The first week of summer term has seen Durham Uni – AURA Cycles riders competing both locally and nationally, with the BUCS 25 Championships in Cambridge marking an end to the BUCS time trial series and a fitting climax to an excellent week of racing.
Will Haynes was the sole Durham representative at the TLI Croft series on Tuesday night. Despite there not being any BC points up for grabs, an impressive field of 90 riders still turned up to test their legs in this popular summer series, including local stars such as Team Raleigh’s Matt Kipling. Run as a handicapped race, Will was in the scratch group, with 2 further groups up the road to chase down. Not wanting to risk getting caught up in the large bunch, Haynes immediately attacked the peloton when the junction was made between the scratch group and the now combined first and second groups. A further 3 riders joined the head of the race, however this was soon whittled down to 2 as the pressure was applied up front. An impressive ride by Will and his breakaway companion Michael Dales (Velo29) saw the duo sprint for the victory, with Will marginally missing out on the win to take a brilliant 2nd place.
Haynes was again in action on Thursday night, this time joined by teammate Andy Miles at the 2nd round of the TLI Newburn Riverside Criteriums. On a short, fast course around the local business park, the race was run in the form of a 40 lap points race, with 8 sprints in total being contested every 5 laps. From the off the Durham riders were active at the head of the race, taking turns to get in the early moves. On lap 11, after the 2nd sprint, a break did eventually stick, with Haynes being joined by 3 other riders. This proved to be the decisive move and the group, eventually whittled down to 2 stayed away to contest the remaining sprints. In an impressive display of domination, Haynes comfortably mopped up all but one of the remaining sprints to stick 39 points on the board, 22 more than Sports Cover’s Collin Humphrey in 2nd place. Once the break was established, Miles had a fairly straightforward race controlling proceedings at the head of the bunch, eventually finishing 8th.
After the recent successes at the BUCS TTT and 10 Champs, Saturday marked the return to the crazy world of time trialling, with bikes and bodies once again modified to trim away the seconds and find those extra watts at the 25 Championships. Representing Durham Uni – AURA Cycles were Rich Abraham, Alex Clayton, Andy Miles and Will Haynes, with Kat Broadbent flying the flag in the woman’s event. A reasonably tough course was made tougher by a heaving north-easterly wind funnelling down the lumpy finishing straight, a world away from the speedy course used last year in Oxford. Riders covered 2 laps of a 12 ½ mile triangular circuit, with a fast wind-assisted straight followed by a nasty cross wind stretch before the treacherous run-in to the finish. First off was Kat, who recorded a 1.16.29 to finish in 16th place amongst a strong field dominated by Cambridge riders. Rich then posted a respectable 1.03.34 to come home in 47th before Will (16th), Alex (19th) and Andy (20th) all had good rides to come home in under the hour. Haynes recorded an excellent 57.47, whilst for the second week running Clayton finished a handful of seconds ahead of Miles with times of 58.38 and 58.57 respectively. As a team this put Durham in a pleasing 5th place behind Birmingham, Oxford and two strong Cambridge teams.
This week sees another busy racing schedule with Durham riders competing at Croft on Tuesday, Newburn/Prissick on Thursday then a double header at the weekend with Hetton on Saturday and the Ballantyne Trophy Road Race on Sunday. Let’s hope for another fruitful week, race reports to follow next weekend…