16/04/2012 - DERRICK WOODINGS' SWYNNERTON BLOG
First event of the 2012 Percy Stallard Series, April 2012
Promoted by Newcastle Racing Club 2001/Modern Glass/Vecta Velosport
Having just watched the last 50k of the Amstel Gold race, it reminded me of yesterdays race.
I’ve ridden this circuit many times, it’s always a good test of fitness and form and it always sorts out the hardmen with class.
From a perspective of profile none of the climbs are particularly hard, except when the speed goes up or someone decides to attack when you’ve just put in a big effort to hold a wheel as happened to me on lap three: I was well into the red in Swynnerton village and the next climb on the A51, saved by Chris Gunter who held his place in the line at the back of the bunch.
At last a fine, sunny but very cold weekend. Dave Farmer was blessed with good weather for his final race promotion before moving to live in France. Many thanks for a splendid race, Dave, to you and your team for putting on a fantastic event. I hope someone will step into your shoes, although the way my legs felt this morning I wonder for how long I can carry on!
I was very impressed again by Alan Kemp, such a stylish rider, how does he make it look so easy? He controlled the race single handedly, countering all attacks by among others Don Parry, Richard Booth, Dave Rutherford, team mate Martin Hackley and Brian Sunter. Also impressive was aforementioned Chris Gunter who made several solo attempts on lap four to no avail. I was a relative passenger in the race observing tactics from the rear, although I did have one purge early on with Alan and Richard on the tailwind section before seeing sense and retiring to my observation post.
Afterwards on the way home with Mick Allen both of us with very sore legs we were reasonably satisfied with our performances. Mick does not like hills! I don’t mind but only when I have really good form, yesterday was not one of those days, although speaking with Don after the race he reckoned I was going well. I replied that it was bloody hard and he said”it was for him too”which made me feel better.
It was a privilege to ride with so many good riders again. The standard of racing was excellent. It is not possible to mention everyone here but I say again I was impressed, and look forward to the next event.