Report: Gilling Wins Winchcombe Kermesse


Rory Gilling of Performance Cycles won the inaugural Winchcombe Kermesse to claim the Pat Smith Memorial Trophy on Sunday 16th June.   

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from James Griffin

The Winchcombe Kermesse saw a quality field of 70 riders  including those from Node 4 Giordana, MG Maxifuel, Ride 24/7, Dream Cycling, Urban Cyclery and host club Velo Club Montpellier. All were competing for the Winchcombe Town Council sponsored Pat Smith Memorial Trophy. The race formed the third round of the Cotswold Cycle Racing Series and, in total, covered a punishing distance of 100km.  It was started by Meg Smith and Town Councillor, Ron Harrison.

The inaugural cycle race saw riders complete 10 testing laps of a race circuit that encompassed Greet village and finished outside Winchcombe secondary school. Large crowds had gathered in both locations to watch the race that was being promoted by Velo Club Montpellier, with support from Winchcombe Cycling Club.

The first lap of the race was completed at a startling pace, with riders eager to make their mark on the early one. Although flat in profile, the route contained two surprisingly difficult ‘berg’ style climbs which saw some losing contact early on and which played a deciding role in the overall outcome of the race.

The pace on subsequent passes of the climbs, at ‘Black Barns’ and ‘Littleworth’, meant that with each lap many riders were struggling to hold wheels. Gaps started to form in the peloton and a flurry of aggressive attacks then ensued, with the most meaningful attempt by Cheltenham based Leisure Lakes Bikes rider, Richard Cleaver  (eventual winner of the Inside Out Most Aggressive Rider Prize) gaining up to 40 second at one point.

On the penultimate lap, riders, including Cotswold League leader, Michael Ward (Ride 24/7),  started to position themselves ready for the final lap and Cleaver’s brave attempt out front was pulled back by the peloton. The final lap was fast and aggressively contended. The final ascent of the climbs saw last ditch attacks in an attempt to escape the fast moving peloton.

A strong remaining bunch of 20 or so riders contested the bunch sprint for the finish line outside Winchcombe school, with under 23 rider, Rory Gilling (Performance Cycles), able to hold off an aggressive group of riders with a powerful sprint for the line. Gilling not only won the Pat Smith Memorial and Forgeability Winners Trophy, which was presented by Pat’s widow, Meg Smith, but also took the Lady Janes Tea Room’s Best Under 23 Rider and 3rd Cat prizes.

The race was promoted by Cheltenham based Velo Club Montpellier. The race was generously supported by Winchcombe Cycling Club, Winchcombe Town Council, Forgeability, Inside Out and Lady Janes Tea Rooms.  The next event in the Cotswold Cycle Racing League series will be held near Guiting Power on 14th July and will be promoted by Cheltenham and County Cycling Club. Velo Club Montpellier will be promoting circuit racing at Cheltenham Racecourse on 28th June and 5th July 2013.

1.     Rory    Gilling -   Performance Cycles
2.   Robert    Willcocks -    Royal Air Force CC
3.   Daniel    Marshall   -  Bristol Cycling Development Squad
4.   Lee    Davis  -   Node4 – Giordana Racing
5.   James    Phillips  -   Severn RC
6.   Scott    Chalmers -    Dream Cycling
7.    Rupert    Denny -   Dream Cycling
8.    Peter    Medhurst -   University of Exeter Cycling Club
9.     Ben    Carty -   Private
10.   Kieron    Smith  -  Velo Club Montpellier



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