It's not just the Giro and the Tour of California right now, you know. Last night it was round three of the Bath Cycle Races, which run every Wednesday night in May. Last year four local clubs - Bath CC, VC Walcot, Somer Valley and Avonlea-Treasure RT - organised the four rounds but thi year there's five Wednesdays, so the extra date was hosted by road.cc-sponsored Bath Uni CC. We went down too, to do a bit of marshalling and also to take some snaps of the action down by the hairpin bend round the obelisk...
Bath Uni CC's Doug Hall sent us this report of the night's events...
The first two races were a success, if a little hampered by rain but this week, things were a little different, as the sun shone and club members descending on mass to host and marshal our first ever official competitive event.
Youths were up first with Adam Beddall of Gloucester CC continuing his clean sweep from round one and two to take victory. On what is becoming known as one of the hardest (both physically and technically) crit courses in the UK, all the Youths showed tremendous road-craft beyond their years. The sunshine seemed to bring out a few more women this week, a closely fought battle saw Adel Tyson-Bloor (VC ST Raphael) finish ahead of Team Hope Factory Racing's Mim Freemantle and Nicole Walters.
The 3/4 race is fast in Victoria Park, the lure of big points on a circuit that tests the legs and bottle meant the fastest lap of the night came from this race rather than the E/1/2s. 30mins of racing saw 47 starters get quickly whittled down to a finishing bunch of just 16. Kieran Blair (VC Bristol/Webbs of Warmley) looked to have it all wrapped up until crashing within spitting distance of the finishing line, leaving Alec Rumball (Army CC) edging out last week's winner Scott Chalmers (Dream Cycling) for the win.
With no Tour series round in the locality (watch this space), Vicky Park has played host to the best teams in the area, with a proper good ding dong between Wilier/Live to Ride, Felt-Colbornes RT, Cadence Cannondale and Dream Cycling. Nobody was going to let Alec Baskaya TT off the front again and Wilier/Live to ride went on the serious offensive sending man after man up the road. The other teams were forced to chase hard only dragging it all back together with a lap to go. Strength in numbers prevailed though as Mark Perry of Wilier/Live to ride pulled a fast one on the final climb, edging out Jason Flooks of VC Bristol/Webbs of Warmley.
The last two rounds have been a bit, well, inclement. So it was a much more happy and relaxed affair thanks to wall-to-wall sunshine and nice dry tarmac
Youths and ladies went off first, at the same time but staggered so they were racing separately. There was a bit of confusion in the ladies race as to whether it had ended; in the end the leaders regrouped and Nicole Walters, pictured, came third in the sprint.
There was a good field for both the 3/4 and the E/1/2 races, and plenty of action round the hairpin. Here's Charles Coleman (Cadence-Cannondale) finding a bit of space on a wider line
Wilier-Live2Ride have dominated the E/1/2 racing and last night was no excpetion. Tavis Walker went off fairy early but was reeled back in later in the race.
Once he was caught he went off again though, this time with the help of teammate Colin Parry
The pack stayed pretty tight throughout the race with a high pace set from the front
Round 1 winner John Wager had to settle for fourth on the night
Ross Clayton (NFTO) takes the hairpin at full gas
Nick Noble (Bristol RC) on his way to a seventh place finish, with road.cc's own Oli marshalling in the background
All in all a great night of racing, and we'll all be back next week for another helping.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.