Percy Stallard series round 2 14/04/19

Written by rider Tony Lowe

The second round of this national veteran’s series was hosted by CC Luton on a circuit near Cranfield, Northamptonshire. I travelled down with Graham and Neil on the Saturday and we stayed on the Cranfield University campus which was a stone’s throw from the race HQ. I was feeling rather tired having worked a nightshift and having 4 hrs kip before we travelled.

The morning of the race was fine and dry however there was a chilly Easterly wind blowing. A field of over 60 riders lines up in the C/D race (50-60 yrs) and the race was 64 miles so 6 laps of the mainly flattish circuit with a few climbs.

The first lap started fast and averaging over 25 mph. The leg along the main road was with a tailwind with riders trying to establish breaks but we easily brought back. On the second lap at a distance of 18 miles and near the end of the fast tailwind section 2 riders got away off the front and has about 100 mts of the bunch. I worked my way up the inside of the bunch hugging the kerb and all of a sudden I was near the front and sprinted away and managed to get onto the two riders. I thought I may have dragged the bunch across however I still had quite a gap and a short time later 2 others came across.

We had a group of 5 and we all started to work together. We were holding a 30 second gap for the next 2 laps and then this went up to a minute. A few of our group started to tire and were missing turns and as we got to the 50 mile mark, the main bunch were visible behind us and were closing the gap. We had been away for 33 miles and It was all brought back together with 14 miles remaining. The bunch all stayed together on the last lap and it was going to be a big bunch sprint. There was a long fast downhill section leading to the short climb to the finish line and it was a frantic sprint. I finished 23rd and Graham 29th at 3 seconds behind the winner, Neil was just behind in 38th at 10 seconds.

It was a fantastic event which was very well organised and Marshall Ed.

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