With a bad start to the road season the week before with the cold and rain at the Eddie Soens, and Darren and Geoff crashing out in the sprint finish at Pimbo, it could only improve at the next round of the CDNW league at Saighton, near Chester.
4 SCCC riders took the start with Geoff a DNS due to man flu.
For a change the weather was warm (for March) and dry. Tony and Justin travelled down together while Darren took his Delorean and Dunc made his own way there after working nights.
The race started off quite steady in the first part of the course into a headwind. On the first lap Dunc (who did not get time for a warm up) took a chance to get away as he saw Darren on the front to help slow down the chase. This only lasted about 1 mile as the usual donkeys were on the front chasing to bring it all back together. A tight corner on the course was the hardest part of the course as you entered it at 5mph, and then it was straight up a draggy climb. This corner was taken 7 times in total.
With approx 70 riders starting, being at the back would prove tough, and it did for Justin who lost contact at about half distance. It maybe did not help he had his full SCCC winter gear on. Thermal top and longs while most had shorts and racing tops!!
Darren had a few attempts to get the bunch motivated but to no avail. He did manage to have a “chat” with the lad that caused the crash the week before and also to a lone rider out on his TT bike (not Ric) that seemed happy to sit in the bunch and get dragged along at 28mph.
A group of 3 or 4 got away with 3 laps remaining. They got just over a minute lead and it looked like we were racing for 5th, but bring on the donkeys!!!! Almost a lap later and we were 10 seconds off the leaders, then everyone sat up and the leaders went back to a 40 second lead. Into the bell lap and the gap was at 35 seconds. With what looked like one lad sat on the front at 30mph it was looking good for a mass sprint.
As usual with 2 miles to go nobody wanted the front so the break had a slender lead. In the last mile the pace went mental. The speed was high and it was tough just to move up the bunch. The hardest part of the race was the final mile just trying to move up the bunch, once the line was in sight it was a case of trying to hold the speed you had...
Dunc kept out of the wind and moved up to about 10th place just as we caught the break with 300m to go, then it was just a mad sprint to the line and Dunc got 3rd.
British Cycling result and report