Sunday 10 August 2008

Velo Club Montpellier’s Mattinson and Jones travelled to Scotland at the weekend to compete in the 110km UK Emergency Services Road Race Championships. The high-status event is the national championship for all emergency services staff and continues to attract a strong field year on year.

Mattinson has been champion twice going into the event but unfortunately lost the title last year. The year before (2006), he had singlehandedly attacked the speeding peloton to take the Championship in thrilling style. VCM team mate Jones travelled with Mattinson hoping to provide as much team support as possible, hopefully ensuring that Police team captain Mattinson was at the head of the race.

It was a tough race with an 8 mile neutralised zone over a moor and down the steep descent before the official start. The first lap saw the first attack of the race, by non fire or police rider Sturman jumping away from the peloton, eventually staying away to win the event.

On the second lap however, Mattinson rode off the front of the peloton, following an attack by fireman Alan Davies. Mattinson quickly built up a large lead, with no-one following. Team-mate and police rider, Andy Day (Plan-B Racing) positioned himself at the front of the peloton to slow the chase down from behind.

Police rider Shallicker (Lancashire RC), along with two other police riders, eventually managed to get across to powerhouse Mattinson. Later on the second lap, two firemen riders came across and the chase group was established.

With the final lap approaching, Mattinson’s chase group knew they where closing in on the leader who was a mere 15 seconds up the road. However, as he was not an emergency service rider, they were competing for the Championship title. Mattinson knew that to claim the win he would need to perform well on the final climb to the finish, knowing that climbing is not his forte.
The chase group started jumping around, with a number of riders trying to attack and stay away. Most break away attempts were brought back, and Mattinson was in real contention for the win.

Shallicker eventually went clear on the ascent for the finish line, but had Mattinson on his wheel. With a final surge for the line Mattison passed Shallicker by a mere tyre width to claim the Championship.
Gloucestershire Police won the team prize, helped by a fine ride by team mate Jones (VCM), who once again dug deep for the team, chasing down attacks on the first lap along with Watkins (Glos City CC). Jones paid for his early work but held on to finish in the main field and hold onto the team prize. Police riders took the first three places of the Championships.