In his first race of the year, and his debut competition in the colours of the Essex based Pro Cycle Hire UK Racing Team, 21 year old Joe Giggins from Hornchurch won his first ever road race on Saturnday at the Hog Hill circuit, Redbridge.
Gordon Wiseman writes … The former junior World Class Development Programme triathlete only made the decision to switch to bike racing last year but has already proved to himself and others that he’s made the right decision. Giggins came to the attention of another PCH UK rider – and fellow Hornchurch resident – Steve Griffiths at the North Weald circuit late in 2011 when Joe rode across from the front of the bunch on his own to bridge the gap to a small group of Elite riders showing that even without proper road race training, he was clearly a very strong rider.
Saturday’s one hour long race used Hog Hill’s infamous leg-sapping “hilly” circuit that invariably proves that the strongest man on the day wins the race. And the strength Giggins demonstrated last year has clearly grown since then!
Never out of the top ten riders for the whole of the race, even though a race novice, Joe knew that he’d have to position himself for the inevitable sprint as the race moved into its closing stages. “I didn’t really know what to expect. I rode sensibly, following wheels and not trying anything heroic. As we approached the finishing hill for the final time, I gave it everything I could and was really pleased to see that I’d opened a gap of about 10 bike lengths as I crossed the finishing line.”
“And I couldn’t resist giving a victory salute! I’m so pleased”.
That win means Joe immediately moves up a racing license category so will now be racing against more experienced riders when he next pins on a racing number. What made him chose PCH UK? “Steve Griffiths was very approachable and encouraging when we spoke last year after North Weald and the whole team have been exactly the same as Steve as we’ve trained together over the winter”.
Commenting on “his” team’s early season performance, particularly that by Giggins in picking up his first ever win, Bruce Griffiths speaking from his PCH base in Port de Pollença, Mallorca said: “What a start for young Joe. One race, one win. What a fantastic performance and a great start to the season. I’m just delighted”.
Early Season Form for Wayne Maguire
Milton Keynes Wayne Maguire continues to show great early season form in PCH UK colours as well, picking up his second podium finish in as many weeks when he came home in third place – again – in Sunday’s 54 mile Braintree Spring Road Race at Sudbury.
Maguire was joined by PCH’ Dan Scott and they were active from the very start, attacking the other 50 or so riders in an effort to break up the field as soon as the race got under way. “We both took turns attacking but nothing was breaking up the field and that proved to be the pattern for the whole race” Wayne explained later. “Any attempt to pull away from the field was always hauled back in. Dan attacked again on the final lap but still nothing was happening so as we came to the final turn before the climb to the finish I knew I had to do something. And following last week’s result I knew I was coming into form”.
Turning into the finishing straight but still with the final climb and about 1/2km to go, Maguire tried again. He went into that straight knowing that being back in about 10th place was possibly too far back but he had nothing to lose.
“It was elbows everywhere as those at the front fought for position. I just kept my head down and kept passing riders but in the end I just ran out of road. Yes I’m frustrated because I knew I had the form to win but another third place, it can’t be too bad”.
Dan Scott was less fortunate and cramped up in the final kilometres and so finished back in the bunch. But that makes it a great start to 2012 for PCH UK and they now sit top of the Eastern Road Race League in the Team competition with Maguire in third place overall in the rider’s standings.