25/07/2011 - DRAGON 2 DAY RACE REPORTS
Location :NEATH, SOUTH WALES
A record entry rewarded the hardwork of organiser Austin Heath and his wife Jen who once again used motorbike marshalls for an incident free three stage event.
Report on DEFG Race 85 miles
John Manning of Derby Mercury led from the start courtesy of his time trial win and Ferryhill Mountain High's Andy Donaldson took second on each stage. on both road stages they were the main aggressors, although on stage 3 Sue Shook, Bush Healthcare put in a great performance getting with them and Liverpool Mercury's Phil Thomas. They were caught with a lap to go and sue then puncture. But Andy attacked again and was inevitably joined by John. After the race Andy admitted:' I had no chance of beating him he was too strong for me.' Coming from Andy that is a real compliment.
Beaten in the time trial Gordon Smith, made sure of the E race with two stage wins while in the F's Bill Rains, VC Bristol finished in front of fellow West Countryman Dennis White, Bristol RC after TT winner Dave Parry, Birkenhead North End dropped out on the last stage. Ken Haddon, Bush Healthcare outsprinted most of the younger riders on both road stages, but Team Jewson's Mick Ives won the G's courtesy of an excellent TT.
ABC RACE 96 miles
On first seeing the course for the Dragon 2 day you could be excused for expecting fairly negative racing and a big bunch sprint, with long straight roads on one side of the circuit and an undulating but not hilly road on the back, but organiser Austin Heath said beforehand that it usually produced good racing, and certainly for the A,B,C’s this proved to be the case.
The prologue of 3 1/2 blustery miles proved long enough to produce some significant time gaps and aching legs, but the defining break came on the first road stage proper and produced all the eventual group winners. Gerry Bowdich, Matt Purshouse, Peter Giorgi and David Mills worked well together after an early break from the bunch and were never in any real danger of being caught and were well out of sight by the finish. The second stage of 56 miles saw spirited attempts to gain time right from the gun, Roy Sumner, Malc Whitehead and Nick Giles but good teamwork from the respective leaders clubs kept everything together. On the last lap Malc Whitehead and myself clipped off and had a healthy 50 second lead with five miles to go, enough to cause some concern and reaction, and we were eventually glad to get to the finish just in front of a charging bunch.
This race deserves to be well supported, Austin ran it on a very tight budget and there is a lot of work put into organising an event like this. Everybody that rode enjoyed it both as a race and a social occasion so hopefully the word will get around.