Team Tor 2000, Race 3, Ilton

Another great evening of circuit racing at Ilton completed.....

Weather was awful with a lot of rain just before the race started but still a really good 1hr + workout against some powerhouse seasoned crit racers in the E/1/2 race - thoroughly enjoyable!

A three man break managed to get away around the half way point but this was almost caught on the line and I came in 11th in the sprint finish so pretty happy with that :)

2014 South West Regional Road Race Champs, Hatherleigh, Devon

Super stoked to get 5th having initiated the attack which became the winning breakaway that stayed away for the rest of the race! Especially following a week of illness after the Totnes-Vire and the possibility of not even starting the race.

A full race report to follow shortly....

photo: RU Training Today

photo: RU Training Today

photo: Falco Racing, 5 man breakaway

Begining Lap 2 of the finishing circuit with the breakaway reduced to 4

The Torbay Herald Express newspaper race report can be found here.

Totnes-Vire 2 Day Stage Race, Devon

This past Saturday and Sunday saw the annual Totnes-Vire 2 Day Stage Race take place in and around the South Hams.


Saturday's racing kicked off at 1pm from South Brent with a 60 mile road race stage around a 10 mile rolling circuit. High winds and very heavy rain meant a gnarly race from the off. As expected, it all kicked off quite early with a strong NFTO team continually attacking the bunch until one rider got up the road.

He managed to build over a 2 minute lead with no one really working hard in the bunch to pull it back. The harsh condition began taking their toll with riders getting dropped from around 20 miles in, as well as a couple of big crashes.

photo: Falco Racing
A few more splintered attacks eventually managed to get away and the race started to fragment, especially on the last time up the climb, when the bunch split with around 12 of us going clear and holding out until the finish line where we all finished in a bunch with the same time.


Sunday morning began with slightly better weather (although still heavy showers and strong winds) and a 4 mile time trial climbing out of Kingsbridge. I was one of the last to go and departed at 10:12 and rode a solid stage to try and stay in the GC.

12:30 and the final 75 mile road race stage departed under neutralised conditions from Kingsbridge High Street and climbed up to the race circuit where NFTO immediately controlled the race tempo to protect their leader. Very early on an opptimistic junior rider made a lone break for it and pulled a gap of around 40 seconds to the bunch. Knowing this was never likely to succeed, considering the fire power within the bunch, I stayed calm and conserved energy.

A rider from BH-Solidor then bridged over to the breakaway rider and they maintained their gap to the bunch until the BH-Solidor rider attacked and began pulling out a lead. Ultimately this was doomed as both riders were caught by the bunch.

I knew the NFTO race leader was starting to struggle on the climbs so on the forth lap I decided to attack on the second climb and was joined by a group of around 8 riders. We worked pretty well together but never quite got enough distance to commit so the move failed.

Another lone breakaway followed with Scott Gurnett quickly getting clear by around 40 seconds. Going up the second climb for the last time a group of six of us pressed on to try and split the bunch catching the breakaway rider half way up the hill.

This was the final selection which stayed together to sprint it out for the finish where I came home in 5th place - pretty stoked with that!

All in all a very tough weekend of excellent racing in adverse weather conditions against some pro riders from top UK teams. Thanks to all concerned at Mid Devon CC for laying on a great event.

Tom Hawkins Classic Road Race, Uffculme, Devon

10:30 am on Sunday 27th April saw me and another 79 riders depart out of Uffculme for the start of the Tom Hawkins Classic Road Race. The start was neutralised for the first 15 minutes as we headed over to the race circuit.

photo: Ann Owens
Once underway the pace was fairly leisurely at the start with a few attacks coming to nothing until Scott Gurnett soloed of the front. On the next lap a few riders bridged across and maintained a gap of around a minute and a half to the main group.

I knew it was going to be a fairly long race and with several strong riders amongst the main group I was quite happy to sit tight and see how it unfolded.

Things stayed fairly constant for the next few laps with the breakaway maintaining the gap until I put in a big effort on the second to last time up the main climb to begin to split the bunch and form a select group.

photo: Ann Owens
As a result a strong group of around six riders began working well together and we caught the break just before the final climb. I pushed the pace up with the ride-24-7 rider and we begin shelling the members of the original breakaway out the back door until only one of the riders remained.

We kept working well together and pressed on to keep ahead of the main bunch before the seven of us sprinted out the finish.

photo: Ann Owens
In the end I came in in 6th so pretty happy with that considering the distance of the finish line from the main climb.

Thanks to Exeter Wheelers for hosting a really great race and to Ann Owens for the photos!

Circuit Training

This week's has been full-on racing with 2 back-to-back mid-week circuit races bookended with Sunday road races!

Now physics dictates that being a small rider weighing in at a featherweight 47kg means that flat circuit racing is probably never going to be a major strength of mine. But so what, it's all racing and I figure you won't get any better and develop further as a rider by sticking to the things that you're comfortable with or the things you're good at!

With that in mind Wednesday saw a 3 hour training ride in the morning followed by the first of the University of Exeter Cycling Club - Westpoint Circuit Races in the evening. The weather was poor making for a pretty cold and wet race but it was good racing all the same. The pace was lively from the off and having put in some strong attacks during the race it was the inevitable bunch sprint at the end where I held out for 7th place(TBC).

Thursday evening saw better weather and a quick jaunt up the motorway to Taunton and on to Ilton for race 1 of the Team Tor Circuit Series. Being new to all this and never having raced at Ilton I was surprised at how busy it was - there was a real buzz to it! Time to break out the new bike...

I was racing in the E/1/2 category and after an improvised warmup around part of the circuit it was time to head over to the start. The race was pacy from the off with a breakaway forming almost immediately with riders from the Bikeshed-UEX and Starley teams.

I settled in towards the front of the bunch and did good work on the front. As the race progressed the breakaway split with the Starley riders being brought back whilst the Bikeshed-UEX team were joined by Marcin Bialoblocki the Velosure-Giordana rider and stayed away for the remainder of the race.

I ended up finishing somewhere in the main bunch but was happy to have simply held my own on such a flat course and learnt a thing or two along the way...was good fun and I'll definitely be doing more circuit racing, if only for training....just need to build some more power!

Next stop is the Tom Hawkins Spring Classic Road Race on Sunday - can't wait - more on that after the weekend...