Team News – Tough day in Aberystwyth for NFTO


On the wet roads around Aberystwyth, NFTO spent the race chasing the win and finished second after a very tough crit

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Team News – Tough day in Aberystwyth for NFTO

The NFTO team travelled on four wheels to Aberystwyth for the double header in the Welsh seaside town whilst their owner John Wood followed the next day on two wheels. First up on their schedule was the hill climb and Jonny McEvoy and James Lowsley – Williams were feeling fairly comfortable in the morning and looking forward to giving it a big crack!


Steele Von Hoff was first off the line for the team in 4th position, and set a ridiculously relaxed pace after slipping his wheels on the start of 5:35. Zach May followed finishing mid field then Jonny McEvoy came flying over the finish line in 3:54, nearly crashing into the fence in the grass after the finish.

Two metres after the line, was a dodgy gravel drop off with many riders nearly coming unstuck after a 4-minute max effort. Johnny held the best time for the majority of the race before being edged out by two seconds by George Harper (One Pro Cycling). Jonny finished the race in 2nd.


Afterwards he said “It was disappointing to lose by such a close margin. I thought I paced it quite well. I treated it like a mountain bike race, so I did most of the first part out of the saddle, and then I tried to recover a bit when it flattened off”.

“Then I gave it a last kick on the gravel bit, and really aimed for that. It was just hard, like any hill climb, but I thought it was brilliant. Interesting with the start and a really steep section, and then with the off road gravel, and then a technical left and then down hill gravel to the finish”.

Before the event, jokes were going around the team about Steele claiming the lantern rouge on the hill climb and he successfully completely his prediction, cruising up the climb to save himself for the criterium in the evening.


The Crit
In the evening, the riders in NFTO followed their NFTO race club teammates who had ridden the Regional race before. James ‘Hank’ Lowsley Williams talked about their race afterwards. “It was a good race for us today. As we all stood on the line, it started to rain and people were letting their tyres down”.

“It started fast and luckily I had lined up on the front. I kind of stayed on the top three for the first half an hour, just watching moves so we could keep Steele safe in the back.”

Not all the team had a good start like Hank (pictured left below) though, “I got a really bad start and I spent the whole race chasing” said Jonny McEvoy. “I got back to the front with two laps to go!”. One of the favourites in the Aussie champion’s colours, Steele Von Hoff had the opposite sort of race.


“It was like a Moto GP race out there today. Everyone was going full gas and it was singled out and almost impossible to move up. As the pace started to get faster and faster, after about 25 minutes, I couldn’t hold the wheel around the corner anymore and I was time trialling to get back on each time”.

“I was holding good position though around top 5 – 10 then I think I was just a little to scared around the wet corners and my heart rate was just so high. There was fighting for people trying to get in front of me, and when you lost a couple of spots, you’d just end up further down the train, eventually I just lost the wheel and ended up off the back.”

With about 20 minutes to go, Hank got in a group of six up the road. “We’d just gotten away when a Wiggins rider came down in front of me, and took two of us down. My chain came off, so I had to get it back on and I lost about a minute. After that I had to chase for three laps hard and eventually I got back onto the main group where we had two riders”.

“Straight away, once I’d got my breathe back, Pov told me to get on the front because there were still four riders up the road. I got on the front and drilled it and brought that group back. With about 2 laps to go, Johnny came up to me and asked if it was the front group?”

“It was, so I told him to start riding. By that stage I was in the red a bit so it was all up to Jonny”.


Johnny added, “I got on Ed’s wheel with a few laps to go and then a Madison rider attacked and after chasing all race I didn’t really have much left. I was caught behind a couple of crashes, which didn’t help. But yeah, I just spent the whole race chasing really, tough day.”

For Steele Von Hoff (above), it was a disappointing race. “I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t hang in there today. Just a rough day that everyone has occasionally”, said Steele post race.

The other four riders from NFTO were in the front group but individually they’d all had a tough race and no one had the legs for the sprint to get the individual win. “It was annoying we didn’t have enough riders up the front. But that’s bike racing… Hopefully we can move on and progress next week up North. We definitely deserve a win, so hopefully that will come sooner rather than later”, said Hank.

The team, buoyed by the teams performance in the An Post RAS are now looking ahead to Scotland for things to go right for them…

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