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Eddie Soens RR

March 5th 2011

The Eddie Soens Handicap RR celebrated its 50th Birthday on Saturday 5th March 2011 and Stockport Clarion managed to blag three entries for this prestigious event.

The riders on the start sheet were Duncan, Tony and Darren; due to a pressing romantic social ritual, (a wedding) Tony was unable to make the start leaving Duncan & Darren to face a cold but pleasant early spring morning racing around Aintree with the Pro's & Elites!

There was a large field of 160 riders taking the start this year. The Soens is a handicap event with 4 groups lining up at the start, Dunc & Daz being in group 3 with the 3rds & 2nd Cat Juniors, and the Pro's being in group 1 starting some 3 minutes behind group 4.

Group 3 started a minute after group 4. As the flag went down group 3 started its pursuit at pace!

The group was working well together with some enthusiastic Juniors, Dunc & Daz doing their fair share of the turns, things soon broke up!

It felt like 6 to 8 laps as group 3 crossed the minute gap to group 4. At this point Darren decided to try and keep the workers together and ride straight through the 4th Cats and on to a 200 meter lead which he held for a lap, with nobody coming across Darren sat up and went back to a swelling peloton, as group 2 made up of the 2nd Cats made contact.

Darren gave one more dig off the front again getting no more than 200 meters this time holding it for just a third of a lap, (No idea why!!?ed) until team Premier and team Raleigh came past him at 32mph!!

The pace soon quickened with 150 riders coming together. There were a few dangerous moments with some inexperienced riders sitting in out of the wind, most struggling to corner at 30mph!

Dunc & Darren held position in the middle of the peloton, as the big boys put the hammer down, team 100% ME were sending riders out on solo laps at 32mph average this was most impressive to watch (from distance!!).

With a few laps to go the winning break of 11 riders broke clear gaining 30 sec quickly. As a member of team Raleigh was brought back, a UK Youth rider & a Rapha Condor lad went for the line, James Stuart of UK Youth taking the win.

Dunc & Darren finished safely in the bunch, Duncan moved up for the gallop, but mis-timed his finish missing the bell for the last lap as he thought there were still 5 miles to go. Darren decided sprinting for top 30 wasn't worth dieing for!!

A top ride by all, a great mornings entertainment. Duncan and Darren even got on the British Cycling official Video link below.

Darren comes into frame after 1m 30 sec of play, on the home straight leading the working group, Duncan can be seen a few seconds later as they cross the start/finish line.

Final placings were Duncan 53 and Darren 93 of 160 starters. 143 finished, at an average speed of 28.5mph!!

Dunc's Garmin

Race Results

Report by Darren Reynolds