Warwick Town Centre Races

Warwick Town Centre Races

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TravelWise Warwick Cycle Races

6th September 2009; Warwick; Report & photos by Richard Robotham
Part of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series

TravelWise Elite Series Circuit Race

Malcolm Elliott, Ian WIlkinson and Dean Downing

Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bike Hut) won Sunday's round of the Elite Men’s Circuit Race Series held through the tight and winding streets of the historic city of Warwick to conclude a fun packed day of racing. The first break was initiated by Matthew Cronshaw (Rapha Condor), Ed Clancy (Halfords Bike Hut) and Malcolm Elliott (Candi TV - Marshall Pata RT) who all worked to well together but could not prevent a chasing group of three bridging the gap.

This group, which contained the eventual winner Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bike Hut), Dean Downing (Rapha Condor) and Graham Briggs (Candi TV - Marshall Pasta RT) upped the pace of the race and after all working well together, the break began to catch the main field on the small town centre circuit. However, with 10 laps to go, the break started to split with Wilkinson, Downing and Elliott managing to get clear and with four laps to go they caught and passed the bunch.

Ian WIlkinson leads Malcolm Elliott

The group containing Briggs, Clancy and Cronshaw meanwhile couldn’t match the pace of the leaders and weren't able to catch the bunch and close the gap to the leaders and were marooned in no-mans land. With the three leaders now clear of the lapped riders, they had the space and lead to jockey and jostle for positions for the final sprint and with all three known fastmen, the sprint was as exciting as they come.

As they fought side-by-side up the long finishing straight, Wilkinson came out from the middle of Downing and Elliott to lead the sprint all the way to the finish line and it was so close that only the photo finish could split the result for the next two places with Elliott being award 2nd place and Downing third.

National Circuit Race Champion Russell Downing (Candi TV - Marshall Pasta R.T.) headed the bunch home for 7th place which left the final sprint of the day to contest the minor places between the riders who had been part of the main break. Graham Briggs (Candi TV - Marshall Pasta) took the sprint and came 4th overall with Ed Clancy (Halfords Bike Hut) taking the 5th spot and Matthew Cronshaw (Rapha Condor) taking the 6th position.

Ian Wilkinson said after the race he was pleased with his win, knowing that Malcolm Elliott was going really well following the Tour of Ireland last week.  He said that he was not worried about the main field bridging the gap and had put the squeeze on for a couple of laps, after attacking by the pits. He thought the breakaway group was very evenly matched but he felt good in the later stages of the race.

Victory for Ian Wilkinson in Warwick.

The Rapha Condor Team's Race Report
In a frustrating night for the men in black, the Rapha Condor team took 3rd and 6th at the Warwick round of the national circuit series. In Warwick, the team rode an excellent race putting Matt Cronshawe in the first split of a night that was fast from the moment the flag was dropped, he joined Malcolm Elliott and Ed Clancy in the break. As the counter attack formed it was Dean Downing who worked together with Wilkinson and Briggs making it 2 from Rapha Condor, Candi TV and Halfords in the front.

As the finale of the race approached, the attacking began in the break and it was Dean Downing, Malcolm Elliott and Ian Wilkinson who made the decisive break and as the bell was rung it was clear the winner would come from that trio. Out of the final corner it was Wilkinson who lead and whilst Downing and Elliott  both made attempts to get around him there was only going to be one winner.

Speaking after the finish Dean was a frustrated figure; "It's my own fault, it's a tough race, and it's a tough circuit. We had a good break, it was working really well and coming into the finish Wilko had a good kick, he got a perfect gear -- I didn't -- and it was a blanket finish... Six of the best crit riders in the UK, it was always going to be difficult"
Back in the bunch British Road Race Champion Kristian didn't contest the finish, satisfied to have done his work for the team: "...there were cowboys going everywhere for 8th place and I don't need to get involved in that with the Tour of Britain only a week away now.

Reflecting on a frustrating night, John Herety commented: "Wiko lead it out from miles but Dean was just in too big a gear, he (Deano) got gapped and never got it back. Matt was riding like ten men early on but he's still got a lot to learn in those situations. He made the early break but maybe gave a little too much. Dean has consolidated his lead in the National Circuit Race series, so that's a positive for the night and with Kristian riding strong after completing the Tour Ride earlier in the day with the guys from Sharp he looks to be in a good place for the Tour of Britain".

South Wigston & Hinckley Cycle Centre Women’s Circuit Race
A field of 15 riders took the start of the mid afternoon event. The small field didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of those taking part and they all worked hard to make a race of it.

Eventual winner Nicola Juniper (PCA Ciclos Uno) who had won the London Crit champs the day before, leapt off the front of the bunch after 5 laps of the race and appeared to just get faster and faster as the race went on.

By the bell she had almost lapped all the riders which were spread across the whole circuit. Only two riders managed to stay on the same lap, these being Anna Fischer (Max Gear R.T.) and Jennifer O’Connor (Altura Patterson Training) who crossed the line to take 2nd and 3rd places respectively and were one minute down on the winner Nicola Juniper (PCA Ciclos Uno).

Juniper is proving that she is as good at cycling as she is at Iron Man Racing for which she has competed and won numerous events over recent years.

