Report: Surrey League Road Race (VC Meudon)

Graham Robins ( reports on the Surrey League races on Sunday, September 11

This morning’s race held on a course in North Hampshire just to the south of Basingstoke and the M3. The morning’s 3rd cat race was 4 laps of the 9.7 mile course of a rolling course with two climbs in it. The first climb was short and shallow but the big climb was three quarters of the lap as the riders entered the village of Farleigh Wallop it was steep but short…ish.

The morning was damp and the course was very slippery under the trees and there was a lot of gravel all over the road which was to cause many of the
punctures and the high attrition rate. There were 34 starters and only12 riders completing the whole 4 laps.

The first full lap after the short run out to the course proper saw a couple of attacks with first coming from South African rider Verner van der Nerwe (Marathon Verner soon found he was all alone and slipped back towards the bunch but an attack came from the London Dynamo team rider straight away which again was marked by Verner. This time Verner stayed away and the first to react was Richard Prebble ( who noticed how strong the leader was and jumped across to give him a hand.

The two leaders now working hard together soon managed to open up a large gap of 1min 30secs, a lead they were to maintain till the finish. The bunch tried to attack with just over a lap go and managed to pull the gap back to 30secs but Verner and Richard decided to work to stay away and Richard did not try to race him as they approached the finish line as he knew that Verner was by far the stronger of the pair. The two leaders stayed away and the gap to the bunch at the finish was over 3mins.

1. Werner Van der Merwe 3
2. Richard Prebble Motorpoint-Procycling 3V
3. Craig Peter VC Meudon 3V
4. Robert Cranstone RNRMCA 3V
5. Steven Richards Team Cycle Kingdom 3
6. Keith Lea Addiscombe CC 3V
7. Mark Smith Crawley Wheelers 3
8. Andrew Keynes VC Meudon 3V
9. Andy Lack Kingston Wheelers 3V
10. Nat Spurling Finsbury Park CC 3
11. Carl Silver Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 3
12. Shaun Green Army CU 3V
13. Stuart Adair Redhill CC 3V

The afternoon’s race for the E12 riders was on the same course, and was contested over 7 laps, but was held under totally different conditions. The morning dampness had been replaced by a dry course but it was now very windy.

Towards the end of the first lap and on the big climb the was an attack by the Corley Cycle team and first to show on the climb was Matthew Higgins, followed by team mate Richard Cartland and Chris Spence (Caesarean CC). The bunch were a further 18secs with Rob McCarthy (Cycle Kingdom on the front but he was soon to retire with a broken spoke.

On the second lap there were two distinct groups ahead of the bunch but the gaps were too small to record. And on lap three the race all came back together again. The bunch then stayed together for a couple of more laps with several riders attacking but no one making it stick. Then with two laps to go six riders got away and started to build a lead. The riders included four from Corley, Simon Gaywood, Roy Chamberlin, Ian Knight and Matt Higgins, Paul Pickup (Cycle Kingdom) and Colin Parry (Willier/ goselfdrive) and they now had a lead of just over 1min.

By time the race had entered its last lap there had been quite a shakeup on the back of the course as the group that took the bell first were being pulled back. One rider trying to get a problem was Simon Gaywood he was to puncture, so could not offer any help to his team mates at the front.
As the five leaders approached the finish line it was Matt Higgins in front but beginning to tire as he started his sprint a little early, he looked back to see he was being chased down by Allan Ridler (Cycle Kingdom) and he managed to find a second wind to sprint again to win by a few meters.

1. Matt Higgins Team Corley Cycles
2. Allan Ridler  Team Cycle Kingdom E
3. Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles E
4. Ashley Cox Team Corley Cycles E
5. Colin Parry Wilier/ E
6. Paul Pickup Team Cycle Kingdom 1
7. Paul Holdsworth Hownslow & District 2V
8. Ian Knight Team Corley Cycles 1
9. Anthony Moye CC Luton 1
10. James Stuart Norwood Paragon CC 1
11. Christopher McNamara Team Corley Cycles E
12. Richard Cartland Team Corley Cycles 1
13. Jamie Newall Team Corley Cycles 2
14. Flavio Zappi Team Zappi 2
15. Warren Jesse VC Meudon
16. Neil Edwards Private Member 3V
17. Adam Cotterell Wyndymilla  2
18. Graham Hills In Gear Quickvit RT 2V
19. Elliott Porter London Dynamo 2
20. David Faulkner Charlotteville CC 3

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