WXCRL QinetiQ Circuit Races
Saturday 12th June; by Graham Robins
The circuit races at Barnsfield on Saturday took on a different twist from recent events held on this fantastic traffic free venue. The course designer (Don) had manage to include some of the little used roads within the course and there was even an Alpe-d’Huez style switchback climb! The morning was warm and the sun even managed to make an appearance from behind the clouds.
Category 3/4 Event
The 3/4 race got the morning underway once the riders had been taken around the new course layout in convoy style for a neutralised lap. Right from the start of the 90 minute, 7 lap race, there was an attack from Justin Radford (Python RT) and Robert Cranstone (Royal Navy and Royal Marine CA). These two riders were soon joined by Eamonn Deane (Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers).
The leading trio was joined on lap three by Andrew Boyd (CC Weymouth) and Tim Wildschut (Sotonia CC) while on the fourth lap, Robert Cranstone slipped back into the bunch. A big effort from James Darcy around the same time saw him manage to claw his way across the gap before the pace was ramped up by the leaders. These five riders were now working well together and managed to pull out a gap of 40 seconds from the chasing bunch.
With the bunch failing to make any inroads into the leaders advantage, the break managed to stay away and it was these five that would contest the sprint finish. For this event, the finish line had been moved further up the course from the usual point and instead of being on the top of a short climb, it was now sitting on a flat section a couple of hundred meters further on which meant that riders had to keep going once they crested the climb.
As the five got over the rise, it was Tim Wildschut that managed to pull out a gap from Justin Radford with Andrew Boyd third. These five riders were all given the same time but we had to wait for a further 42 seconds until the bunch arrived to take the remaining points on offer.
1. Tim Wildschut, Sotonia CC
2. Justin Radford, Python RT
3. Andrew Boyd, CC Weymouth
4. James Darcy, Southdown Bikes
5. Eamonn Deane, Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers.
The field for the E/1/2 race was a very strong one with all the big hitters from the South turning up to support the venue. Thirty riders set off on the first lap behind the course car but unlike the 3/4 race, this was the first competitive lap of ten. With so many class riders making up this field, it did take four laps before we managed to see some action.
The usual suspects managed to get to the front and when the break came, there were nine riders that made the selection and soon had a gap. The next couple of laps saw these nine consolidate their lead with their lead rising as each mile passed under their wheels. The nine riders included Mark Perry, Ben Luckwell, Ian Rees and Grant Bayton (Wilier/BigMaggys.com/Prendas Ciclismo), Stuart Bowers (Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/Scott), Harry Bulstrode, Andy Bryson (DHC-RACING.CO.UK), Ian Legg (Felt/ Colbournes Racing) and Nicolas Hutchings (CS Grupetto).
These nine had a gap of nearly a minute on the bunch and that’s how it stayed until with three laps to go, Ben Luckwell punctured and took a lap out only to be followed on the next lap by Stuart Bowers who also punctured. As the group rode towards the bell, it was the Wilier boys forcing the pace. On the previous lap, they'd done the damage as three of them rode through the line with Nicolas a couple of seconds down and the remainder of the bunch about twenty seconds further away. In the sprint for the line, Mark Perry took the win as the three leaders crossed the line in formation.
1. Mark Perry Wilier/BigMaggys.com/Prendas Ciclismo
2. Ben Luckwell Wilier/BigMaggys.com/Prendas Ciclismo
3. Grant Bayton Wilier/BigMaggys.com/Prendas Ciclismo
4. Nicolas Hutchings CS Grrupetto
5. Ian Rees Wilier/BigMaggys.com/Prendas Ciclismo
After the race, many riders said how much they enjoyed the new circuit layout and found the racing experience an enjoyable one. This venue is fantastic and should be attracting much larger fields. The venue is virtually traffic free and safe and secure for all abilities. The next race at Barnsfield is on Tuesday 22nd June with the next Saturday race not until July 31st. You can pre-enter events via the website at www.entryweb.co.uk.