Team News: Corley Cycles Disappointed to Miss Out at Crit Champs

Simon Gaywood (Team Corley Cycles – Cervélo – Alpha RC) travelled to Beverley in East Yorkshire last Friday evening in search of one of the few criterium racing honours to have so far slipped through his wheels, the National Circuit Championships. Buoyed by his recent good form in the Elite Circuit Race Series – where his currently lies 6th overall – that form including a third place finish in the recent Stafford GP, Gaywood had been fine tuning his race fitness with this one race in mind.

As the race start neared, he called his three Team Corley team-mates – James Millard, Jake Hales and Mike Smith – around him to plan their next hour’s racing. Sherrington’s Mike Smith quickly got into his rhythm and was visible nearer the front of the race but was not able to slip onto the back of the small group of riders that soon formed and that proved to be basis of the decisive move of the evening. Then with less than 15 minutes racing completed, a crash at the back end of the circuit split the whole field forcing many, including Team Corley’s “Millie” Millard, to take an allowed lap out to check for damage and any needed repairs.

James Millard

As the leading group of riders came through, Millie and those others who’d been forced into the pits rejoined the race, the big Team Corley rider quickly putting his head down after first finding Gaywood so the pair of them could start their hoped for chase to the front. The leaders were soon joined by one other rider to make a front group of seven that included eventual winner Graham Briggs of the UK’s dominant Rapha Condor Sharp squad and Milton Keynes Matt Jones of Team Raleigh.

Although their lead never exceeded 45 seconds – with young Jones often leading the way as each rider took their turn at the front – most of the huge crowd that crammed the barriers around the whole of the circuit on what was a warm Friday evening never expected them to be pulled back. But although that proved to be the case, as the final laps counted down, that lead reduced rapidly as the chasing bunch knew they had to give their all if they were to have any chance of affecting the overall result.

Matt Jones

As Jones took a £100 prize for winning a sprint with three laps to go, the Raleigh rider eventually finished in 7th place, Millard retired from the race having done all he could for Gaywood. Jake Hales then took up the piloting duties for Gaywood as the two were involved in the fast and furious chase to try to close the gap on the leaders. Although they gave their all, Hales leading out Gaywood perfectly in the sprint to the line, they and the rest of the peloton couldn’t close the gap to anything under 8 seconds so the Corley pair had to settle for 17th and 18th positions, Gaywood just leading his younger partner team-mate across the line.

After the race Gaywood expressed his frustration at missing the race winning move, the problems caused by the crash that split the field but said “I may have missed out tonight but there’s still the final round of the Elite Circuit Series to go and I’m determined to pull something off at that race!”

Michael Smith

Jake Hales

Ian Stannard
Having enjoyed a more than well-earned break following his debut pro win in Austria at the start of the July, Ian Stannard (Team Sky) returned to the hurly burly of the pro peloton on Sunday at the Tour of Poland. The 7 stage race covers over 1100kms of the varied Polish roads with the terrain splitting the race into two halves, the opening few stages being for the sprinters with the closing stages seeing the general classification riders showing their potential.

Showing that he’s lost none of the form that saw him race so well in Austria, the youngster from Milton Keynes finished the first two stages in the same identical 18th place, in the second stage finish just managing to avoid a crash that brought down a number of riders.