Saturday 08 March 2008
E/1/2 - Roy Thame Cup
Colin Mattinson placed a well deserved 7th place today in what was a top quality field of riders in the second road race.
On what was a flat course the strong winds made the parcours very tough going and splits in the peleton happened almost immediately. Sensing the best place was to be at the front of the race Mattinson countered an attack by Tony Gibb who was a marked man for victory. Several other riders joined him and and initial break of 12 was formed.
With three riders in this break from the strong Planet-X team they made life difficult for the other riders attacking the breakaway in an attempt to shell out the weaker riders. Mattinson held is nerve but eventually a small group went clear of the break.
Behind, the bunch had fragmented and a small chase group of 10 had formed. Mattinson's group was in no-mans-land and had to work very hard to stay away from the others hot on their heals.
They managed to do this and at the finish Mattinson claimed 7th.
3/4 - Spring Chicken
A large peleton of almost 80 riders started the first race of the day on a flat course near Bicester. Richard Cooke was amongst those eager to set an early pace to thin down the large bunch working hard at the front for most of the first lap.
Early crashes in the cross-winds and narrow roads took their toll as both John Cumming and then Iain McInnes got delayed.
On the second lap Ian Packer forced the pace on another narrow windy section splitting the field and causing more riders to loose touch. Graham Brookhouse was also at the head of affairs getting in small breakaways but at this point local team Hemel Hempstead were keen to close them all down and keep the bunch together.
Eventually the elastic snapped and 3 riders moved clear. Even the front of the race wasn't safe when one of them crashed leaving two away.
Sensing the danger Packer attacked on the last lap with another rider but it was too late to bridge to the leaders. Brookhouse also managed to escape the bunch but was unfortunate not to make contact with the Packer duet in the closing stages.
Narrowly holding off the bunch Packer claimed 4th.