The best third cat rider in last season’s series, Jamie Pine (London Dynamo) showed just how much he has improved over the last 12 months when he won the E/1/2/3 race on the opening day of the 2011-12 Imperial Winter Series at Hillingdon on Saturday.
The 34-year-old from Twickenham won a three-up sprint finish to the first round race at a dry and sunny Hillingdon venue where the racing proved fast and furious.
The pace was high from the start of all races, with a healthy number of riders lining up. After around 10 kilometres of the elite race the elastic snapped and the field was split in two.
The splits continued, with eight riders forging ahead of the rest in search of glory. Finally, there were just two riders – Steve Golla (High Wycombe CC) and Conall Yates (In Gear-Quickvit RT) - out at the front working well together to ensure they stayed clear.
Pine jumped off the front of the chasing group in search of the leaders, and after three laps out in no man’s land he managed to bridge the gap.
Golla tried to attack as they hurtled round the final lap, but Pine held his wheel while Yates dropped back slightly. And in the dash for the line, it was Pine who held off 37-year-old Golla, while Yates, 31 and from East Sussex, settled for third place.
“It was a great start to the Winter Series for me,” said Pine afterwards. “I’m really pleased with that as it was a tough race and there was plenty of quality in there.
“It was pretty windy down the back straight especially, so when the two riders escaped nobody really wanted to chase them. I decided to go it alone, and caught them after a few laps, and then held them off at the finish.
“This time last year I was a total novice – the Winter Series was my first ever race, so I went from 4th cat to 1st cat in a season. I’ve mainly been riding Surrey League events where I’ve had a few top five finishes, as well as the Summer Series, which has helped me get points.”
In the other categories, 23-year-old Oxford rider Nick Baker of Zappi’s CC won the fourth cat race from Mark Longstaff (Colchester Rovers), while James Local of London Dynamo took third.
And in the third cat race, High Wycombe based 19-year-old Joe Holloway (VC10) came out on top, holding off Jacek Reder (unattached) for the win while Tim Benham of Wyndy Milla was third.
1 Jamie Pine (London Dynamo) 1:14:00
2 Steve Golla (High Wycombe CC)
3 Conall Yates (In Gear-Quickvit RT) all @ same time
1 Joe Holloway (VC10)
2 Jacek Reder (unattached)
3 Tim Benham (Wyndy Milla)
1 Nick Baker (Zappi’s CC)
2 Mark Longstaff (Colchester Rovers CC)
3 James Local (London Dynamo)
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.