Bristol South Road Race - Report 27/5/2012
Swindon rider Mike Holborow and 2nd Claim Aaron Taylor rode the Bristol South Road Race in some what warm conditions on Sunday 27th May with Neil Rutter at the road side in support. The field of 80 Category 3/4 riders rolled out of Bishop Sutton, near Chew Valley Lake at 11am where at the foot of Stowey Hill the race was de-neutralised for 8 laps of the 6.5 mile circuit with a spur to the finish making up the race distance of 55 miles.
As the riders hit the first climb of the day the pace was fierce with some very strong riders forcing the pace close to 20mph up the climb. Still in contention both riders from Swindon settled in as the pace steadied over the climb and the riders bunched on the long rolling descent to complete the lap.
Some very poor lane discipline led to one of the "less glamorous" sides of road racing when toward the end of the second lap the group pinched due to oncoming traffic causing a crash in which 10 or more riders hit the ground - one of which was sadly hospitalised by his injuries. The organisers temporarily stopped the race after the next ascent to assess the road conditions and it was deemed safe to continue - race on.
In a continuation of current form, Mike found the only pothole on the circuit and shred the rear tyre on the wheelset he was so kindly lent for the race! After waiting for the service vehicle and a new wheel, Mike chased hard in attempt to find the group.
As the group approached the scene of the accident the road was blocked with marshalls doing their upmost to keep the traffic flowing however many riders, Aaron Taylor included, decided for themselves the road conditions were too dangerous and retired on the fourth lap.
Mike continued to chase until on the sixth lap and on receipt of an enthusiastic "c'mon your only three minutes down" also retired from the race to take up a good vantage at the finish line.
The finish line was scenically positioned on the bridge over Chew Valley Lake and after a 20 strong bunch sprint Samuel Louerat of AC Brevinois immerged victorious. Familiar names such as Scott Chalmers from Dream CC finishing 7th and Mark Munns from Ride 24/7 Cirencester finishing 12th.
In summary a tough circuit, well marshalled and organised but a disappointing race for SRC.