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Over 150 riders descended on a sun soaked Llandow circuit to mark the official opening of the 2012 Welsh road and circuit race season. Conditions could not have been better and this resulted in the 3/4 and 2/3/4 races hitting their limits of 80 riders. The Vets only event also saw 41 riders take to the start line.
Race 1 3/4 - Cyclists in the mist, the large field snakes its way through the final chicane
Race1 saw 80 riders line up to tackle the first race of the day. Without the usual block head on either the back straight or the home straight, the large field set off at a good pace. Cardiff JIF were regularly sending riders on the attack to try and stir things up.
There were various moves throughout the race but with nothing gaining more than 20 seconds it was all going to come down to a mad dash into the final chicane.First rider there would get the win and this was done perfectly by Graeme Boswell of Cardiff AJAX closely followed by Steven Bennett of ACME and Tim Ryan of Cardiff JIF.
1. Graeme Boswell
2. Steven Bennett
3. Tim Ryan
The Vets got their race underway in glorious sunshine and it seems the heat was agreeing with a number of riders. Gerry Bowditch made his intentions clear early on by taking the first prime comfortably. Mid race and there were a number of attempts to break away from the main group. Nick and Rupert Beale of Beeline Bikes along with Jeremy Rees, Will Robbins and Michael Greaves to name a few who attempted to break away.
With Bowditch taking the 2nd prime as easy as the first the Mapledown Racing rider looked strong going into the final few laps. The lack of wind made it easy for the main field to pull the riders back so once again it was all about the first rider into the final chicane.
Gerry Bowditch leads the field and he went on to win the Vets event
Going up the back straight, Bowditch attacked hard and got the gap he needed going into the final chicane. Combined with some great cornering skills, the two Beale's were left to fight it out for 2nd and 3rd, Nick getting the better of Rupert.
1. Gerry Bowditch
2. Nick Beale
3. Rupert Beale
Main event 2/3/4
A second field of 80 riders took to the line for the final race of the day. With a number of Wales' top riders taking part the racing was always going to be fast and furious.
The large field negotiates the final chicane
After a number of small attacks, early on in the race at the 15 minute mark the first prime of the day was won comfortably by Matalteks Matt Rowe.
It was at this point the race started to come alive with National Junior Road Champion, Dan Pearson, Richie Harris, Andrew Hoskins and John Holt spear heading attacks.
Going into the 2nd prime of the day, cracks were starting to show in the field and wheels were being lost further back in the group. Gerry Bowditch winner of the earlier race put his speed and cornering to good use to take the 2nd prime.
David Beese of Forza leads the field out of the final bend
The following laps eventually saw a lead group of 5 riders including Matt Rowe, Dan Pearson, Jess Wieckowski, John Holt and Jack Gibson move away from the field. The group also included David Beese but a rear wheel failure rulled him out of the running.
Dan Pearson and John Holt head the lead group closely followed by the main field
Final lap and the 5 riders had maintained their lead. Heading up the back straight it was Matt Rowe who put in a big effort to break away from the lead group and push home hard for the win. Jess Wieckowski would chase hard for 2nd with Dan Pearson coming home in 3rd.
1. Matt Rowe
2. Jess Wieckowski
3. Dan Pearson
Race winner Matt Rowe followed closely by Jess Wieckowski
A great days racing was had by everyone and a huge thank you to everyone who helped to make the days events a great way to open the season.
Racing continues this coming Sunday at Llandow with some Youth A, B and C races forming part of the programme.