Race type: Road race
Location: Holt, Wrexham
Date: 13 May, 2018
Report from Marc Hueston.
A little later than in previous years but I started my racing season at the Steve Jones Memorial TLI RR on the popular Holt circuit in Wrexham over 50 miles - part of the Lapierre Race Series. It was good to finally be back in Liverpool Century colours after a few seasons out with LJMU and Picton Cycles. I always tend to get a little nervous before races, no matter how big or small, but after nearly 10 months since my last race it felt as though I was starting all over again.
I wasn’t familiar with the course but I was lucky enough to have Ste Stuart with me who gave me a few pointers on the drive out (flat and fast), making sure to mention that last time around this course the bunch had sprinted for the wrong flag. It was noticeable from the start that it was a strong field and that a few NW ‘hitters’ were amongst the bunch with Bioracer (all of them), Andy Martin, Ben Trotter, Kris Zentek and others. I wasn’t sure how I was going to go and still felt tired from training in Italy the previous week, but wanted to get involved and see what happened.
After a short roll out through a pot holed section of road the race was underway and was quickly strung out. The attacks started, with the lads from Bioracer involved in pretty much everything, controlling the race until one of them got a good gap. A few riders tried to bridge over and failed (including myself) until another Bioracer managed to get across to join him, I must’ve been hiding in the bunch at this point because I didn’t see it unfold, but was I did see was the 2-up disappear up the road never to been seen again. It was an impressive effort by the break to stay away to contest the win as the pace in the bunch was kept high throughout - Mike Ashurst and Chris Quin completing a 1-2. The bunch came in to the slightly uphill finishing drag mostly together with the sprinters/those who can sprint contesting the minor places. Ste and I finished mid-bunch, quite happy with our efforts on minimal/zero racing days this year.
We stuck around to catch the end of the next race and it was no surprise to see the familiar sight of Andy Bennett, arms in the air, crossing the finish line a few bike lengths of his breakaway companions! Graham Prentice contested the bunch gallop, clearly saving some energy to tow us the long way back to race HQ!
I didn’t know at the time but my finish had actually got me 3rd in the Senior category and some cash to cover my entry fee. A shame really as we had left the race HQ and missed the podium presentation – I’ll make sure I stick around next time! Overall an enjoyable day out on a great course, and I’m happy to get the first one out of the way and build for a busy June and July.
Time – 1:56
Distance – 50 miles
Av Speed – 26mph
NP – 261w
MP – 1,311w
Photo credit - Kel Palmer @SurfaceDRT
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