AFTER a weekend with no localised events and Mike Allen being located in Majorca anyhow, Belper BC’s vets were in action again on May 1.
The event was held on a five-mile triangular circuit near Harworth in North Notts.
Riding again were Mike Allen, Bill Cotton and Derrick Woodings in the race for riders 60+ years; over eight laps.
The race as is usual in these fairly short distance races started at a furious pace.
The first leg into a fierce easterly wind was opened by an early attack from Dave Maughan (Teeside) quickly countered by Mike Allen, these two opening up a small gap.
The main group soon realised that to give these two strong riders such an early advantage would be dangerous so it was quickly closed down.
Dave realising that the group was closing sat up but Mike having learnt from his previous win in the Sevale race three weeks ago persisted with the attack.
The bunch was happy to leave him to stew out there in the wind, keeping him on a ‘long lead’ expecting to reel him in when he tired later.
However once reaching a wind assisted leg Mike, being a capable time trial rider, went into overdrive and soon built his lead into around a minute.
This gave him the advantage of being out of sight for much of the time so that it was difficult to assess his advantage.
Over the next few laps his lead grew inexorably and although there were several counter attacks none were able to bring him to heel.
Derrick and Bill of course were happy to leave the chasing to the rest of the group.
Finally on the bell lap there was a concerted attack by Dave Homes (Sheffield) who quickly gained a 100 metre gap and was holding it well even on the windward section.
Derrick realising that this could be the moment to strike jumped across the gap and the pair then shared the work too build up a lead of 300 metres.
Reaching the wind assisted section Derrick put in a strong pull and unfortunately Dave was unable to hold his wheel, this left Derrick with the only option of continuing for the final three miles solo.
The last two miles being into a blustery crosswind. However having built a reasonable cushion of time he was able to hold on to finish strongly in second. place Mike already having crossed the line some four minutes previously.
The bunch sprint for third place was won by Phil Etches(Lincoln) who Mike had feared would be his main rival for the win if it had come to a mass bunch sprint as was the case in the Audlem race two weeks ago.
Bill was happy to finish at the head of the bunch in the first ten.