As Dry January gave way to Sleety February, week 5 of the Winter Series started with a flurry of track inspections and social media comms as we rushed to confirm the circuit was ice-free, flood-free and ready to race.
The men’s 4th Cat race got off to a toasty start, with the riders staying together until Theodore Tadros (Train Sharp Club) made his move with 5 laps to go. Four went with, not surprisingly including last week’s winner, Thomas Perren (Paceline RT), who we suspected had been biding his time until this point. After a couple of laps together, the breakaway splintered, with Thomas out in front, keenly pursued by ELV’s own Chris Courtney, as Theo, Graham McDougall (unattached) and Alexander Davis (Lea Valley CC) found themselves gapped by the lead two’s efforts.
For the second week running, Thomas zipped up the hill to comfortable victory and Cat 3. But it was Chris Courtney’s incredible solo pursuit that impressed the most, also leaving Cat 4 at the foot of the Hoggenberg and storming into second place. Theo completed the podium.
The women’s race started out cosily enough, with Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Cycles Ipswich) and Rebecca Hair (Hilton and Impington Bicycle Club) taking turns, but before long, Rebecca was edging away and built a gap that proved insurmountable, and victory inevitable. With a small women’s field, it was first and second for Rebecca and Cindy, chapeau to both and thank you for coming. We really want to be able to offer full BC points in our women’s races in subsequent weeks so we have halved the entry fee to a tiny tenner and hope this will entice at least 10 riders to come and race with us. Pre-entries for next week are already looking rosier so come and join the fun – it’s a great circuit, a friendly crowd and the cheapest racing you’re likely to find.
There’s no keeping the men’s 234 riders away as 25 took to the start line, with many familiar faces looking to nudge their way up the Series leader board. As the race settled in, a few breaks were attempted but didn’t stick. A team effort from Lee Valley Youth CC saw Alexander Herd and Samuel Asker break free of the bunch, only to be brought back after a few laps. Undeterred, Alexander went again, this time with Colin Peck (Chelmer CC) for company, and Thomas Willan (PCH Race Team), before a mechanical forced Tommy to withdraw.
Timothy Torrie (Vitus Pro Cycling P/B Brother UK) and Benjamin Beynon (Strada Sport) gave chase, and the pair of pairs dominated the remainder of the race, with the latter two managing to catch the leaders on the bell lap. As the four rounded on the final ascent, it was Timothy who claimed the sprint, followed by Colin, Benjamin and Alexander. Fnan Afewrki (CC Hackney) was first of the bunch, with Samuel Asker (LVYCC) following in 6th.
Thank you to all the riders for another fantastic afternoon’s racing, and to our comms and ELV marshalls for braving the cold, it literally couldn’t happen without you.
Full results here on British Cycling and series standings at week 5 are here, and entry for next week is available now! And don’t forget, women’s races are just £10 for the rest of the season.