Arriving at the chilly and very wet circuit, we were met by a great atmosphere, with some races already underway. Our first wave of boys started their pre-race warm up but due an incident out on the circuit there was a suspension of over an hour. It was later announced racing would continue on an attenuated, shortened course to allow for all waves to be completed in the light.
Having prepared to race for a second time, the first wave of boys set out, in what was now an all out sprint. Billed as the “elite men’s wave” the pace was high from the start with Matthew Farrier completing the first of the 3.2 kilometre runs in 10 minutes 44 seconds. Out onto the bike the racing remained fierce with Tom Gilbert setting the 13th fastest bike split on the day, averaging an blistering 43.2 km/h. It was a TNT sprint finish, with 6 of the team all finishing within 40 seconds and 15 places of each other – providing some of the best overall results the club has seen in years.
As most of the men were finishing their race, the elite women were well on their way. Neve Hattee provided the club with another strong bike leg, finishing as the 27th fastest female cyclist, on her way to an excellent 34th place finish. Followed closely by Bonnie Murphy, the friendly rivalry between these girls continues. Spectators were again treated to a couple of Newcastle vs Newcastle sprint finishes as the team demonstrated their competitive comradery.
Last, but certainly not least, 7 of the team set out in the mixed wave of the event. Dusk was upon us but Sam Baker and Fergus Ingledew didn’t let the fading light affect their speed, coming 2nd and 3rd in their wave respectively.
All in all, the day proved to be a great success, with a mixture of new and old members, it is fair to say all of us were aiming for a range of goals and most of these were met. Overcoming adversity on the day demonstrates the strong club spirit. Being the first race of the year and one of biggest teams we have ever taken to an event, we look forward to future races in the summer season!