The 3rd and final round of the prologue series saw 9 albaRosa riders take to the start line in the Category 4 only race.
Michan McKeown Walker
Thanks to Prologue Cycles and Jerry Watson for sharing photos, everyone likes to see a photo of them pedalling hard, but sometimes, only when you look at the photos can you see what was happening in the race. The photos tell the story.
Link to the Prologue photos here
Link to Jerry Watsons photos here
Here are some key photos that tell the race:
Gavin McIntosh going all out from the line. Gavin kept a strong pace from the start for around 4 or 5 laps until others took over. (Photo from Prologue)
This image, was around 15 minutes into the race, perhaps lap 6, I (Adam), remember seeing Michan at the front, thinking, I should move up. In this picture, I am the pink shoulders on the back right of the image. In the previous two races in the series, Michan has been in breaks that have stayed away. This week I wanted to be in the break. - Must follow. (cropped Photo, Jerry Watson)
By the top of the next lap, there were 4 of us with a small gap. The 4 became 3, as we worked to extend the gap. Myself, Michan and one other, We kept telling the guy from the other team to work, but after 3 laps, the break became 2, Michan and myself. The track is 1 mile, long, with 180 degree bends at each end. each lap is approximately 2 minutes 30 seconds a lap. Every half lap, you get a view of your gap and an insight to the moral of the chase.
Michan and I would swap turns about every half lap, I was working on the descents, Michan kept telling me to Go , 'Hit 50 kmh' which we seemed to do, every lap.
Michan and I had perhaps between 5 and 10 second gap to a lone rider: Jacob Vezey
We could see Jacob Vezey each lap, we had to keep pushing for 5 or 6 laps, his chase was determined. Jacob Vezey was in the 'no mans land' between the break and the bunch. He had around 5 or 10 seconds back to the bunch.
Meanwhile... Back in the bunch, Neil Eaton is on the front of the bunch marshalling the pace. Stealth Alba, with black shoulders. Bhav Parmer posed, ready to close down attacks.
After the break had gone the bunch eased somewhat with any attempts to chase met with strong defensive riding from the remaining albas in the group. Neil, Matt and Bhav spent a long portion of the remaining laps up at the front keeping the pace high enough to discourage any thoughts of trying to get away, aided by the headwind up the hill. (Words, Joe Woodman)
Coming into the penultimate lap, I stopped working with Michan going up the hill, he flicked his elbow, I didn't go through. Michan puts in a dig, I dug in to follow his wheel.
This is me Sat on Michan's wheel. Around this point, Michan stops pedalling too, I explain to Michan, I am sitting on to try and win because I need the full 10 points to get my Cat3 race license.
"Argh, you should of said earlier, go ahead, I'll lead you out"
Michan lead me into the finish, pulled aside and let me take the win. Team work right there. Michan needed a couple of points for his Cat3 and got 8 points in second place.
Despite being gifted the win, I threw my arms in the air... Yeah ! (photo, Jerry Watson)
Jacob Vezey stayed between the break and bunch to take a solo third place.
Neil Eaton went for a long one at the start of the last lap to try and drop as many people as he could and lead Joe out. Neil was hoping to earn his first points but didn't have faith in his sprint. Neil knew Joe was hoping for 6th place or better to get the 12 points needed for Cat3. (Words from Neil)
Coming into the final lap, Neil strung out the bunch while Joe moved up into the first few riders. This strong pace allowed Joe to maintain my position and exit the final corner in 3rd wheel for the drag up to the line. (words Joe Woodman)
Unfortunately Joe could only take 7th but it was another strong showing from the team resulting in another great points haul. (words Joe Woodman)
Full Results can be found here
Prologue, We had a great time during the series, thanks for organising, to all the Marshals and Commissaries that made the series happen.