Friday 18 June 2010
Leisure Lakes Bikes Circuit Series off to Flying Start
Whilst England’s football team were putting on a poor display in South Africa, the first round of the Leisure Lakes Bikes cycle racing series got off to a flying start at Cheltenham racecourse on Friday evening. The fast and high octane racing thrilled those who had made the effort to come out to support the popular event.
The main race of the evening saw 30 riders take to the start line. Many riders had expected a shorter circuit this year but little did they know that this year’s circuit still incorporated ‘Gillespie’s Gallop’; a steep ascent towards the finish line in the main racecourse complex.
The hour’s race started as expected with the keen racers attacking the speeding peloton. First to show themselves at the front of the race was local rider Tom Stockdale (Team Qoroz) who put in a huge effort on the first lap. This quickly dropped some of the weaker riders out the back of the peloton. As Stockdale continued to push on, it was Halesowen rider Jacob Tipper and Swindon RC’s Crispin Doyle who broke clear of the peloton. They quickly formed their own chase group as they tried to get across the early leader, Tom Stockdale.
Behind, the race was still fragmenting with local riders keen to show their form in front of the home crowd. Cheltenham and County CC rider Ian Alexander and Velo Club Montpellier’s Jeremy Addis had detached themselves from the main bunch of the riders along with Cult Racing’s Dan Bill. The crowd enjoyed being entertained by what the pubic announcer described as “a great a battle between the two Cheltenham clubs”. Bill, who had showed himself as a strong rider in last year’s series, soon broke clear of this small group and set about getting across the leaders on his own.
As the race neared to half way point, Doyle and Tipper managed to bridge the gap to the lone leader. This formed a strong and hard working trio at the head of the race. At this point, it was clear that it would be one of these riders that would take overall victory on the evening. Drama was soon to unfold however when, unexpectedly, Tipper punchered and was forced to take a wheel change in the finish area. Fortunately, the race judges allowed him to take a lap out and he was soon able to re-join the leading group of Doyle and Stockdale.
As the race sped around the tight and fast circuit at speeds well over 30mph in places, it wasn’t long until the lap board signalled that there were 5 laps remaining. The race situation at this point was that Doyle, Tipper and Stockdale were leading with around a 40 second advantage over Bill. The two Cheltenham club riders of Addis (VCM) and Alexander (CCCC) were then behind.
On the last lap of the race, the final gallop to the line was a thrilling spectacle. Tipper, who had only recently punchered and had chased to get back on, forced his way to the front and sprinted full-gas up the long finish straight to take the win. Swindon RC’s Crispin Doyle took a very close second and local rider Tom Stockdale (Team Qoroz) took a well earned third place. Cult Racing’s Dan Bill took a fine fourth place, while Velo Club Montpellier’s Jeremy Addis took fifth and Cheltenham and County’s Ian Alexander took fifth.
The women’s race, which was held at the same time, was dominated by Naomi Anderson (Team Zappi) who quickly established a strong lead early on in the race and maintained this lead to the finish.
The next round of the Series is next Friday 25th June and is an official Team Green Britain Bike Week 2010 event. Racing starts at around 7pm and spectating is FREE of charge.
1. Jacob Tipper (Halesowen A & CC) 2. Crispin Doyle (Swindon RC) 3. Tom Stockdale (Team Qoroz) 4. Dan Bill (Cult Racing) 5. Jeremy Addis (Velo Club Montpellier) 6. Ian Alexander (Cheltenham & County CC) 7. Scott Law (Evesham Wheelers) 8. Michael Thelwell (Cult Racing) 9. David Curtis Whitfield (Avonlea-Treasure RT) 10. Rupert Denny (Team Nemesis GB) 11. Neil Biggs (Velo Club Montpellier) 12. Joe Page (Team Echelon / Spiuk) 13. Vince Page (Team Echelon / Spiuk) 14. Andrew Carnall (Swindon RC)
1. Naomi Anderson (Team Zappi)
#1 Tom Stockdale (Team Qoroz) #2 Naomi Anderson (Team Zappi) #3 Scott Law (Evesham Wheelers)