Joel Thomas 6 25 31
Thomas Collins 30 30
Kyle Dovey 30 30
David Guy 30 30
Jamie Bray 12 6 11 29
Alex Ficke 9 10 10 29
Harry Tucker 1 1 3 9 5 9 28
Iain Duggan 25 1 1 27
Josh Griffiths 9 8 1 1 6 1 26
Liam Cahill 5 13 7 25
Daniel Carr 13 12 25
Adrian Reynolds 12 1 1 1 10 25
Will Clarke 8 1 9 6 24
Oliver Beresford 13 11 24
William Acworth 10 5 7 1 23
Christopher Hill 9 3 11 23
Julian Lockwood 12 9 21
Adam Robertson 13 7 20
Charlie Shields 20 20
Corey Snell 20 20
Steven Curran 3 8 8 19
Simon Bishop 4 15 19
Ben Keenan 9 4 6 19
Richard Smith 8 3 6 17
Anthony Corke 15 1 1 17
Simon Starling 15 15
Peter Smith 1 1 6 7 15
Stuart Hardy 15 15
Tom Allport 9 4 1 14
Thomas Grigson 10 4 14
Nicholas Barks 1 5 8 14
Przemyslaw Kozak 14 14
Nick Anderson 12 12
Daniel Soltys 11 1 12
Felix Young 11 1 12
Mark Hardyman 1 3 1 3 3 1 12
Mark Herbert 12 12
Thomas Ellis 11 11
Matthew Carey 6 5 11
George Creasey 10 10
Daniel Tyrie 9 1 10
Johnny Arcg 5 5 10
Steve Martin 10 10
George Bazeley 10 10
James McGough 10 10
Thomas Barlow 10 10
Daniel Maclean-Howell 9 9
Graeme Rout 6 1 1 1 9
David Bucknall 9 9
Matthew Skeats 1 1 1 1 3 2 9
Nick Cox 9 9
Stefan Barnett 4 3 1 8
Jamie Crump 8 8
Noel Charlton 3 5 8
Tom Moffat 1 7 8
Guy Tucker 7 1 8
Kristian Bond 5 3 8
Christopher Owram 7 1 8
Tom Stoneham 8 8
Paul Hayward 8 8
Luke Churchus 7 7
Edward Jackson 7 7
Phil Walter 7 7
Thom Hayward 7 7
Francis Eddells 7 7
David Kinnair 7 7
Andrew Turner 7 7
Ian Hicks 6 6
Thomas Southey 5 1 6
James Pittard 1 5 6
Paul Culmstock 6 6
Tom Brookes 6 6
Si Potter 4 1 5
Thomas Price 1 4 5
Francis Eddolls 5 5
Mark Reed 1 1 1 1 1 5
Francis Eddolis 5 5
Andy Butler 4 4
John Carter 4 4
Jonathan Oakley 3 1 4
Adrian Warren 3 1 4
Nigel Burton 1 1 1 1 4
James Saunders 1 1 1 1 4
Michael Parkin-White 1 1 1 1 4
John Roberts 1 3 4
Lewis Revill 4 4
Adrian Lawson 4 4
Graham Townsend 1 2 3
James Kay 2 1 3
Chris Brennan 2 1 3
Paul Ashman 1 2 3
Richard Franklin 1 1 1 3
Luke Tregidgo 3 3
Winfield Harvey 1 1 1 3
Craig Buffry 1 2 3
David Gwynne 1 1 2
Jonathan Ashby 1 1 2
Luke Craddock 2 2
Charlie Kelly 1 1 2
Rowan Ellis 2 2
Alexander Atkins 1 1 2
Tom Turner 2 2
Jacques Coates 1 1 2
Thomas Harrington 1 1 2
George Beck 1 1 2
Peter Geaves 1 1 2
Thomas Parsons 1 1 2
Jonathan Oakey 2 2
David Stoyle 2 2
Robert Francis 1 1 2
Alex Joy 1 1 2
David Spreadbridge 1 1 2
Luke Tregipgo 2 2
Thomas Batchelor 2 2
Thomas King 1 1 2
Sam Whitehead 1 1 2
Charles Pearson 2 2
Martin Andrews 1 1
Jack Enright 1 1
Jeremy Bigg 1 1
Alan Adams 1 1
Paul Watkins 1 1
Joanathan Ashby 1 1
Chris Parry 1 1
Michael Banfield 1 1
Alex Williams 1 1
Joel Thomas 1 1
James Barber 1 1
Saxon Ridley 1 1
Dareen Hayter 1 1
Jason Holder 1 1
Christopher Chapman 1 1
Robert McEwen 1 1
Charlie Peach 1 1
Hamilton Palmer 1 1
Tom Coombe 1 1
Luke Rogers 1 1
Alex Faux 1 1
Jordan Wintle 1 1
Ross Mahoney 1 1
Luke Justin 1 1
Chris Deane 1 1
Andy Duggan 1 1
Harvey Winfield 1 1
Joe Colley 1 1
Rhys Flint 1 1
Andrew Kirby 1 1
Peter Burrows 1 1
David Pleming 1 1
Wayne Reeks 1 1
George Edwards 1 1
Andrew Kennard 1 1
Peter Smith 1 1
Robert McEwan 1 1
Harry Chamberlain 1 1
Andrew Lockwood 1 1
Owen Burgess 1 1
Martin MacDonald 1 1
Aaron McGough 1 1
Samuel Holder 1 1
Paul Chessell 1 1
Thomas Riches 1 1
Ted Cross 1 1
Hywel Griffiths 1 1
Hamilton Palmer 1 1
Alex Collins 1 1
Adam Whitehead 1 1
Jonathan Oxley 1 1
Tom Sharp 1 1