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Witham Wheelers Road Races
Event: 17th July 2011
Promoted by: Witham Wheelers
Event HQ: Grantham Cricket Club, Grantham
Report: Simon Cocker
Images: Alan East
Above: A clear win for Matt Barrett in the 3/4 race.
With heavy rain rolling around the rest of the country the weather gods smiled kindly on the two Witham Wheelers road races, with only a brief shower in the morning's event. Both events attracted healthy fields with sponsorship by the local specialist lightweight bikeshop PedalPushers of Grantham. The GT Ellingworth event saw 67 3rd and 4th category riders take to the rolling course held on quiet but narrow country roads.
With the strong wind helping on the main hill and discouraging breakaways on the more exposed parts there were few significant breaks. As the riders hit the main hill for the last time with a mile to go to the finish there were still some 40 riders in contention from the original 63 starters. Matt Barrett (Lutterworth Cycles) timed his finishing burst to perfection to take a clear win after 48 miles from Alex Mitchell (Sheffrec CC) and Natham Harrison (Yorkshire Velo).
Above: Raleigh's Matt Jones takes the E123 race by a whisker.
In the afternoon a mixed field of 53 Elites, first and seconds with a few brave thirds rode the GA Bennett held over 5.3/4 laps with a strengthening wind to make conditions challenging. At the end of the first lap a small group had formed with few seconds lead including Simon Wilson (CyclePremier Metaltek) who was to be ever present at the front for the whole race.
At the end of the second lap 8 riders now had a 45 second lead over a chasing 8 man group with Matt Jones (Team Raleigh) chasing from the bunch. Over the third lap the lead group swelled to 25 riders as the stronger riders made their way to the front leaving the other half of the field some 2 minutes down. This group then split with Jamie Burgan (Boneshakersbikes,com), Mike Cuming (Twenty 3c Orbea), Tom Stockdale (Team Quoroz), Ben Dean (Team Wallis CHH), Wilson, Richard Hepworth (Cycle-Premier Metaltek), Jones and Dexter Gardias (Forme Impsort ) building a 1 minute lead over 10 riders with John Tanner (Team Sportscover) attempting to bridge an ever widening gap from the rear bunch.
Into the final lap and the same 8 riders were still together with Junior Alistair Slater (Hargroves)and Will Fox (Forme Impsort) now only 20 seconds behind, but that was as close as they got. The lead group split on the last lap and in tight finish Jones beat Wilson by a tyres width from Cuming and Gardias with the remnants of the break 30 seconds further back led in by Hepworth. Jamie Kennedy (Glasgow Couriers) took the prize for first 2nd cat and Neil Edwards (PM) as the only 3rd cat to finish.