Wessex Road Racing League -- Cove
Sunday 6th September; WXCRL Cove Road Race | Report and pictures Graham Robins ()
Win for Oli Beckinsdale
There are some things you just can’t get enough of and one of those really has to be racing on the Isle of Purbeck – barely a fortnight after the Dorset Tour, we’re back in the Wool, having found yet another way to race around it! A dry overcast morning dawned in Wool as the riders prepared for the days racing. Although the number of riders was small the quality was high.
This course was new to everyone so a slow first lap was expected -- how wrong we were! As the race approached the left turn towards Winfrith, with the decommissioned nuclear power station in the background, the race was together, and this would be the only time the back of the bunch would see the front until we got back to the HQ.
The course took in some excellent views over the lovely Dorset coastline, not that the leaders had time for sightseeing. With about three quarters of the first lap completed, a group of four riders Oli Beckinsdale (Giant Racing) Marcin Bialoblocki (Sport Beans/ Wilier) Tom Southam (Rapha Condor) and Robert Willcocks (Somerset RC Bicycle Chain) opening up a gap on a couple trying to get across with a further group of eight led by David Sinclair at about 20secs.
As the race climbed out of Lulworth for the second time, Richard Cartland (Team Corley Cycles) had managed to get across to the leaders and this group of five would remain until the end. The second group of now seven were losing time and at this point were 1 minute down. There were now three distinct groups all with a significant gap between them.
The four leaders on their first lap
The leaders continued to work hard together trying to open the gap to the chasers. The gap opened up to over 2 minutes with the third group now a distant 7 minutes down and as the laps ticked down, the time gap was increasing, until with two laps to go the leaders had a large lead of 5 minutes. The course, with its short, sharp climbs and long descents, and with a strong wind blowing inland from the sea did not encourage escapes and the three groups seemed content to work together for much of the race.
When the leaders crossed the line to take the bell they were still all together and after the climb past Durdle Door and the fast descent into Lulworth village, Oli Beckingsale decided to make his first move and as they took the tight left turn, Oli attacked. Through the village and up the climb back towards Wool, Oli tried but to no avail. All that happened was that Robert Willcocks found he couldn’t keep pace and started to slip out the back door. The remaining four now together again continued towards the finish all waiting and watching.
The twisty road never really allowed anyone to pull away much but with 2Km to go, Oli attacked again but couldn’t get away until he had another go and made the move stick, crossing the line well clear of his rivals. The three chasers led by Marcin, Tom Southam and Richard Cartland came in a further 45 seconds down. After the race the Oli said “I was here for a good workout really, and if I got a good result out of it then so much the better.”
Oli wins alone and the sprint for 2nd as Marcin leads out
1. Oli Beckinsdale
2. Marcin Bialobocki @45secs
3. Tom Souyham @st
4. Richard Cartland @st
5. Robert Willcocks @st
Chasers on lap 1
The big climb
The five leaders
Oli and Richard Cartland