Three of our racers (Kev Egan, Ryan Weston and Sam Wadsley) recently competed at the Modbury spring road race on the 12th March, open to 2/3/4 category riders (check out the route on Strava). The race was shadowed by poor weather conditions, with drizzle throughout the first two of four 13 mile circuits, and mud on sections of the course, all amplified by the road spray.
A furious early pace was set the first time up the narrow single lane climb and a position near the front of the group was key to remaining in contention. Lots of fast paced and attacking riding saw eight riders eventually drift off the front and form the days breakaway, a move which proved to be crucial and stayed away until the finish.
The race was halted at the end of the first lap, a final warning was given to all riders for crossing over to the opposite side of the road, with commissionaires doing their best to ensure the safety of the event. Another fast re-start, time gaps re-established and a second gallop up the narrow climb. Kev Egan unfortunately suffered the most, stopped at the side of the road, and was perhaps positioned too far back in the group – finding himself boxed in behind slower moving riders as he fought to hang on to the coattails of the group. A brave effort for his first proper taste of road racing and will sure be back for more.
At the head of affairs it was Ryan Weston towing the main group over the top of climb, all in an attempt to try and bring back the group of escapees. Wet, greasy and muddy roads didn’t help with the chase, with a couple of slippery white lines and drain covers being the cause of a few crashes and near misses in the group.
On the decent Sam Wadsley moved up towards the front to try and get an organised chase together, but was unsuccessful with other riders unwilling to work, claiming they had team-mates in the break or already had their eyes on the sprint.
Coming in towards the finish the breakaway were clear and away and all-but had the top 8 places secured – but a touch of wheels in the final sprint left riders and bikes in heaps on the road. Fortunately most where able to get up and push their bikes across the line with a few minor cuts and bruises. Back in the main group they where hitting the final ramp before the line. Weston was looking good and weaving his way up through the group but cramp and a lack of race legs cost him points and a top-10 finish. Wadsley was tiring towards the line and got caught following the wrong wheels going up the ramp as he slowly slipped towards the back of the group.
Still waiting for the official BC results, we believe both Weston and Wadsley finished in the top-25 or so riders. But most importantly, they all enjoyed a good days racing and are looking forward to the season ahead!
Photos courtesy of Adrian Sluman, Plymouth Corinthian Cycling Club.