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NCRA Round 3 – Southwick race report

There were near-perfect Springtime conditions for Round 3 of the NCRA Handicap road race series, hosted by Peterborough Cycling Club on the challenging Southwick circuit – famed for its five ascents of the stiff little climb to the finish-line by the water tower. There was, pleasingly, a good turn-out of 61 for the race which was – as ever – well run and also included support from NEG escort motor bikes.

The yellow peril of Welland Valley CC was made up of four racers. Neil Doherty, Loz Cox, and Stuart Dawkins (starting his first Open road race since 2016) all started in a strong-looking first handicap group. Rob Moore started in the fourth group, just one minute in front of the Scratch group.

The diesel-engine that is Neil Doherty set about splitting up the first group from the very start with a strong first lap – and succeeded quite quickly. This break-away was eventually caught by much of the second group and a couple of particularly speedy members of the third start group, and this 18-strong selection managed to stay away for the whole race to claim the top places.

Neil held his own all the way to the end, finishing in a creditable 12th place. Rob’s group charged through to no avail, finishing in a bunch about one-and-a-half minutes behind the leaders. Loz held on for much of the race, but was eventually dropped. Stuart settled early on into a small and ever-dwindling Gruppeto which stuck together for the whole race, dreaming of younger legs and a flatter course.

The race was won by Louis Cooper, 2nd was Adam Gross of the Beds Road Race Team and 3rd was Rodolfo Niels Gervasio of Zero BC. First Lady was Georgia Bullard of Fusion RT who finished in the lead Group.

Another excellent day out for the NCRA series.

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