Franklin Says “Nuts” to Freezing Spring Rain in Crest CC ‘Spring’ road race which was more like something out of the winter series …
Gordon Wiseman writes … The distinctive colours of the Essex based PCH UK Racing Team were to the fore in Sunday’s Crest Spring Road Race, the opening round of this year’s Eastern Road Race League, with Ian “Nuts” Franklin picking up a hard earned fourth place after nearly 3 hours racing in freezing, wet conditions.
The 24 year old 2nd cat. rider has been working particularly hard over the winter to get himself into near top form for the opening of the season and was reported by his team mates to be going particularly well in their recent week long Majorcan training camp.
The 86 mile Crest CC organised race used the same Saffron Walden based circuit as PCH UK will be using for their own race promotion in June that features a particularly leg sapping climb to the finishing line.
With the field staying together for the opening lap, for many riders their first competitive miles of the year, Franklin was active in chasing down the opening break and within 3 laps a group of 10 riders had broken free from the rest of the field and soon started working together to open a nearly 3 ½ minute lead.
Franklin third from the right drives the race along in Essex
“We were all working well in the break” explained Franklin “but the freezing rain that fell for the whole race made the conditions really difficult. We were all covered in mud top to toe by the end of the race. The mud and rain was actually worse than the wind”.
That group stayed away for the rest of the race and, with the odd puncture and early season fatigued claiming victims, was reduced to a final selection of six riders as they started the final lap.
“As we started that last lap there were a couple of attacks but it was Vince Divine who finally broke the elastic holding us together” recalled Franklin when thawing out later.
The Finchley Racing Team rider opened a gap of 10 seconds and although that meant he was really only just dangling off the front of the race, the other five riders couldn’t pull him back as he soloed away to take the race win.
“I guess we knew once he went away that we’d be sprinting for 2nd place. At the end we were all pretty knackered and so as we climbed to the finishing line it was pretty much a case of us rolling across the line rather than sprinting.
“We had Dan Crawley and new team member Gavin Moore in the race as well and once I’d gone up the road they policed the bunch which obviously made my job easier. I can’t thank them enough for their help.
“I’m really pleased with my own form and can’t complain with that result so early in the season. I’ve not ridden like that from flag to flag for some time so my training programme over the winter and at our recent training camp has really paid dividends”.
1 Vince Divine Finchley Racing Team – in 2 hours 54mins 35 secs
2 Adam French East London Velo
3 Malcolm Smith St Ives CC
4 Ian Franklin PCH UK Racing Team
5 Richard Whitehorn Glade CC
6 James Fairbank Cycling Club Hackney
7 Matthew Barlow Essex Roads CC
8 Joshua Green Glendene CC
9 Daniel Young Glendene CC
10 Richard Price London Phoenix CC
11 Lee Desborough St Ives CC
12 Daniel Crawley PCH UK Racing Team
13 Oliver Glackin East London Velo
14 Joshua Maynard Welwyn Whls CC
15 Lubomir Belak Welwyn Whls CC
16 Russell Ford Glade CC
17 Benjamin Brown Cycling Club Hackney
18 Felix Barker Cambridge CC
19 Basil Moss Cambridge CC
20 Will Jenkins Spirit Racing Team
21 Patrick Schils Velo Schils – Interbike RT
22 Luke Hattersley St Ives CC