Leicester Castle Classic Kermesse
17 August 2014
Solid ride from Barras and Wilson in a tight and dangerous wet race on the cobbles of Leicester for the penultimate round of the British Cycling Elite Series.
1 Jon Mould NFTO 1:55:05
2 George Atkins Team Raleigh st
3 Matt Cronshaw Velosure – Giordana RT st
4 Josh Hunt NFTO @ 2 secs
5 Jake Wormsley Haribo @ 14
6 Ian Wilkinson Team Raleigh st
7 Yanto BarkerTeam Raleigh st
8 Marcin Bialoblocki Velosure – Giordana RT st
9 Edward Clancy MBE Rapha Condor JLT st
10 Jacob Scott Haribo st
11 Peter Hawkins Madison Genesis
12 Will Bjergfelt Metaltek-Kuota
13 Sam Williams NFTO st
14 Tom Barras Wheelbase Altura MGD
15 Simon Wilson Wheelbase Altura MGD @ 16
16 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh st
17 Gruff Lewis Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT st
18 Robert Partridge Velosure – Giordana RT st
19 George Pym Starley Primal Pro Cycling st
20 Ben Stockdale Metaltek-Kuota st
ALTURA VELO 29
Bishop Auckland Circuit Race
06 August 2014
Rider report and reaction from Tom Barras, WHEELBASE ALTURA MGD
Bishop Auckland ‘National A’ criterium on Wednesday night was a crit we had our eyes on for a while. It was sponsored by (our title sponsor) Altura, was fairly local and was a testing circuit. It had the all the markings of a great event for the team. We had seen the circuit some weeks before whilst doing a photo shoot with Altura, so we knew the score.
It was clear that the race was going to be tough, and would probably come down to a sprint finish which would be dictated by the hairpin turn with 100 metres to go. Despite the field not being overly big (+/-30 riders) there was a lot of quality in the bunch, namely KTM riders Clarke and Tanfield, who is a very fast finisher and Adam Martin from Metaltek. It was obvious that if I was to be able to beat them in the finale, I had to be first into the last corner. The race was strung out from the first lap with the usual high speed of an elite crit. Tanfield was the first rider up the road, but it was clear that as long as we kept the pace high, he was never going to ride away solo. 4 of us made the final split of 12 (Wilson, Reid, Duggleby and myself, which is a bit of a double edged sword. It one way it is great we have strength in numbers, but on the other hand the race becomes ours to lose, with the other riders forming an alliance against us.
We policed attacks pretty well all race, with Tom Bustard (Node 4) and Clarke (KTM) launching various attacks. I personally had not been feeling great all night, but had also never really felt like I might be dropped either, which is very easy to do should you make a big effort and then not hold the wheel out of a corner on such a fast circuit. Coming into the last lap, I was well positioned and had the feeling that I might be on for a win. Si Wilson had attacked with 3 laps to go, Stu Reid had done a lap on the front and the two of us with the best sprint (Duggleby and me) were in the hot seat ready to pounce. Into the last 400m and I made my move up the inside which I thought might put me either 2nd wheel or into first which would mean Duggleby got a lead out. Unfortunately for me, at the same time I accellerated, so did Tanfield, Adam Martin (Metaltek) and Duggleby. I hesitated slightly to let Duggleby through and lost the momentum I needed to get into first position. In a split second, I went from thinking I might win to having to accept fourth. Out of the last bend I could see Adam sprinting for the win, but he was narrowly beaten by Tanfield on the line.
I would usually be pretty pleased to get 4th in a ‘National A’ crit but I was very disappointed that none of us from the team got the win. We raced very well all night to come away (what felt like) empty handed. We covered moves, brought attacks back and set ourselves up well but hesitated in the last moment. When people talk about racing, they mention power, weight, aerodynamics etc etc, but the ability to handle pressure is never really mentioned. I am someone who when put under pressure can either perform unusually well, or in this case let it affect me negatively. We did everything right up until the last 20 seconds of the race, which is really frustrating, as if I or Adam had got our timing right, we would have been first and third, rather than second and fourth.
On a positive note, it proves that we are in great shape physically and despite having a pretty heavy program (alongside working) we are still out there fighting for the win. Next stop is Pontefract crit and Oakenclough on Sunday. Bring it on!