AFTER a week of cold wet conditions it was good to have a bit of sunshine again at the weekend for the 38 mile, seven-lap Minty’s Memorial Road Race.
Belper BC veterans Derrick Woodings, Mike Allen and Bill Cotton all made the journey up to the road race held at the Serlby Park Circuit near Blyth, Notts.
From the start a compact select group (minus star rider Mick Holmes) made a fast line out up the northern leg to Scrooby on the circuit. They were doing around 25mph into the wind there. As soon as the race turned south Mike put in his attack taking with him Belper clubmate Bill Cotton.
They soon had a 100-metre advantage, causing panic in the bunch which then split into several smaller groups, each trying to get on.
By the time they reached the left turn through the park, the gaps had almost closed, and with a final surge the field re-grouped just before the end of the lap.
Bill told Derrick afterwards that he could only manage one pull on the front with Mike, and said they were doing 35mph at times.
After this effort the race thankfully settled down to a more sedate pace. This prompted Derrick to try a couple of attacks hoping to draw someone out to join him. This worked for a short time when Alistair Cameron came up only to be joined by the rest shortly afterwards.
This was the pattern of the race, with several attacks by, amongst others, Vicky Thomas, John Elliot, Brian Sunter and Ron Bennet.
On lap four, Mike Allen again went on the northern leg and established a good gap which looked dangerous. There was some hesitant reaction until Malcolm Fraser made a big effort from the middle of the group. Derrick was just behind him although he hesitated until the gap was too big and then watched him sail away, making contact with Mike. Once they reached the top of the course the gap started to grow.
Derrick attacked hard on the final lap taking Bill Cotton with him but in the end the group all came together with about 1km to go, making it a bunch sprint for third place, with Belper’s own Mike Allen winning the race.
Despite Derrick not gaining a podium place, he still was still the second fastest rider in his age category and Bill also finished third in his age group.
A good weekend all round for the club!