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Ride Reviews - Cycling Section

Saturday 21st April saw James Gibney race at Darley Moor circuit in Derbyshire. The race consisted of a large field of 90 riders, Gibney knew that Darley Moor was renowned for crashes, this was highlighted after a crash on the neutralised warm up lap. Gibney stayed at the front of the peloton through the entire race and avoided doing any efforts on the front.  The race came down to a bunch sprint Gibney managed to sprint from the bunch and gain a 7th place finish and the first points of the season.
Thursday 26th April was the Mid Shropshire Wheelers night Circuit Race and saw James Gibney racing.  This was a 50-minute circuit race at the purpose-built outdoor circuit at Sundorne Leisure Centre in Shrewsbury.  There was a bunch of 35 riders who took part in the event with several riders attempting to get away in a break after half an hour.  However, no break was successful and it came down to a bunch sprint where Gibney finished mid bunch in 15th place.  
Saturday 28th April saw John Lucock represent WMPCC at the BDCA 10 mile national open time trial at Etwall, Derbyshire.  In tough windy, cold and wet conditions Lucock posted a time of 20:11 for the 10 miles, averaging 29.8 mph he placed 4th overall in the race 11 seconds behind the winner, Daniel Barnett, Bottrill performance coaching.
Sunday 29 April 2018 Wyre Forest CRC Spring Road Race;
James Gibney and Gary Blackman made the short trip to take part in this race that is actually near Worcester but hosted by Wyre Forest Cycling Club. The race itself consisted of 7 laps of a 7.2 mile rolling course plus the neutralised zone of a few miles.
As soon as the flags went down and the lead vehicle took off it was fast and furious. Gibney did a great job of staying at the front of the peloton, covering and countering moves. A brief spell in the lead by Blackman with 3 laps to go amounted to nothing and it became clear that this was coming down to a sprint. The peloton relaxed, gearing up for the final gallop. However, Chris Childs from Clee Cycles made a surprise move on the last lap. No one had the legs and he held on for the win. The race behind was on from 3 miles out and everyone was trying to bully themselves towards the front. The road turned right with 500m to go and was so narrow that your position there would likely be where you finished.
Narrowly avoiding crashes, Blackman finished in 20th and Gibney in 28th having been badly boxed. All in all a good effort and some quality racing miles in the legs with the average speed having reaching 25.5mph.
Some photos can be found here:
Wednesday 2nd May saw James Gibney represent WMPCC in the Overst Race 3/4 Race in Plungar, Nottingham.  This was a circuit and total race distance of 35 miles.  Gibney stayed at the front of the bunch and attempted to attack after 2 laps as there were a select number of riders willing to make any effort on the front of the peloton.  This was unsuccessful but after 4 laps he tried again this time 3 over riders attempted to breakaway a short gap was gained for a short time before Gibney was absorbed back into the bunch.  The Race finished in a slight uphill hill sprint where Gibney finished just outside the top 10. 
Sunday 6th May saw John Lucock and James Gibney represent WMPCC in the Phil Ward Memorial Road Race, a 2/3/4 category cycle race covering 70 miles in Leighton, near to Ironbridge in Shropshire.  The race yielded a field of strong riders and Lucock managed to get into a breakaway of ten riders at approximately 30 miles into the race.  With the pace pushed high for the rest of the race, the breakaway was successful and managed to outrun the peloton to the line where Lucock came 5th in the uphill sprint to the finish and Gibney finished in the bunch who were nearly a minute down on the break. The average speed of the breakaway was 26.9 mph for the 70-mile race.
Thursday 10th May saw James Gibney take part in the first race in the SSSCCRRL (South Staffordshire & Shropshire Cycling Clubs Road Race League).  As the only representative of WMPCC to enter the whole series of League Races Gibney was situated within group 2.  The races are handicapped with riders from group 1-4 being allocated different time gaps each week to encourage riders to work together to stay away from the Cat 1/2 riders in group 4.  The race was in Knighton a circuit of 7 miles and consisted of 35 miles in total.  Group 2 were caught by group 3 within 3 laps.  Gibney managed to hold on and stay with group 3.  The pace was high and average speed 25.9mph and quickly swept up group 1 on the road.  It wasn’t until the last 2-3 miles that group 4 caught one of those riders attacking early for a solo victory.  Gibney managed to hold on to finish with the bunch.  
Thursday 17th May saw James Gibney take part in second round in the SSSCCRRL at Charlton in Shropshire.  The race was fast from the start and group 2 swept group 1 up on the road after 2 laps.  Groups 1-2 then managed to stay away until the last lap when they were caught by 6 riders from group 3-4 who had managed to bridge across the gap.  Gibney managed to hold on to the wheels coming into the finish and sprinted for the line finishing in a respectable 6th place.
Thursday 24th May saw James Gibney and Gary Blackman take part in the third round of the SSSCCRRL this time in Bridgenorth.  The race is a 17-mile circuit made up of 2 laps.  Group 2 worked well together again sweeping up group 1 within the first lap.  With half a lap to go a group of 8 riders from groups 3-4 again managed to bridge the gap to groups 1-2.  On doing this the pace was increased Blackman putting in a big effort to keep the pace high and hold onto the wheels of the 8 who had caught the bunch. On the final climb to the finish, Gibney managed to make the effort count to squeeze just inside the top ten with a 9th Place finish and Blackman with 15th Place finish.
Friday 1st June saw James Gibney take part in the Lichfield No frills circuit race at Curborough circuit.  This consisted of a  bunch of 25 riders.  The Race was aggressive from the start with several riders attempting to break away from the main group.  Gibney followed those attacks that looked dangerous and sat comfortably at the front of the group through the race.  On the last lap, Gibney managed to move up and kicked out of the final corner to sprint to his first win of the season.     
Sunday 3rd June saw James Gibney and Gary Blackman take part in Round 3 of the Midland Road Race series which was organised by the Ely R.T. on a new course at Weobley.  Wow, what a race the course didn't look that difficult but at the end of the race, the bunch was in bits with riders finishing in small groups up to 10 minutes down.
The race got off to a flying start with a group of 6 going clear right from the start.  At the end of lap 1, they had a 45-second lead and held this advantage over the next few laps. About 3/4 of the way through the race the break started to get a bit ragged.  With 2 laps to go and perhaps sensing danger, Paul Jones set off on his own just before the 3 got across. He then time trialled to a solo victory finishing over a minute clear.
Meanwhile, there were more attacks from the bunch.
All in all a very well-run event on a good course that produced some exciting racing. I hope the riders enjoyed it as much as the spectators. 
Thursday 7th June saw Gary Blackman and James Gibney take part in the fifth round of SSSCCRRL at Stourport Race circuit where groups 1-2 raced separately to groups 3-4 due to the tight nature of the track.  Again from the start Gibney attacked keeping the pace high for the first 10 minutes of the race.  It was then Blackman’s turn to attack and Gibney blocked on the front of the bunch to give Blackman a slender lead and he stayed away for a couple of laps before the group worked to bring Blackman back.  Both Blackman and Gibney took it in turns to attack and block softening up the bunch.  On the final lap both Blackman and Gibney were in prime position for the sprint and finished 2nd and 3rd respectively and achieving a great result from some aggressive teamwork
Kind Regards
James Gibney
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