The sprint finish
Another fantastic evening of weather at Great Shefford welcomed the 60 riders, with a new HQ allowing a solid 4 mile “neutralised zone” (i.e. warm up….) before the flag dropped.
This year, unlike last saw a vast majority of league affiliated riders sign on, with Henley and OTRT having 11 riders each, and many of the other clubs having 7-8 riders. This made for attacking riding, with clubs knowing they could possibly reduce the amount of time on the front if they could get riders up the road.
From the off, there were a few agitations from a number of clubs, looking to establish breaks. OTRT (formerly OTCC) with 11 riders were in the thick of it, in a break with a Condors rider for over half of the 2nd lap, with repeated attacks from the Condors being drawn back. The pace through the technical section around Boxford was very high, with riders lined out and hunting for back wheels.
This years race seemed to be more attacking, with the bunch whittled down quite considerably by the last lap. 2 last ditch attacks from Beeline Bikes failed to split the peloton, and around 30 riders hit the lower slopes of the climb to the finish. The race was full gas when the low sun in the eyes of the riders finally caused a clip of wheels and a pileup taking out around 10 riders with 1km to the finish.
With the finish in sight, GS Henley fired first dragging riders from Beeline Bikes, Zappi’s and the Condors to duke out the top 3, with last years “most aggressive rider” Tim Allen taking 5th behind a Uni of Bath rider.
With only league affiliated riders scoring points, there are 2 sets of top 10s
British Cycling results - here
ORRL Individual men's table - here
ORRL team table - here
A massive thanks to Dave Emms and his team at Didcot Phoenix CC for hosting the race and to British Cycling as always,
Pictures to follow, thanks to Jun Aishima