I thought I would write-up a quick race report from the Radeon Cycle Coaching leg of the Odd Down Winter Series on Sunday…..
A very windy but sunny Odd Down greeted almost 100 riders from all across the south this past Sunday, with 21 women, 36 4th Cats and 40 2nd and 3rd Cats all taking their place on the line for a great day of racing and coaching. 2 coaching sessions were held for women and some new 4th Cat riders before and in between some of the racing. All of which meant a great day was had by all!!
The women’s race was a well fought battle with the group staying together for the majority which is just as well with the cross wind along the 2 straights threatening to wreak havoc with group organisation and placing. All in all the riders worked well together and kept safe out of the wind. You can really start to see the effect of the coaching sessions of the last couple of months coming together and the quality of racing is starting to show. The race ended in a bunch sprint with Rose Osborne of High Wycombe Cycling Club taking the win. Unfortunately in the finish sprint there was a rider that came down hard and required medical attention, fortunately she was ok, bump to the head, but ok. What I found truly inspiring was the message I got the day after the race from the rider who came down, she wanted to know if I had caught in on camera so she could review and understand if there was anything more that she could do to improve on this and make sure that it does not happen again, not put off by it, but motivated to improve! Brilliant! Excellent attitude, and as a coach the kid of rider that we long to work with!
Next up was the 4th Cat race which saw the first road race for Radeons’ very own Ben Strain. A first year Junior with a lot of potential , a large field of 36 riders, and a cross wind from hell meant for an interesting race. Good news Ben was off from the gun and looked epically comfortable riding with some riders twice his age, he was nestled perfectly in the front third of the race for the first 30 odd minutes, the race was slowly being decimated by the cross wind and pace generally ramping up, which led to the very unfortunate incident that I suspect cost Ben his first points as a road rider…… A typical 4th Cat racing incident, a rider trying to jump through a gap to shelter from the wind, clipped Bens front wheel on the straight and down Ben went, hitting the deck which led to the first meeting of his skin with the cheese grater tarmac of the Odd Down circuit. Welcome Ben to road racing…. Oh and a load of other riders went down, with a couple running over Ben and his neck….. What struck me again was the incredible nature of the human being…. I jogged over keen to make sure that my rider was alright, and there was ben, leggings round his ankles, arse in the air being bandaged up on the side of the circuit, more eager to jump back on his bike and seek revenge, than have the various incurred wounds dealt with…. Thats why MTB riders make great road racers, the bouncability effect…… Fair play and chapeau, I am confident Ben will be back stronger sooner rather than later….. I can’t wait! The race eventually was won by Jake Hollins.
The 2nd and 3rd Cat riders still had great weather and an even stronger wind to contend with in their race, this race saw Radeon riders Ross Evans and Jamie Penton line up to improve on their last outing together, the race went off fast as it did the previous round which saw many people attacking from the out set… What some people didn’t notice was that the man matching James Coleman, winner of the last round, was back again. Which could only mean one thing, him on the front tearing it up with the rest of the riders clutching on…. Great racing from all with counter attacks, and eventually ending up with a 2 up break including James Coleman of VC Walcot and Matthew Woods of Hargroves Cycles pulling away from the chasing bunch, with a lap or so to go James Coleman pops of the front and rides away from Matt who tried his best to rain James back in with no joy….. James wins and Matt takes a well and hard-earned 2nd…. The Radeon boys did well with Ross taking 10th and another point, and Jamie finishing safely in the main bunch in 18th.
And that they say is that….. Another cracking event at Odd Down and again another day made by brilliant people, riders and volunteers. Thanks to the barmy army of the Uni of Bath that always bring a great atmosphere with them and also to Jonathon Arnold and Andy Stewart who helped steer us to a smooth operation for our first event at organising. And thanks to Andy from Bike Science who supplied and presented all the prizes to the Top 3 from all of the races over the day.
Lastly thanks to the Radeon chaps and friends for helping marshal the event and well bloody done. The Fluro Army will march onto the next challenge now…. The Radeon Cycle Coaching Sherston Road Race…… Bring it on….. Enter here: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/103591/Radeon-Cycle-Coaching-–-Sherston-Road-Race-(CCRL)
That brings my waffle to a close….. See you on the start line soon……