Biketreks Racing Academy mens squads followed the example set by the women as they took to the road in the Clayton Spring Classic. A classic handicap race, the junior group was off 7 minutes in advance of of the pros and elites. Biketreks Racing Academy was well represented with Tom Bracegirdle, Sandy Lockett and Jonny Cregeen in the 3rd group on the road, only 2 and a half minutes ahead of the elites, and Jacob Tipper and Michael Ashurst in the elite group.
Jonny Cregeen gives his report of how the action unfolded:
(Pictures courtesy of Martin Holden)
Today signaled the start of the season for the Biketreks under 23 squad at the Clayton Velo Spring Classic Handicap around the shorter Bashall Eaves circuit, just outside Clitheroe. Unlike the majority of races on the teams calendar this race had a handicap start where the juniors were set of first, followed by the Cat 3’s and 4’s, then the 2nd Cats, and last but not least the Elites and 1st Cats. The team was myself, Sandy and Tom who went off with the 2nd Cats, 5 minutes behind the juniors, and Mike and Tipper who were in the Elite group a further 2 and a half minutes behind
In the Cat 2 group, there was very little way of organisation with only a few going through to do a turn on the front, resulting in part of the elite group catching us quite early on and just as we were about to catch the second group on the road. This was an important time in the race as the 3 groups merged. Knowing this, and expecting counter attacks I followed a few wheels and ended up clipping away with a rider from Node 4 and we quickly opened up a decent sized gap. We were then joined by more riders from the elite teams in the race and I thought that this break had the strength to go all the way to finish.
However, the group was almost too big to settle so for the next couple of laps there was attack after attack with riders clipping off in ones and two. As more clipped off the front, the peloton was regrouping with first Mike ,then Tom and Tipper joining me in a group that numbered about 45 riders. With the laps ticking down Mike then got away in a small group and was able to stay away, finishing in a good 14th position with Tipper, Tom and myself in the main group in positions 24th and 25th and 41st respectively.
Overall, it was a good start to the season for the team and is hopefully is a sign of things to come. I would like to thank everyone who gives up their own time to help make this team a success and to our sponsors such as Biketreks and Specialized. I am already looking forward to pinning numbers onto my jersey next weekend at Pimbo for the first round of the CDNW series.