Steve Messenger rode a very strong race at the Bob Whitear Memorial Road Race on 4th August, picking up 10th place in the 23s, the highest placed 3rd cat rider.
In Steve’s own words: “Having last raced at the Shotesham circuit just south of Norwich over 2 years ago, my memories were of the quite attritional nature of the short circuit with some climbing – it reminded me of a big Hog Hill at the time and that was in 3/4 guise. As as 234 with a full and decent field, I was expecting it to be a hard race and it didn’t disappoint.
The first half was punchy with lots of attacks happening but nothing stuck as a few teams were controlling the race and trying to ensure their riders were up the road. As the field reduced this became harder and eventually a few got away. A few more joined, and with 3 to go and feeling not awful I was determined to get away from the main bunch. A Cambridge CC rider jumped just after the finish line climb, I jumped on his wheel and was joined shortly after by API rider Liam Fenner. We were 3 up for around a lap and put the main field out of sight. With two to go we sighted and caught the lead break of six. This next lap was quite punchy as a few riders tried to gap each other and three other riders had joined us by this point so we’d swollen to 12 in the group with two still away.The last lap was cagey, and I decided to follow London Phoenix rider Martin Smith for the run-in as he seems to always be well positioned and has been racing well this season. Unfortunately he dropped the wheel up the final climb and went pop, I went around but the gap was too big to pull back before the line. A hard earned 10th place, with 50 riders starting and only 26 finishing on what is still a very attritional course it seems.”