Rockingham Forest Wheelers 2-day: Stage 2

We started stage 2 in Middleton, outside the Wheeler’s club house. The race was neutralised through the village and remained so until we passed a car boot sale about a kilometre from the Bringhurst climb. After the morning time trial, my worry for this race was this climb. The flag went down, the race was on and we attacked the climb.

I made it over the climb fine, now I only had to do it four more times. The pace along the Drayton road was tail wind fast. Through the villages the bunch was twitchy. Ashley and Middleton both had parked car chicanes, while oncoming traffic brought on plenty of sudden braking – one rider in front of me even skidded. Before the race started I had decided to go with the flow and concentrate on getting around. I didn’t expect to spend quite so much time anticipating the next traffic induced bunch seizure, especially given the unpredictability of some drivers, like the old boy who decided to stop opposite the car boot sale entrance.

The local council had added to the bunch’s excitement by surface dressing the road from Medbourne to Ashley. The sound of loose chips pinging off carbon frames sounded like someone had chucked gravel in a tumble dryer, but I didn’t notice them cause any punctures.

Onto the final lap and I was feeling OK. The climb wasn’t bothering me either, but the final attacks started to. David P had a go, as did Dan, followed by Gareth, riding for Peterborough. Sitting in the bunch had been easy, but now I was having to put in efforts to keep up; my throat felt OK, but my lungs were feeling the pressure. After Ashley the bunch eased off. A lone rider made a break, but no one seemed willing to chase him down .

One kilometre to go and, by unspoken consent, the bunch accelerated. The sprint on this circuit is a hairy one with a sharp right hander 250m from the finish. Since I had no intention of contesting I stayed near the back (we would all get the same time) and made sure I had room to move and keep out of trouble.

I’m glad I did. About 500m to go someone on the left went down hard. Maybe four or five others followed him. I kept out of it, sat up and rolled up over the finish line. Of the crashed riders, one was knocked unconscious, but no bones were broken. Hopefully they’ll all make a swift recovery, but I doubt we’ll see many of them stage 3.

Overall a better race from my body than the one I had expected, but throughout, I was only ever a passenger coasting at the back. On stage 3 I’ll try to rectify that.




About velorichard

Riding a bike around Cambridgeshire looking for some hills
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2 Responses to Rockingham Forest Wheelers 2-day: Stage 2

  1. Pete says:

    Hi, I’ve enjoyed reading your race reports about the Rockingham two days, I would just like to clarify that on stage two with a km to go there was not a general consensus to speed up to chase the lone rider out front, in fact being near the front of the bunch there was lots of shouting about chasing the guy down without any up take , this was because no one wanted to start the gallop to the line. As part of the team defending the yellow jersey, I shouted “on the right, coming through” moved to the front and drilled it hard to bring back the rider, this was obviously my down fall ( excuse the pun) after brining the bunch up and increasing its speed I was brought down heavily by a rider crashing into my side. Both arms , legs back and backside received pretty bad road rash, all my kit written off as well as front forks and associated scrapers to saddle, hoods rear mech etc etc. I was lucky, I walked away unlike the other rider who spent the night in hospital . Some riders just seem to forget that this wasn’t the sprint in the Tour de France, but merely a cat 3/4 event. I think I’ll be sticking to LVRC races. We old fellas know how to look after each other yet still race hard!


    • velorichard says:

      I’m sorry to hear you got caught up in the crash and I hope the road rash clears up quickly, at least no bones were broken. Unfortunately this isn’t the first crash I’ve witnessed on this circuit, but they always seem to have the same cause – riders sprinting for 20th. Since I wasn’t feeling fit enough to contest the sprint I sat a few metres off the back and played safe just in case, so my point of view was more of an impression obscured by a few dozen riders! I’ll be eligible for the LVRC next year and, from what I’ve heard, I’m looking to giving them a go!
      Thanks for the clarification and glad to hear you’ve enjoyed reading the blog too


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