10/08/2011 - ERNIE CLEMENTS TWO DAY RACE REPORT
Location :MALVERN, WORCS
On day one the prologue started at 11 am in cool blustery conditions. The 1.5 mile course was mostly uphill with a nasty little 10% climb midway through. Mike Garth was the fastest rider in race 1 ABC, & John Callaghan the winner of race 2 DEFG.
The first days road stage, much to the dismay of the older riders was amalgamated into one race consisting of 45 riders. Three riders got away on the first of 8 laps around Hanley Swan / Rhydd circuit. They gained a minute on the bunch but were brought back on lap 3. There were numerous attacks off the front but all came to nothing. On lap 4 Marcus Walker attacked with Nick Giles crossing the gap to him. After a lap together and building up a 30 second lead, Nick Giles dropped Walker to solo the last 3 laps on his own to take the stage win. On the penultimate lap due to a clash of wheels 6 riders were brought down with one rider being taken to hospital with 3 broken ribs. On the final lap with the riders ready for a bunch sprint they came across the prevoius crash with the paramedics working on the casualty from the first crash. Due to the ambulance being parked at the side of the road and an oncoming car the road width was dramatically reduced and resulted in another clash of wheels and a further 7 riders came down,fortunately without any serious injuries. Apart from the breakaway rider all others were awarded the same time as the crash was within a few yards of the finish.
Day 2 on the Welland circuit started with 11 riders not signing on due to the previous days mishaps. Again only one race was held due to the size of the two groups. John Callaghan & Garth were the wearers of the 2 yellow jersey`s. Attacks were frequent throughout day two but all came to nothing. The break of the day was by Peter Georgi but was pulled back on the last of three laps. The last mile of the race was ridden in a heavy shower which ended in the forecast bunch sprint. Both race leaders held on to the time advantages and were GC winners John Callaghan in race 2 & Mike Garth the winner of race 1.