Race Report from winning team OTRT
11 riders were available to race on Sunday for Round 5 of the Oxfordshire Road Race League in Kirtlington. The event was hosted by Cowley Road Condors who sit just ahead of OTRT in the overall club standings.
Following three laps of the short, fast course the team adopted two plans of attack to cover any potential breaks or a lead out on the last lap which Darren Milligan would be making use of.
Adam Whitfield was the first to attack with a break on the first lap, Adam was joined by three other riders who looked to form a break away. The initial attack was caught at the finish line having been unable to break sight of the chasing peloton. The team looked to continue attacking over the top with Jamie Noel, Ian Wiseman and Tom Thorley all going for a run down the road.
Martin Wells, Mark Sharratt and Phil Neal did well closing potential breaks and disrupting things at the front of the race. Unfortunately lap three saw Mark take a dramatic tumble which saw him retire from the race with some bad cuts and a possible fractured wrist. The team continued to look to push the pace with Martyn Wells and Phil Neal going on the offensive.
As expected Cowley Road Condors were well represented and looked to break things up on a couple of occasions. Bicester Millennium also sent riders up the road as the league teams looked for an advantage.
Moving towards the business end of the race Jamie Noel and Martyn Wells worked well to close two potential breaks with GS Henley, Cowley and Bicester all represented. The team then regrouped towards the head of the peloton ready for the inevitable bunch sprint.
It was at the final corner onto the finishing straight where things got particularly exciting. A car had ignored the warning of the marshal and found himself the cause of a pile up as a number of riders flew into the vehicle. Toby Franks who along with Nick Owen had been earmarked for a late breakaway attempt now found himself sat on the bonnet of said vehicle.
Finally some luck and good judgement saw Nick Owen, Arron Froud and Darren Milligan pass unscathed. The trio were soon joined by Adam as Nick looked to start the lead out. Approaching the last 400 metres Adam took over leading Arron and Darren into the small climb before the finish, Arron kicked once more before "opening the door" for Darren to slip through and win by a number of metres.
Arron continued his effort rolling across the line in the Top 10, followed by Adam and Tom.
Whilst results are yet to be confirmed the team have 3 Top 10 League Finishers (Darren, Arron and Adam) and may even be joined by Tom Thorley who finished Top 15 overall.
A great race for the team with great support as ever! Thanks again to those who came and cheered the guys on, not to mention Clare Harris who gave up her afternoon to sit in the JR with Mark.
The next race takes place on the 22/07/15 at Cuxham and could be pivotal as the team look to taking the League Title.
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