Location: Redbridge Circuit, London
Event: 28 January 2012
Report: Snowdon Sports
Nick Baker (Zappi’s CC) secured a second successive victory in the East London Velo Winter Series at the Redbridge Circuit in London on Saturday to go top of the overall table.
The 23-year-old from Oxford crossed the line around five seconds clear of his breakaway rivals – one of whom was his team-mate and club captain Flavio Zappi who helped ensure he took victory in the E12 race, nick-named The Badger.
The podium riders got clear of the bunch after just four laps, and they worked well together to build up a lead which thwarted a number of chasing groups.
A clutch of eight riders mounted the strongest challenge to their lead and stemmed the tide, but they couldn’t hunt down the leaders and were left to fight for the minor placings.
Just after the bell, Baker attacked his two rivals, and gained a five second gap. With team-mate Flavio Zappi refusing to chase down his colleague, the move worked for Baker, while Zappi held off the promoting club’s Roger Maidment (East London Velo) to take second and do just enough to stop Baker having to share the overall lead.
Baker now has 20 points thanks to his back to back wins, while Maidment is just behind on 19 and another ELV rider, Adam French, is third. But with another three rounds to go, nothing is decided yet.
What They Said:
“It was pretty much the plan all along for me and Flavio to work one over on Roger, and it went perfectly,” said Baker afterwards. “It was the first time I’ve been lucky enough to ride with Flavio which was a privilege for me.
“There were four or five riders in the break initially but the pace was too high and the other two guys dropped off as we pulled away.
“Flavio and I were just working on Roger, attacking a lot to try to break him down. By the line he didn’t have enough left to stop me, while Flavio did me a favour by taking second, which gave me the lead.
“I started riding in early October when I bought a bike and went along to Flavio’s training, and it’s gone on from there. I did a bit of rowing for GB as a junior so I know how to look after myself, but it’s been great to progress so quickly in cycling.
“I got my second cat licence because of this win. If things carry on going well I might take a year out of university and try to go professional, but we’ll have to see. There’s a lot more hard work to come before I get there.
“I’ve entered the Perfs Pedal Race and I will probably ride the Severn Bridge Road Race, but I’m going to sit down with Flavio and see what he thinks.”
In the supporting race, nick-named The Jackal, Essex Roads CC rider Matt Barlow took the win in a five-up sprint finish to take the lead in the overall series.
The 25-year-old from Leigh on Sea was third last week, but his ten point haul on Saturday was enough to give him the overall lead with second-placed James Fairbank (CC Hackney) fourth on the day.
Seven riders had got clear 25 minutes into the race, but this was whittled down to five as the pace was kept high.
In the sprint for the line, Barlow just edged ahead while Joe Holloway (VC10), 19 and from High Wycombe, took second ahead of London Phoenix 45-year-old Neal Mackintosh.
E/1/2 (The Badger):
1 Nick Baker (Zappis CC)
2 Flavio Zappi (Zappis CC) @ 5sec
3 Roger Maidment (East London Velo) @ same time
4 Richard Da Silva (Stevenage CC) @ 1:30
5 Felix Barker (Cambridge CC)
6 James Jones (Beeline Bicycles)
7 Peter Hargreaves (Strada Cycles)
8 Graham Galvin (East London Velo)
9 Mark Westrup (Strada Cycles)
10 Adam Brittain (High Wycombe CC)
1 Nick Baker (Zappi’s CC) 20 pts
2 Roger Maidment (East London Velo) 19
3 Adam French (East London Velo) 13
3/4 (The Jackal):
1 Matt Barlow (Essex Roads CC)
2 Joe Holloway (VC10)
3 Neal Mackintosh (London Phoenix)
4 James Fairbank (CC Hackney)
5 Gunther Bechmann (Team Zappi)
6 Luke Walton (unattached)
7 Paul O’Sullivan (London Phoenix)
8 Edward Farnell (Cambridge CC)
9 John Donovan (CS Grupetto)
10 Jack Finch (PM Racing)
Overall 3/4 Cat:
1 Matt Barlow (Essex Roads CC) 19 pts
2 James Fairbank (CC Hackney) 16
3 Neal Mackintosh (London Phoenix) 15
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.