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Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 9 May 2010


By rod - Posted on 11 May 2010

Reading Cycling Club press report, week ending 9 May 2010

Nick Crocker continues his winning streak.

Photo caption: Nick Crocker, fastest in the Hampshire Hilly Hundred
Photo credit: Rod MacFadyen
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Hampshire Hilly Hundred Sportive
Reading's Nick Crocker was the fastest rider on the full course of the
Hampshire Hilly Hundred sportive at the weekend. Crocker left nearly 400
riders in his wake as he completed the route, which includes 2390 metres
of climb, in just 5 hours 11 minutes. Crocker commented in typically
realistic fashion:
"I rode fairly well though bounce & dynamism weren't really there by the
end. I was in a good group for about 60 percent of ride, riding the
first 90 minutes and last 45 minutes alone. Luck has gone against me
plenty of times in past so I am grateful for this result. The
second-placed rider was just 6 seconds back." Crocker puts in the hours
on his bike and prepares carefully for events. This win is very merited.

Duncton Sportive
Ken Buckley and Ben Oakes represented RCC at the Duncton sportive on a
139km route through the South Downs. The weather was cold and windy but
did stay dry. Buckley has shown good form in recent time trials and here
demonstrated that he is very competitive at longer distances too
finishing in a highly impressive 6th position. Oakes achieved the silver
standard by finishing in 5hr 40.

Duncton Sportive, selected results (173 finishers)
1. Manuel Ravizza, 4h 32m, Gold
6. Ken Buckley, Reading CC, 4h 43m, Gold
89. Ben Oakes, Reading CC, 5h 40m, Silver

Charlotteville 50-mile Time Trial
Steve Bale, Greg Woodford and Dave Gaida were among entrants for the
Charlotteville '50' on the A31 West of Farnham. Bale reports:
"It was still very cold with a chilling NE wind as I started. Once
underway however although the temperature remained low the wind didn't
seem as significant a problem and the first 30 miles went smoothly. So
much so that I neglected to eat and drink enough. With 10 miles to go
this became very apparent and the undulations of Bentley that I had
floated over in the early laps became mountains. With only a short
distance remaining I did press on to the finish but I was seeing stars
at the line. The blow up may have cost me a couple of minutes but I was
pleased enough to salvage a sub 2 hour ride with 1.59:16. That was 34th
on a day where there was a full field and 100 finishers." Woodford's
ride was stopped by a bike problem and Gaida packed at half distance.
The event saw a rare tie for first place with both Laurence Harding and
Stu Dodd of Drag2zero.com recording 1.47:43.

Road and Circuit Racing
Wayne Thomas and Dave Harmsworth went to Hillingdon circuit on Tuesday
evening. Thomas reports: "A cold and windy night greeted another large
field in both the E/1/2/3 race and the 4th cat race. Despite an average
speed of 26mph the E/1/2/3 took almost 30 minutes to catch and pass the
4th cat group with eventual winner Tony Gibb seeming to be having a
quiet nite in the peloton. And so it came down to a mass bunch sprint.
The last two laps were not quick/hard enough to stretch the peloton, and
with too many left fighting it out in too small a space the inevitable
happened - with 250m to go a dozen or so riders hit the deck on the
right hand side of the circuit. Myself and Harmsworth were on the left a
little way back from the crash and both just managed to stop in time,
ultimately finishing 32nd and 27th. It was unfortunate that a visitor to
our shores came off the worst, though also identified as the main cause
due to his inexperience in such a large group at speed."

Thomas ventured further afield on Saturday near to Malvern for a 44mile
LVRC road race - four times around an 11 mile undulating circuit with a
one mile two stage climb each lap and on which the race finished. Says
Thomas: "A full field of 40 riders were greeted with a cold, damp day -
and a start that went immediately up the finishing hill. Having had a
tiring work week I was concerned as to how I might perfom. As the race
progressed it became apparent that it would be a "war of attrition".
Halfway through the third lap a group of six riders forged a gap - it
seemed to be a race winning move. When I next looked around the
"peloton" was down to just eight riders. Fortunately, there were a
couple of very strong riders in this second group, and with dogged
determination the gap was closed with just seven miles to go. On the
long hard drag in to the wind before the last climb, the peloton of now
16 riders was constantly breaking up under non stop pressure.
Eventually, four riders made a small gap stick - maybe 6-10 seconds at
most. As the race turned left to start the final climb, a car on the
corner and a dropped bottle did just enough to disrupt the effforts to
close it down. On the climb itself, I did well on the first part, but
faded on the second part as the group became very strung out and
finished 12th." Thomas concluded: "From the second lap on I was
questioning my capacity to finish the race. When I realised that I was
in the second group of only 8 riders half way around lap 3, I became
determined to hang in and was pleasantly surprised at the result".

Sunday clubrun
All groups leave Reading Market Place at 9am on Sundays.

Roderick MacFadyen
Reading Cycling Club