With a full field of 80 riders registering for the event, the first road race in the new North Wales Road Race Series was deemed a success by all involved. The group of new organisers from a handful of local clubs have been working hard for the past 6 months in ensuring road racing is back on the roads of North Wales and ensuring local cyclists are given the opportunity to compete locally.
The series, which features 3 Men's Cat 234 races and a Women's Cat 234 race, utilises the Llandyrnog 9 mile circuit near Denbigh for all of its races with hopes for more races across North Wales for the 2016 Series.
Sunday 12 April saw the return of road racing to North Wales. The return brought with it typical Welsh weather. Howling winds blowing through the valley, and occasional showers trying to storm their way through, making conditions very interesting to say the least.
As the neutralised start began, already riders were struggling to stay upright. As the riders were rolling through the neutralised zone, a struggle with parked cars at a christening was just the extra bit of trouble needed, but thanks to excellent marshals, lead cars and NEG motorbike riders the trouble was easily dealt with.
As the NZ ended, the race instantly sped up. Riders straight away hoping to form early breaks were sprinting off from both sides of the peloton. Using the wind to their advantage, riders were offering as little help to their competition as possible. As the attacks started, people were still sat in waiting for their turn to pounce into action. Then came the counter attack from a very strong group of 4 riders.
As the race progressed to the end of the first lap the break was down to 3 riders. These riders were joined by another 3 just half a lap later. Making a break of 6 very strong riders, in which seemed to be the break that was destined to hold.
As several riders in the peloton tried incredibly hard to pull the riders back, it was all to no avail as several riders from pro vision were on the front trying to slow the pace down for their rider in the break.
Going into the tough head wind the peloton was working very hard just to keep the speed at around 10mph. The riders in the peloton took the bell for the last lap, everyone seemed very keen to make a final break to ensure they were in the points.
A group of seven riders managed to get away from the peloton on the last lap and with only a couple of riders trying to pull them back, it seemed next to impossible for the groups to return together. As the dwindled down peloton realised that there was no chance of pulling the second group back, people went back to looking at each other once again.
The peloton raced onto the Denbigh bypass which was filled with dangerous winds being funnelled down the road. There were 3 riders, including local first year junior rider Dave Tudor (Marsh Tracks Race Team) who was racing in his first ever road race, rode as hard as they could up the inside of the peloton getting as much shelter for their attack as possible. A very strong ride managed to keep them off the front for the bypass. As it was closed down to approx. 10 meters, but the break attacked once again and managed to stay away till the finish. With the local rider Dave Tudor winning the sprint for the line earning himself 14th place.
In the breakaway another local rider Dan Evans, also British National Hill Climb Champion, managed to sprint his way to the top spot of the podium after a very strong breakaway from all six riders. They managed to work as a team and earned themselves a very impressive 5 minutes lead on the peloton. The incredibly strong break also managed to earn them the right to fight for the prime every lap also.
The final result from the break ended as so:
1st – Dan Evans – Cannondale Racing
2nd – Steve Fidler – Dave Hinde Racing
3rd – Kris Zentek – Team Chronomaster / Leisure Lakes Bikes
4th - Edward Roberts – Team Elite
5th – Chris Quin – Macclesfield Wheelers
6th – Ben Joughlin – Pro Vision Cycle Clothing
For a very long time scattered riders were rolling across the line in their respective groups earning themselves positions on the overall series leader board.
A huge thanks to everyone who made this fantastic race possible including a very hard working Jason Breakey, and an unsung hero Chris Allen who is another person who helped make it all happen behind the scenes. All NEG riders, marshals, organisers, and commissaries made this amazing event possible and a huge thank you from everyone was given. Post-race recovery food was just what every single rider needed, and was enjoyed by all.
With primes each lap and a large cash pot for overall series winners (including the women's race), the next 2 rounds of the series are expected to be full once again. Register here: