Race Report by Will McFarland :-
A lovely sunny day, a surprisingly strong south-westerly wind and three Twickenham riders (Stuart Stow, Vince Leon and Myself) on the start line with excellent moral support from Josh and Dave. The race panned out as I am learning is fairly typical of races at this circuit, albeit a little wicker than expected with the field mainly consisting of cat 3 riders and fewer cat 4s than I would have liked...
Stuart having arrived in a car and not had time to warm up due to the masters race before hand, and Vince and I because we hadn't raced 3rd cat before, spent a good 10 mins warming up at the back of the pack, getting the legs spinning. It was much of a muchness - lots of semi-breaks and changes of pace, yo-yo-ing the peleton. About halfway a serious break formed, 5 of 6 riders, roughly one from all the strong teams (Dulwich, Brixton, Finchley etc.) and they perhaps looked like getting away. I moved to the front during a slow patch and helped spur things on and they got closed in a London Dynamo guy took the opportunity to jump the gap and as the peleton foolishly stopped trying to reel them in thinking it was done they moved away again. Anyway, this moment of brief excitement was soon over as, as I'm told is all too common here, the peleton brought them in without too much effort and we lined up for a bunch sprint, the three of us having spent very little time anywhere near the hardworking part of the peleton!
I asked Stuart what the plan was with about 5 laps to go and he said he was going for points and I should follow him! The honour!
We moved forward to about top 20 with 2/3 laps to go and Vince made a move down the outside to the front 5 or so. Lots of barging, swearing and the odd venture on to the grass later and coming down the back straight I had lost and then found Stuart again but we perhaps hadn't made up the ground we wanted. In the last corner he exploded from about 15-20th along with the rest of the bunch, leaving me somewhat for dead. Vince's legs gave in and he let us all past, and I tried my hardest to keep up but lost about 10 places at the bottom of the hill, only to regain them all in the last 200m.
Whilst results are not out, we know Stuart sadly finished 11th, whilst I think I managed top 20 and Vince rolled over not too far from the back, if not at the back, he tells us. For Vince and I it was a good learning curve in a faster race averaging 25mph for over an hour, especially with Stuart and Dave helping us along the way and sharing their thoughts with us post-race.
Next Vince and I look to the MOD on March 1st for some cat 4 only fun - a chance for me to go cat 3 and for Vince to get off the scoreboard.
Results from British Cycling :-
38 Joshua Worrall Twickenham CC
42 Vaughan Moseley Twickenham CC