Colin Lewis Cycles Grand Prix, Torbay Velopark

Saturday saw the Colin Lewis Cycles Grand Prix at the Torbay Velopark. This promised a busy programme of races throughout the day, starting with kids’ competitions and building up to a high-quality hour-long E/1/2 race in the evening.

The E/1/2 race started at a quick pace with various riders attacking right from the start. With a field of high caliber riders I decided to follow any moves that looked strong, keeping my options open.

Several attacks early on looked quite promising and at times began splitting up the field as some riders struggled to stay on in the windy conditions.

Just when it start to settle down, I heard George Pym (Starley Primal Pro Cycling) changing up the gears behind me...I sensed the attack and jumped straight on his wheel and before we knew it we had a fairly decent gap on the bunch.

We worked together to increase the gap as 3 other riders formed a chasing group that started to close us down for a while. We continued to press on regardless, digging deep, to maintain our advantage.

After some time the gap remained constant and with 5 laps to go the chasers realised that they weren't going to catch us so backed off in order to contest 3rd place.

George and I continued to lap at a fairly high pace until the final lap when we knew we would be fighting for the win.

Out of the final hairpin and things had slowed to a track style standoff with neither of us wanting to take it up too early. Halfway down the penultimate straight George really backed it off so I thought it was my best opportunity to attack so I opened up my sprint, catching him off guard and in the wrong gear, as I opened up a gap into the final bend.

Giving it my all I wasn't quite strong enough to hold him off, coming in a strong second.

Was a great evening's racing and I was pleased with the result - shows I've come a long way since starting as a cat 4 just 5 months ago!

Brentor Road Race

Yesterday saw one of the last remaining road races of the season - the Okehamption CC E/1/2/3 Brentor Road Race. Not really one of my favourite circuits if I'm honest, but never the less one I felt I could do well on.

There was a pretty strong field of riders which I was hoping would make for some good racing. However, the race was pretty uneventful at first with no major attacks until 2 riders got a gap around 2 laps in. This was soon brought back and then the real attacking began...

I followed all the main moves but nothing was sticking and although the race was pacy, with riders continually being shelled out the back, it was looking like it was going to be all together at the base of the final climb.

Around half way around the final lap a couple of riders clipped of the front of the bunch and everyone started looking around, wondering who was going to commit, but none of the stronger/well represented teams were prepared to chase this move down. Rounding the final corner it all kicked off with everyone going full gas up the final climb and splitting up the race into small groups.


I was in the front group of around 10 riders and we were closing rapidly on the 2 man break. It was obviously going to be a dash for the line so I positioned myself well in anticipation of the sprint. With just under 200m to go I came off the wheel of a BH Solidor and opened up my sprint, flashing past riders as I galloped to the line - 3rd in the bunch sprint taking 5th place overall, not quite catching the break.

VC Venta Summer Road Race

Another early start as we headed up the 303 to Stockbridge in Hampshire for a 9:30am start to the VC Venta Summer Road Race. I had raced here a few weeks ago and really liked the course - a fast, rolling circuit with a draggy hill finish which helps to split the race up making for some interesting racing.

I knew I could go well here but that I'd have my work cut out tactically, being a lone (marked) rider, against a few strong teams. Sure enough the team attacks came thick and fast from the start until a 4 man breakaway was quickly established.

Unfortunately I wasn't part of the break, having been caught out after chasing many attacks. I tried hard to split the race via counter attacks up the main climb but most riders were unwilling to share the work so it all came back together.

Approaching the finish
So, on the last lap, with the breakaway gone, I was racing for 5th place. I put in a big attack a third of the way up the final climb and blew the peloton apart with only one rider able to stick with me. We worked together to ensure the gap was not able to be closed down before I attacked again and pulled out a large time gap to comfortably take 5th place. Not quite the result I was looking for but that's racing!