Sunday, 5th August saw Berkhamsted CC hosting its second road race. This year the event was expanded to include a women’s race as well as the men’s race. We were using the Mentmore course, incorporating a long straight drag, which on this occasion was into the wind, followed by a climb up to Mentmore.
For the men there were 12 repeats of this, covering 80 kms (50 miles), while the women had 10 laps, or 70 kms. All of this was undertaken in very warm conditions.
A full field of 60 riders had entered the men’s race, which got underway at 9.30 in the morning, although there were a few no-shows on the day.
Hugely disappointing was the wheel failure experienced by our own Simon Pearce. Fortunately it let go in the HQ car park as riders lined up behind the course car. The loud explosion as the wheel rim literally blew apart took everyone in the vicinity by surprise, and although Simon was disappointed not to be able to take the start he must have been counting his lucky stars that it didn’t happen on the 40 mph descent out of Mentmore.
Further bad luck afflicted another BCC member, James Burke, who punctured on the first lap and had to abandon. Apart from those misfortunes we did see four of our riders cross the finish line, with James Taylor heading Matt Buckle, Ben Nixon and Rob Morton. Our Cat 3 riders, James and Matt, did a superb job, staying with the pack until the finish line, while Ben and Rob had their own battle within the 4th Cat entrants.
The hotly contested race finally saw Richard Wiggins of Team Milton Keynes emerge victorious, followed by Cian Smailes of NFuse Identity Racing and Joe Baker of Zero BC Development Team.
The afternoon brought the ladies to the start line, and this was always going to be a very serious field, with cats 2, 3 and 4 competing for honours.
The main pack stayed together for the whole race, with Georgia Bullard of Team Jadan Weldtite – Vive Le Velo crossing the line first, followed by Charlotte Redden of Cycle Team On Form and Francesca Cutts of CC London. Both races saw great sprinting for the primes, and when the results were finally established it was enormously gratifying to see that BCC’s Janice Bell had won the Cat 4 competition.
From all the positive remarks and compliments from competitors, with many expressing their wish to compete again next year, I think we can say the event was a great success.
BCC would like to express their thanks to Grange Jaguar Land Rover, who supported the event and supplied the course cars.
The club also wishes a huge THANK YOU to the volunteers, marshals, British Cycling staff and our Performance Officer Graham Earl as without these people the race would never have happened. You are all winners!
For more pictures of the day click on the image below…