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Report: Meudon Spring Classic Road Race
Monday 25th April 2011 | Herriard, nr Basingstoke | Event Promoted by VC Meuden
Report & Images: Graham Robins (grahamrobins.net)
Based around the narrow lanes of North Hampshire near the village of Herriard this was a 70 mile race which took place in the glorious sunshine we're enjoying this spring. The eighty plus riders rolled away into the winding lanes on the first of seven laps behind some of the best looking lead cars ever seen on a road race and a fine collection of NEG riders to marshal them.
As soon as the flag dropped there was an attack by Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles) who managed to hold onto this lead for most of the first lap, building himself a gap of 20 seconds at one point, with the bunch all together behind him.
The next lap saw three riders bridge the gap to Roy and this group of four then began to open up a useful gap of over 30 seconds. The three riders who joined up with Roy were Paul Pickup (Cycle Kingdom Race Team), Martin Ford (Mammoth Lifestyle RT) and Ian Alexander (Cheltenham & County CC).
These four riders stretched the lead to over 40 seconds as the climbed away from South Warnborough. Once over the climb, two riders attacked but the gap didn't go out too much. The first rider in trouble was Lee Smith who was in need the assistance of neutral service when his chain managed to wrap its self around his front mech, but once sorted Lee chased back to the bunch behind the car and soon got onto the back of the bunch. The neutral service were kept busy early in the race with several riders suffering punctures
The four leaders managed to keep a gap of about 40 seconds on the next lap while the bunch looked like they were deciding what to do. The answer was soon coming when the bunch organised themselves into chase mode and by the start of the fifth lap the whole race was almost back together.
On the fifth lap, a group of thirteen riders got away catching the bunch sleeping and when two riders bridged the gap, gaps started to appear in the chasing bunch, but with most the top teams represented at the front the bunch slowed and the time to the leaders started to go out to over a minute.
While all the action was at the front it was Martin Ford (Mammoth Lifestyle RT) who was picking up the king of the mountain points, which come the end of the race he won by 2 pints.
The sixth lap saw two riders Steven Allen (Team Coventry Cycle Centre) and Ian Knight (Team Corley Cycles) attack and they got some time over the lead bunch and it was these two that worked hard together both taking turns on the front.
As the two leaders started the climb towards the finish it was Steven who attacked first and Ian didn't have any more to give and Steven crossed the line clear by twelve seconds. Third place was won by Allan Ridler who finished a further 26secs adrift.
1. Steven Allen Team Coventry Cycle Centre 2hrs 56mins03secs
2. Ian Knight Team Corley Cycles @12secs
3. Allan Ridler Cycle Kingdom Race Team @26secs
4. Russel Falder Mammoth Lifestyle RT @40secs
5. Anders Christensen Cycle Kingdom RT @41secs
6. Nick Abraham Private Member
7. Paul Crook Beyond Mountain Bikes
8. Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles
9. Claire Galloway Team Zappi's
10. Jamie Caldwell St Ives
1st 3rd Cat David Swan 3J
1st 2nd Cat Steven Allen
KOM Martin Ford
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.