Rory Townsend (Pedal Heaven RT) won the VC St Raphael promoted 51st Perfs Pedal Race as the UCI Continental outfit made it a 1-2-4 at Southwick in Hampshire. DS Tim Elverson had stated the intention was to win the race; there was no arrogance in their ambition, rather a professional expectation. Townsend recovered from a last lap puncture to claim victory, however Pedal Heaven did not have it all their own way.
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Gunther Zechmann (London Phoenix CC ), Al Murison (unatt), Liam Walsh (VC EQUIPE/FLIX1), Chris McNamara (Nunn Sigma Sport London RT)& Mikey Mottram (HR Owen Maserati RT) took the race to the boys in green & black, attacking on the tough circuit and refusing to be detached when pressure was applied on the cranks up front. Pedal Heavens legs may have been carrying some fatigue from a high-volume Spanish training camp and plans to boss the race from the front were thrown into further disarray on the first lap as the race was neutralized to allow safe passage for an ambulance on an emergency call, thankfully unconnected . Commissaires neutralized the race again shortly afterwards, this time to warn riders for crossing the white lines. The truncated start kept the bunch together and frustrated the Conti outfit as Mottram attacked early, building a lead of some 40 seconds.
Zechmann too was no respecter of reputation, the 33 year old Austrian looked comfortable as he stretched the thinning bunch out on Portsdown Hill, having also tried early on.Ultimately though they were rewarded, reducing the race to just 13 as they approached the final climb. Behind these the race had split into two groups, both never giving up the chase in sunny un-perfs like conditions.
Townsend punctured at the foot of Portsdown, no panic and a quick change from neutral service cost him no more than 20 secs and a serious effort saw him quickly back with the leaders, recovering in the wheels. Teammate Grant Ferguson attacked across the top, amazingly it was Townsend who reacted jumping across to Ferguson, the move was brought back but immediately Joe Fry went on the offensive, Fry was brought back and Townsend made the move, establishing a lead of 15 seconds as he descended to Southwick. The gap continued to grow as the 20 year old time trialled to the finish, his victory salute, a private tribute to a friend!
Many thanks to Eammon Deane for this report (http://www.localriderslocalraces.co.uk/).
1. Rory Townsend Pedal Heaven
2. Mitch Webber Pedal Heaven
3. Tom Mazzone Pedal Heaven Excel Academy
4. Lloyd Chapman Pedal Heaven
5. Alex Murison unatt
6. Mikey Mottram HR Owen Maserati RT
7. Liam Walsh VC Equipe/Flix 1
8. Gunther Zechman London Phoenix
9. Alex Paton Pedal Heaven
10. Chris McNamara Nunn Sigma Sport London RT
11. Grant Ferguson Pedal Heaven
12. Joe Fry Pedal Heaven
13. Tom Chandler VCUK PH-Mas 1J
14. Matt Woods (Performance Cycles)
15. Adam Capes PMR Toachin House
16. Jack Freeman VC Meudon 2J
17. Paul Double VC Venta
18. Luke Barfoot Tri UK 2
19. Lee Frost Team Tor 2000 1
20. Andrew Turner KTM-Impsport
21. Phil Trodden Team Moda-Anon E
22. Ryan Visser Hoste Taap Storck
23. Daniel Nieto TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT
24. Will Harper Pedal Heaven Excel Academy 2
25. Freddie Philips Hoste Taap Storck