07/05/2012 - DERRICK WOODINGS' MINTY's MEMORIAL BLOG
Location :South Yorkshire
Minty’s Memorial Road Race
Promoted by Rutland Cycling Club
EFGH event (7 laps) 38 miles. Weather bright sunny but a cold north easterly drift of a breeze.
Thanks again to organiser Roger Hearsum and his team, after a week of cold wet conditions it was good to feel the sun again, the event was up to the normal LVRC high standard, well organised and very well marshalled.
Travelling over to the race with my usual driver! Mike, (Allen) he was as usual discussing his tactics for this race. From my knowledge of last year, this was to be a massive attack on the south east leg from the top of the course down to the leg through Serlby park so I had been forewarned.
From the start the compact select group minus star rider Mick Holmes, made a fast line out up the northern leg to Scrooby to the turn at the aforementioned point on the circuit. We were doing around 40kph into the wind here. As soon as the race turned south Mike put in his attack taking with him Belper clubmate Bill Cotton. They soon had 100 metres causing panic in the bunch which split into several smaller groups each trying to get on. By the time we reached the left turn through the park the gaps had almost closed up and with a final surge the field re-grouped just before the end of the lap. Bill told me afterwards that he could only manage 1 pull on the front with Mike and said they were doing 35mph at times. After this effort , thankfully, the race settled down to a more sedate pace and I tried a couple of fruitless attacks hoping to draw someone out to join me, which did work for a short time when Alistair Cameron came up only to be joined by the rest shortly afterwards. This was the pattern of the race with several attacks by among others Vicky Thomas, John Elliot, Brian Sunter and my fellow G rider Ron Bennet (welcome to the club Ron). On lap 4 Mick Allen again went on the northern leg establishing a good gap which looked dangerous. There was some hesitant reaction until finally Malcom Fraser made a big effort from the middle of the group, I was just behind him and as usual hesitated until the gap was too big and impotently watched him sail away making contact with Mick in about 1k. Once they reached the top of the course the gap started to grow. I was at the front end of the bunch just observing the futile attempts to close it down desperately being urged on by Vicky Thomas. By now I was resigned to the situation that these two would never be seen again and took a breather going to the back of the group which was now around 20 or so. With just 2 laps to go we were caught and eventually passed by the A-B group which could have caused a problem however wise heads saw to it that we didn’t get involved in this large group. On the final there were a few attempts to get clear, approaching Serlby park turn for the last time Alistair Cameron escaped and held a 100m gap I was at the front again deciding whether to chase but not wanting to tow the bunch up. On the left turn I attacked hard taking Bill Cotton with me and we got across to Alistair. But as usual this reaction had started the rot and the group all came together with about 1k to go so it was to be a bunch sprint for third place. I tried to get round my fellow G rider Ron Bennet but he proved too strong, so I watched Dave Gretton win the sprint from Bill Cotton.
Down to the statistics: the race was won by Mike Allen from Malc. Fraser, with Dave Gretton third.
1st E: M.Fraser, 1st F Mick Allen, 1st G Ron Bennet.