More racing activity by Club stalwarts:
Malcolm Smith and Steve Noel were in action on the road again today, report here from Malcolm:
The Neil Gardner Memorial RR was held at Cranfield over 93miles. The weather was dry and breezey. A field of 80 lined up with teams from Spirit, Corley, Sigma Nunn, Planet X, Toachim House, Luton CC, to name but a few. Steve Noel and Malcolm Smith represented Peterborough CC. Steve had raced the NCRA the day before which was to be his undoing.
The pace was relentless and breaks formed as early as the first of nine laps. These were largely brought back into the fold after a few miles. A dangerous group were beginning to make their presence felt when we were all halted by the NEG due to a wide load in transit to a farm. This gave the chasers hope and the break was neutralised. Steve and Malcolm were both still in contention at this point approx. Half way through the race.
The field continued to watch small groups coalesce up the road and then efforts to bridge across were made. Malcolm got into three groups which took the risk to try and bridge across. Big efforts were made to make these enterprises stick. Unfortunately all three efforts were marked by team riders and the motivation was drained or the field was dragged back into contention by team efforts to thwart the endeavour.
All was level on the climb through North Crawley where the feed station was situated with two and half laps to go. Malcolm looked around and couldn’t see Steve. It was unlikely that a group would be allowed to get away at this pint so Malcolm, biding his time for a late move, took on board some final nutrition. As the rise was crested a move by Corley and Spirit was allowed to go by teammates. A gap extended very quickly. The move was made to isolate Ashley Cox and Elite from Luton. It worked.
Over the next half lap all counter attacks were marked and the gap grew to around 1min 40secs. The peloton sat up as the break was around 16 strong. On the approach to North Crawley again Dominic Schiels made a move and Malcolm followed along with four others. We gained a small gap immediately and gave chase, very hard for the next lap. We caught the lead group back at North Crawley with half a lap to go. Malcolm was by now spent and only just managed to hang on for the inevitable counter attack. There was a split at the top of the climb but it never became a danger.
The final few km were very fast with constant attacks. Malcolm was well positioned for the sprint up to the finish at Bourne End but there was nothing left and he had to settle for a very tired spot at the rear of the sprint. No rewards but at last some form appears to be on its way.