1. Nicola Juniper PCA Ciclos Uno 
2. Anna Fischer Maxgear RT
3. Jennifer O'Connor Altura Patterson Training 
4. Miriam  Freemantle Team Tor 2000 
5. Marianne Britten Maxgear RT 
6. Claire Thomas Edinburgh RC
7. Charlotte Colclough Hand in Hand Baal
8. Natalie Creswick Twickenham CC
9. Alison Stringer Central - No Club
10. Penny Rowson The Mischiefcard.com Racing Team  
11. Katie  Evans Wolverhampton Whls 
12. Hayley Edwards Halesowen A & CC
13. Melanie Bailey Seamons CC

Under 12’s -Youth C – Sponsored by Carillion
Grace Garner (Leicestershire RC) won the Under 12’s race in superb style after taking the lead in the race on the very first lap. Grace’s team mate Charlotte Broughton and Jack Escritt (Wolverhampton Wheelers) chased her down, joining Grace after a further two laps. With the race now splintered around the circuit the leaders worked together building a significant lead over the rest of the field. Watching each other carefully in the final laps Grace kept her head to take the win over Jack Escritt, second place and team mate Charlotte third place.

1st Grace Garner  Leicestershire RC
2nd Jack Escritt  Wolverhampton Wheelers
3rd Charlotte Broughton Leicestershire RC
4th James Roberts Lichfield City CC
5th Isabelle Clarke Lichfield City CC
6th Jessie Ansell  Wolverhampton Wheelers

Under 10’s – Youth D
An early break by Matthew Lewis (Wolverhampton Wheelers), Harry Yates (Halesowen A&CC) and Scott Hookway (Sherwood CC) in the Under 10’s race, decimated the rest of the field. After a few laps the leaders were joined by Matthew Shaw (Solihull CC) and Pfeiffer Georgi (Mid Devon CC). The small group worked together each taking a turn at the head of the race. Halesowen A&CC rider Harry Yates was at the front of the race as the bell was rung and undeterred he held on to win the race from Matthew Lewis in second place and Scott Hookway in third.

1st Harry Yates  Lichfield City
2nd Matthew Lewis  Wolverhampton Wheelers
3rd Scott Hookway  Sherwood CC
4th Pfeiffer Georgi   Mid Devon CC
5th Matthew Shaw  Solihull CC

Under 8’s – Youth E:
Solihull CC rider James Upton was the winner of the Under 8’s race after dominating it from the start. James together with Halesowen A&CC rider Andrew Wheatley, and Connor Smith of the Lichfield CC led the rest of the field for all of the 7 laps. Only James Upton managed to keep ahead in the last lap to take the win, with Will Staite (Lichfield City CC) taking Second place from Connor Smith (Halesowen A &CC) in third spot.

1st James Upton  Solihull CC
2nd Will Staite  Lichfield City CC
3rd Connor Smith  Halesowen A & CC
4th Andrew Wheatley Halesowen A & CC
5th Lorna Sharples Halesowen A & CC
6th Adam Stanley  Lichfield City CC

Under 14’s and Under 16’s – Youth A & B:
The Under 14’s and 16’s race splintered into two distinct races right from the start.  Solihull CC rider Joseph Fox was the odd one out amongst the three Halesowen A&CC riders of Ted Bate, James Locker and Jacob James. The four leaders pulled ahead of the field and started to lap the back markers.  Unwilling to let the three Halesowen riders block him at the finish Joseph Fox made a brave move with 5 laps on the board and attacked off the front of the race and he kept the pressure on right to the finish line.

The Halesowen riders had no response to his attack as they all started to buckle under the relentless pace. Joseph Fox even had time for the obligatory victory salute as he crossed the line well ahead of James Locker and Jacob James. The Under 14’s had their own tussle at the back of the race with George Edwards of Lyme RC taking first place.

Under 16’s
1st Joseph Fox  Solihull CC
2nd James Locker  Halesowen A & CC
3rd Jacob James  Halesowen A & CC

Under 14’s
1st George Edwards Lyme RC
2nd William Davies Lichfield City CC
3rd Emily Nelson  Lichfield City CC

4th Category Entry Level Race:
Tim Stowe (Warwickshire Fire Service) came through to win the Entry Level race. He had been battling it out in a lead group of riders after he had joined South African Francois Van Schalkwyk and Charles Brown (Kenilworth Wheelers) who had broken away early on in the race. A delay through lapped riders enabled Graham Atkins (Welland Valley CC) to bridge the gap to make the leaders a group of four. The lead changed several times between Tim and Francois. Tiring Francois attempted to break way with two laps to go, but was out sprinted in the finish straight by the other riders. Tim Stowe took 1st place with Graham Atkins and Charles Brown taking 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

1st Tim Stowe  Warwickshire Fire Service
2nd Graham Atkins Welland Valley CC
3rd Charles Brown Kenilworth Wheelers

3rd/4th Category Race
Robert Edgell (Somer Valley CC) set a blistering pace for the race from the start. The fast pace proved too much for the main field which fractured into several small groups. Ted Bate in the leading group, was forced to retire after only 20 laps when he crashed on the sharp left hand bend at the end of finish straight, and threw the lead group into disarray.

Once the race settled back down again Robert Edgell continued with the high tempo, staying at the front of the lead group which included Jamie Scott (PM), Matthew Holmes (Team Wallis CHH RT) and Mark Davies (Barnsley RC). Keeping behind the race leader Mark Davies would be in the best position to launch his final attack of the race on the finish straight in the sprint for first place, beating both Matthew Holmes and Robert Edgell who could only manage third place.

1st Mark Davies  Barnsley RC
2nd Matthew Holmes Team Wallis CHH RT
3rd Robert Edgell  Somer Valley CC