Location: Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth
Event: 26 June 2013
Report and photos: Graham Robins
After a very fast race with many attacks the race came down to the last five laps and it was Al Murison (Equipe CMI) victorious at the Mountbatten track in Portsmouth.
Having been at the front end of the race for a lot of it, it was fitting that he was successful for all his efforts.
On a still warm evening the first few laps were quite organised and at a controlled pace. It took 15 minutes of racing before the first effort stayed away. Ashley Morris (Fareham Wheelers CC) was allowed by the bunch to slip away; he stayed there for a few laps before Richard Pearman (Team Wiggle) was dispatched to reel him in and he took two other Fareham riders with him. Daniel Walker and Dave Dalton joined up with Ashley and the three started to build a lead before the bunch had seen enough and pulled the race all back together.
With the bunch re-grouped Al along with Andy Shackel (Peter Hansford RT) and Toby Neave (VC St Raphael) attacked and they started to build a lead but Andy seemed to slip back and was collected by the fast moving bunch but not before Seb Ottley (VC St Raphael) and Brendon Drewett (Fareham Wheelers) got free and joined the two leaders.
This seemed cause a reaction in the bunch as very quickly there were seven on the front as first Ben Simmons (Team Wiggle), Jon Canning (i-ride.co.uk) and then Jay Eastwood (Primera Sport.com) joined up and this group started to build a lead together.
After several laps the race all came back together and it stayed like this until five laps to go when a sudden attack split the field and Al along with Toby, Dave and Andy Shackel broke free and soon built a big lead which they held to the bell. On the back straight the four were all together but as the rounded the last bend Al was the stronger as he sprinted away to claim the win from Andy and Toby in third.
The earlier third cat race was very dull and ran at a very slow pace as only two riders seemed to want to work. Both Cameron Thompson (Andover Wheelers) and Paul Helyer (Blazing Saddles) each took turns to keep coming to the front and drive the race on. When they did the whole field was strung out in a line but when neither was on the front the pace dropped dramatically.
There were a couple of attacks mid race but no gap was recorded and the race came down to the inevitable sprint. Riding for his new team Matt Heathcote (JMJ Cycles) finished a couple of lengths clear of Cameron.
1 Al Murison Equipe CMI
2 Andy Shackel Peter Hansford RT
3 Toby Neave VC St Raphael
4 Dave Dalton Fareham Wheelers CC
5 Jay Eastwood Primera Sport.com
3rd/4th Cat Race:
1 Matt Heathcote JMJ Cycles 45mins +3laps
2 Cameron Thompson Andover Wheelers
3 Jamie Mickelburgh London Dynamo
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