Report: Guildford Town Centre Races

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James Moss (Node-4) won the centrepiece elite race at the 2012 edition of the Guildford Town Centre races, after a great evening of racing across a wide range of categories.

The 26th running of the Guildford Town Centre Criterium was a great success, but prior to the event promoter Jon Lewis had feared the worst as a perfect storm of scaffolding on the course, repair work to the cobbles and the ever-present rain threatened the evening. However, on the night it all came good as the local council had worked overtime to prepare the road surface and ensure safe passage around the scaffolding while the rain held off to allow a dry ride for virtually all competitors.

The evening started with a parade from the promoting clubs 'Rascals', the junior section formed as the club pursues Go-Ride status. Over twenty juniors proudly paraded their team strip as they enjoyed a chance to get a feel for the now famous cobbles, some in preparation for the later races but for the very young it would be for coming years.

The first race saw a single brave E cat rider, Ben Cuppola of Four4th racing, take the line for the first of 3 Chapters Financial Youth races. Five year old Ben completed 2 laps of the tough cobbled course spurred on by an appreciative crowd.

Next up was the combined C/D Youths, competing over 15 laps. Hargrove Cycles' Ben Tullet gave a commanding performance as he lapped the field, receiving a Specialized helmet and Cycleworks gifts for his efforts.

The A/B youths was won by an impressive ride from Aidan Woolven of Sutton Cycling Club. The talented youngster rode an intelligent and gutsy race to overhaul the competition over 20 laps to claim his Specialized helmet and Cycleworks gifts.

Esther Dadswell of Chapters Financial spends her days helping others make provision for a secure future but on race night she delighted in handing out the prizes knowing that the future of cycling around Surrey is definitely secure.

The 'Cycleworks Local Heroes' is the newly renamed support race, hotly contested as ever, it produced a win for regular Paul Hopkins (Merida Factory)

Chris Goble, MD of Cycleworks, delegated to his wife and daughter for prizegiving but later said 'We are very pleased to be associated with such a well run event and look forward to many more'

For the first year ever there was a seperate Women's event, affiliated to the LWCRL, which brought in riders from all over the South-East. After attack and counter attack it was Natalie Creswick (Mulebar) who soloed to victory, shortly followed by Corinne Hall and Jo McRae.

Finally, the 'Colbornes Elite Criterium' saw a full field of quality riders take to the cobbles. There was always going to be plot and subplot in this intriguing race: Felt-Colbornes and Pedal Heaven-Colbornes are two local teams used to scrapping with each other regularly at nearby Eelmore circuit. On this occasion they were controversially lined up side by side on the front of the grid when a last minute photo opportunity presented itself as Guy Rowson, keen cyclist and MD of Colbornes, was on hand to start the race.

Also in the line up was quietly confident Wouter Sybrandy (IG Sigmasport) who, having won the event on the two previous years, was gunning for a hat-trick. Unfortunately Sybrandy was to be cruelly denied as a late puncture prevented him from positioning himself correctly for the finale and he was beaten into 3rd as jubilant James Moss (Node-4) took the line honors from Richard Mardle (Felt-Colbornes) in a sprint finish.

Besides prize-money, Moss was also presented with the Guildford cup, a weighty and historic piece of silverware, by Chairman of the Guildford Summer festival Terence Patrick.

Promoter Jon Lewis was delighted with the event, his first time promoting for the club, and said: 'It is often said but it is so true. 'I couldn't have done it without all the support I was given.' It is never truer than on this occasion. Thank you to all who helped.'