After a frantic start to the 2016 Season due to the nature of how the Team evolved, the first round of the British Cycling ‘Motorpoint Spring Cup’ The Chorley Grand Prix was a little premature for us and our lack of time in being able to prepare was our undoing. Adam Kenway came away as our best placed finisher in 25th.
By the time this weekend’s Round 2 the Manx International GP on the Isle of Man had arrived, the Team was looking in great shape with the new Kuota Khan race bikes arriving and also the striking new GSG clothing. So, with no excuses, the travelling 5 man team (Fleeman, Kenway, May, Perry & Traviss-Pollard) were hopeful of being competitive and moving up the overall rankings.
Dan, piling on the pressure 2nd time up Snaefell splintering the peloton.
The course was 3 laps of the infamous TT circuit including the 6 mile ascent of Snaefell each time for an energy sapping 113 miles. The 100 rider field not only included the best of the British domestic Teams like NFTO, Wiggins & JLT Condor but the Team SKY pairing of Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh. After the first lap, the field remained relatively together and it wasn’t until after 45 miles a small group got a gap of 20 secs. This 8 man move included Adam Kenway and was joined by 4 more with Ryan Perry just before Ramsay. The peloton was pressing hard though and the dozen’s advantage never got out of sight. As the second ascent of the mountain hit, the race was all back together and new attacks were coming thick and fast as the gradient increased. Team Captain Dan Fleeman was now in his element as the road rose skyward and the peloton fractured into small groups. Twelve riders had now distanced themselves from the rest including Fleeman and a great effort from relative newcomer Thomas Traviss-Pollard. Also in this group were eventual winner Ian Bibby (NFTO) and Sky’s Swift plus three from the strong Madison Genesis outfit. Halfway up the climb a group of 6 riders clawed their way up to this front group which included our Ryan Perry and Sky’s National Champion Kennaugh.
Ryan crossing the gap to the front of the race with Sky’s Peter Kennaugh
As the race entered the last 37.75mls circuit, this lead group of 18 settled into a rhythm and soon a lead of 2mins 30secs was established over the rest of the field. As the race neared Ramsey, Kennaugh attacked taking 4 others clear just before the critical last ascent. As they hit the climb it was now NFTO’s Ian Bibby in charge as the once gelled lead group blew into pieces.
Perry was dislodged on the steepest part of the climb ‘Gooseneck’, no doubt paying for his efforts in crossing to the group. As the race descended back to the Grandstand in Douglas, Fleeman crossed the line a very satisfying 10th with Traviss-Pollard a minute or so later in 12th and Perry hanging on for 18th. Adam Kenway placed 28th. This was an outstanding team performance which now sees us move up to 6th overall going into this weekend’s ‘Tour of the Reservoir’ over two tough stages in Edmundbyers Northumberland.
This race will be shown Saturday 16th April at 17:30 on UK Eurosport
Upcoming Events :
April 16/17th Motorpoint Spring Cup Rnd 3 ‘Tour of the Reservoir’ 2 Day race – Northumberland
April 24th Rutland-Melton International CiCle Classic UCI 1.2 – Oakham / Melton Mowbray
May 8th Motorpoint Spring Cup Rnd 4 ‘Wilton Grand Prix’ Wilton / Salisbury
May 15th Motorpoint Spring Cup Rnd 5 ‘Lincoln Grand Prix’ Lincoln.