Having said that, we managed to put all the races on, probably pushing our luck with the cycling Gods a little.
The format remained the same as previous years, a women’s only race followed by u14/16s then 1/2/3/4s and finally the 4th Cat only event. Participation rates were really high – the 4th Cat only races got up to the maximum 50 slots well before each event. Similarly, the youth racing was oversubscribed on Round 3. Round 2 saw 27 women take to the start line. Pretty impressive commitment from riders of all categories for what is, after all, crit racing in January.
Round 1 Saturday 16th January 2016
Two bags of Telford Farm Machinery’s finest rock salt and some hefty broom work from the Mamil team saw the course ready for some great racing in the opening women’s event.
A mild sunny clear day greeted the riders for round 2 with Catherine Coley of the Ludlow Brewery Race Team winning in a very close finish from a field of 27 women racers with Melissa Baker of Wolverhampton Wheelers and Masie Duckworth (PMR) in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Cameron Pilkington Eastlands Velo won in the u14 Boys with Bevan Smith Cardiff (JIF) Ayrton Smith of the Maindy Flyers Youth CC backing up in second and third spots
In the 4ths Duncan Parsonage (Uttoxeter Cycling Club) won from Freddie Loveday (Leamington C & AC0 with James Duncan of the GBC Racing Team in third.
Thankfully dry but with a bitingly cold wind would nicely describe the day for Round 3. With our brave band of winter crit riders wholly undeterred by the conditions, there were close to full fields for all of the 4 races.
A really exciting and fast paced women race saw Lauren O’Brien (University of Birmingham CC) win from Molly Patch (CC London) with the ever strong, competitive and consistent Catherine Coley of the Ludlow Brewery Race Team finishing in third
Joshua Price Ride 24/7 won the u16 Boys race and, with racing companion Matt Lewis, away Joshua Sandman of Climb On Bikes and George Bazley (Bristol Cycling DS) in second and third respectively.
James Hill of RST won in the senior event after a strong break with James Ireson of the newly formed NAB Racing Team in second and Jake Stewart (Swinnerton Cycles) in third.
In the 4ths Craig Nicolson (ROM Velo) won from Jack Wilson (Ludlow Brewery RT) and Gerard Henry of Cult Racing.
Round 4 Saturday 6th February 2016
In the women’s race Lauren O' Brien (UOB CC) take her second win and third podium of the series. Elizabeth Catlow of Bourne Wheelers was second and Molly Patch third. Hayley Bosworth (700CC) finished 4th to secure her 3rd Category licence with Catherine Coley (LBRT) once again amongst the points in 6th.
Aimee Lane of local club Wyre Forest CRC won the U14 girls with Hollie Owens (Lichfield CC) and Tia Froom of NFTO in third.
The battle for the U16 boys title continued with Joshua Price of Ride 24/7 overcoming Matthew Lewis of WWCC this time. Lewis Askey (RST) was third.
In the final race of the series Jacob Sparrow of the well represented Ludlow Brewery Race Team won the 4ths with Craig Nicolson and Tim Spencer, also of the Ludlow Brewery Race Team in second and third respectively.
Big thanks to the volunteers, marshals, helpers and to Worcester Cycling Centre who once again provided the prizes for the event. Stourport Sports Club have also been superb putting up with us mobbing the club house for 4 weeks on the bounce.
A lot of work behind the scenes goes on to ensure the timing solution works and the results are collated and distributed as quickly as possible. Thank you to Simon in particular for running the timings.
Sometimes we make mistakes: when we do we fess up and get on with it. Almost without exception we have been met with smiles and cooperation and good natured banter. Often the kids have led the way in that.
We’ve really enjoyed putting this on. It’s important to us we catered for as many riders as possible, particularly encouraging grass roots cycling and that we tried to keep the entry fee as reasonable as possible.
Finally, a big thanks to the riders who supported the events. You make it worthwhile. Have great seasons and remember to factor in the Winter series in 2017 as part of your preparation.