Report – VC Venta Summer Criterium 1


Jason White and Annabel Fisher winners at the first of four VC Venta Summer Criteriums at South Winchester Park and Ride

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Report – VC Venta Summer Criterium 1

Sunday 31st May | by Graham Robins

There were win for Jason White (T1 Diabetes), Annabel Fisher (Bonito Squadra Corse), Sam Baker (Wightlink LCM Systems) and Ed Slot (Sotonia) at the first of the 2015 VC Venta’s crit races at the South Winchester Park and Ride. On a day of showery rain and sunshine riders converged on the popular safe road course.

The morning started with races for the under 8’s through to the youths before the senior riders took to the 0.9miles.

The women’s race had the worst of the rain about the midway point which made the track conditions a little slippery but by this time Annabel Fisher was well on her way to strong win. The 25 year old from the Yorkshire Dales took the lead of the race on the opening lap and never looked back. Along with Lydia Brooks (GS Henley), Annabel stretched out the other six in the race. By three laps we were down to six as two had already been distanced. Behind the two leaders were Ruby Chappell (Behind the Bikeshed) and Georgina Panchaud (Cycle works) working hard to stay in contact.

After 17 mins of the 45mins race the four joined up together, but on the next lap Lydia punctured and retired. At mid point Annabel put in a big effort and dropped Georgina and Ruby and at this point the race began slowing the race down. Annabel seemed to take advantage of the tricky conditions and stretched her lead to nearly 50secs before catching and passing first Ruby and then Georgina before the bell lap to take a solo win.

The third cat race was 50mins plus 3laps and with the rain now stopped the course began to dry. It only took six minutes of racing to see a group form up and make a gap. The initial group of five riders had a small gap to three chasers and by ten minutes this group had a clear gap and the imputes went out of the chasing bunch. The eight up front were Sam Baker, Scott Michaels (SURC), Max Webber (Abbotts Ann Cycles), Andrew Gough and Theo Webb (VC Venta), Nicholas O’Hara (3Cyclexperience), Joe Hickerton and Lewis Martin (Eden Veranda RT) and Tom Maisey (Bristol RC).
Lewis was the first to puncture followed by Tom before the race approached its final stages the leaders had managed to pull out over half a lap lead. At the bell the leaders were now looking towards the sprint finish. As they turned out of the slow bottom bend there was nothing in it as they approached the line. The riders began to fan out across the track with Scott Michaels was looking favourite. However Sam had other ideas as he had chosen the correct wheel to follow Scott left a gap on his left and Sam dually slipped by to take the win right on the line.


With the rain gone the E/1/2 race set off for 60mins and 5laps. Joe Andrews (Eden Veranda RT) was the first solo rider to try to get away. As Joe started to build some gap he was joined by Max Webber (Pedal Heaven RT) and Jason White before slipping back to the fast chasing bunch led out by the three riders from Cycleworks Ben Marks, Harry Veale and Mike Smith.

Max and Jason worked hard to get away and their gap did start to go up to 10secs over Ben Marks and Andy Shackel (Team Wiggle), and the two chasers had now a clear 20secs gap over the remainder of a chasing group. It took 42mins of racing before the four riders joined up as the gap slowly came down and the bunch was now at 42secs.

In the next seven minutes the leaders worked hard together and managed to lap the chasing group and then went on to put more time into them. The front of the race now firmly established they settled in for the bell lap. As the four leaders turned the last corner Max started to drop back leaving three to contest the sprint with Jason just getting it ahead of Andy with Ben taking third.


Provisional Results

1st Jason White T1 Diabetes
2nd Andy Shackel Team Wiggle
3rd Ben Marks
4th Mitch Webber Pedal Heaven RT
5th Joe Andrews Eden Veranda RT

1st Annabel Fisher Bonito Squadra Corse
2nd Georgina Panchaud
3rd Ruby Chappell Behind the Bikeshed
4th Julia Hesselberg Elite Velo Kalas
5th Lili Mclean Andover Wheelers

3rd Cats
1st Sam Baker Wightlink LCM Systems
2nd Scott Michaels SURC
3rd Max Webber Abbotts Ann Cycles
4th Andrew Gough VC Venta
5th Theo Webb VC Venta

4th Cat
1st Ed Slot Sotonia
2nd Oliver Scott Dulwich Paragon
3rd James Denman PNECC
4th Lee Benson Fareham Wheelers
5th Tom Wheeler CC Basingstoke

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