Revell takes the lead on discs as Johnston tightens her grip on the women’s standings
Both series leaders extend their unbeaten record
The main favourites were active but covered one another’s early moves
There is a new leader of the men’s overall standings after Charlie Revell (Team Tor Kalas 2000) showed a cool head and the diversity of his skillset to take the win a sprint finish ahead of Andrew White (Okehampton CC) who confirmed he will be a threat all series having made the step up from winning the 4th cat races at rounds two and three. A late attack from Adrian Reynolds (Somerset RC) looked to have Revell caught out but the favourite didn’t panic and, with a little help from Daniel Martin (University of Bath – 6th), he set about reeling in a rider he knows well.
Reynolds’ dangerous late move was covered by Revell
This experience paid off as Revell was able to manage his effort so that despite spending much of the final three laps on the front of the bunch he left enough in the tank to hold off the rest of the pack in the sprint. Will Page followed up his podium finish last round with another third place finish with David Mixell (BIKESTRONGUK) confirming his position at the top of the overall standings with a 4th place finish. Jack Salvidge (BPF Cycling) was 5th.
The 3rds wasted no time getting in pursuit of the 4ths
The women’s handicap pursuit panned out very differently to the race in round two, with the organised 3rd cats reeling in the 4ths in short order. This was not the end of the game for the 4th cats though, and once the race had come together it was an attack from series leader Lauren Johnston that forced the winning selection alongside Molly Hodges (Avid Sport) and 4th cats Emily Walton (Beeston CC) and Elinor Spencer (Abingdon RT). These riders set to work to make their gap to the chasing pair of Emily Slavin (IRIS RT) and Jenny Bolsom (Bikechain – Ricci) secure.
Once the lead group had formed there was no catching them
In the end, Johnston had too much for her breakaway companions with a late jump with one kilometre to go giving her an unassailable advantage. Her jump stretched the group and left Hodges and Spencer in a two-up sprint ahead of Walton. Hodges is not known for her sprinting; however, she has won sprints from small groups like this before in the series and had enough to hold off Spencer for a result that puts her right in the mix for the overall series. Slavin had the edge on Bolsom in the sprint again to repeat the result from last week to add her name to the list of contenders behind Johnston in the series standings.
The winning move goes clear
There were also some familiar names at the front of the race in the men’s 4th cat race with the breakaway taking the spoils again as has been the case all series. As Jared Linden (RDF CC), Jamie Atkins (University of Bristol) and Seb Bernaert (Bristol RC) forced their way clear early in the race they split the main group into pieces. When the dust settled the chasing group were unable to get organised leaving the leaders to open up a gap and leave Christopher Wright (Army CU) hanging only a short way behind the front three.
Wright (background)was close to getting into the lead group
Wright hung close for several laps but the front three did not take their foot off the gas and eventually he started going backwards towards the man group which was reduced to 12 riders. With such a small group and the prospect of a point-scoring finish the group never managed to chase in earnest and the podium places were left to the front three. Linden and Atkins had both been successful with their breakaways in Round One, with Linden having the edge and taking the win; and the same was true six weeks later with Linden taking the win ahead of Atkins with Bernaert in third. Wright was caught by the group and it was Steve Brown (Royal Dean Forest CC) who took the sprint for fourth ahead of James McGough (Racecycles RCC) in fifth.