Imperial Winter Series: Jan 12 – Event 8
Alex T reports:
Despite temperatures dropping, TCC made a good turnout in the Imperial Winter Series at Hillingdon on Saturday with riders in each race. Some nice flash photography by one of the event organisers is here – http://aephotos.co.uk/f221322820
In the third cat race was myself, Alex Toghill, Graham Crow, Graeme York and James Blackburn in a field of around 30. As usual we’d be sharing the circuit with the E123 race where George was competing.
Twickenham maintained a strong presence at the front of the field for much of the race, and while there were plenty of attacks, nothing stuck. At one point I looked back to see 50 yards of empty tarmac between myself and the group, decided to give it a go (for fun?) and stayed clear for a couple of laps, but that move was doomed to fail before it started
Things started to get hairy in the last few laps, with lots of contact. One rider who had been causing issues for the whole race nearly took me down as he rode through my front wheel half a lap before the end, and then went on to crash in the final 100m of the bunch sprint leaving 4-6 riders on the floor or in the grass. Graeme, Graham and James stayed safe with at least a couple of top 10 finishes between them. I came in around 15th, amazed that I’m still on two wheels after dodging flying bikes and riders.
And for the 4 race (MJ):
Hillingdon racing is always squirrely, even at the best of times and today was a prime example.
For the TCC we had Mike J, Ben V and Elwyn in a field of about 50.
It was very cold but thankfully dry and the racing got off to a slow start. There were a lot of first timers in the field and so, as last week, very little happened up to the Prime which lifted the pace for a while.
Mike and Ben sat about 10 back and kept an eye on things while Elwyn kept his powder dry further back.
A few laps after the Prime a small break of two went but Ben jumped on it and closed the gap with gusto, good job.
Much is usually made of how this field takes the chicanes and so the race commissar had told everyone to follow the road in a more orderly way instead of cutting the corners and closing out people coming through the door.
This direction held for most of the race until the final five. At the left hander after the finish line two Wheelers sandwiched a new rider and all rode for a few moments locked together at high speed until one of them managed to break free but this rippled back and took out two behind.
Two to go and one brave lad jumped and led the field for over a lap but it was too soon and he was swallowed up.
Last half of the final lap and we lost another pair into the bushes on the s bends, the clatter of carbon on concrete separating the field leaving Elwyn (who had carefully moved up) clear but catching Ben in the back half. The race to the line saw Mike and Elwyn take about 15th and Ben come in a good bit back. A Dynamo won the race.
All riders safe, some a little dismayed. Ready for the next one though.