The Clifton Road Race near York was where Mike Allen and Derrick Woodings were riding last weekend in the EFG age category event.
Fresh from the track, Derek said he was hoping to revert back to road racing fairly easily. This turned out to be the case as the course was relatively flat after his last road outing in Shropshire three weeks earlier.
The rectangular shaped course had the two longer stretches aligned in a north westerly direction, making the first leg extremely fast after the flag was dropped, with the wind being on their backs.
There were several attempts at breaking up the field but as usual in these events, nothing was allowed any freedom during the early stage. Derrick was feeling fairly comfortable after his Newport Velodrome break and on lap two decided to test his legs. He was surprised at being allowed to go. He soon had a good gap before realising that time trialling that early in the race was rather foolish, so he decided to throttle back to 90 per cent, hoping for some assistance.
This eventually came after half-a-lap in the form of Kev Shand (West Pennine) and Pete Smith (Condor RC).
They formed a working group with Kev doing long pulls, although after a couple of miles the bunch closed them down. Kev, however, was not giving up and soon attacked again going clear on his own.
This was then the pattern for the rest of the race. Kev was in sight several times but no-one from the E category riders was prepared to take responsibility to chase. Derrick was taking time out at the rear of a now depleted group. It later transpired there had been crash on lap four which involved two riders.
Towards the end of lap five there was a strong attack by track champion Steve Davies. He went clear gaining 200 metres. Both Derrick and Mike Allen felt that they could have gone across to him but both decided to desist as it would have created a bridge across to Steve for the other riders.
The inevitable ending came with a bunch sprint for third place behind Kev and Steve. Despite Derrick claiming he is not a sprinter, he was determined to get his wheel in front of adversary Ron Bennet (Wakefield) so he tailed him, waiting in the slight uphill headwind until a gift arrived as a gap opened up on the inside. Derrick took this opportunity and swept past Ron to beat him.
On to Time Trialling and Mike Allen has been setting new records again. He set a new club and North Midlands age record over 10 miles recently, with a time of 20:31. This was on the V718 course in Hull in the Team Swift evening 10 mile TT. The winner, Joel Wainman (Team Swift) came in with a time of just 18:41 on this super fast course.
Bill Cotton meanwhile has been riding the Etape du Tour in the French Alps. This mass-timed cycling event allows thousands of cyclists to ride an actual stage of the Tour de France. Bill then later watched the pro riders complete this same course (Stage 11, between Albertville and La Toussuire), although he claims these pro riders did it twice as fast as what they did!