Peter Young Memorial Road Race
Sunday 20th March

Now that the Hounslow event attracts professional teams, there are often attempts by one team to dominate the race, but no one in the past has been as masterful as the Motorpoint Pro Cycling Team was last Sunday (20th March).

Pete Williams and Marcin Bialoblocki

Pete Williams and Marcin Bialoblocki approach the line

The break of the day went on the third lap and consisted of five members of the six man Motorpoint squad (Marcin Bialoblocki, Ian Bibby, Tobyn Horton, Johnny McEvoy and Pete Williams). It also included Grant Bayton (Wilier Go Self Drive), Ian Knight (Team Corley Cervelo), Mike Wragg (Python RT), Nic Hutchings (CS Grupetto), Hugh Wilson (Wilier GSD), Gunnar Groenland & Lewis Atkins (both Twenty 3c Orbea) and Yanto Barker (Pendragon Colnago Le Col). These riders took all the top finishing positions.

A second break formed on the prime hill at the end of that third lap. This included the remaining Motorpoint, James Sampson and from Team Corley - Roy Chamberlain, Simon Gaywood, Ashley Cox and Jake Hales, plus the well known local rider Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport) and about ten others. However this group did not work together effectively, with most of the work at the front coming from Team Corley and the lone Sigma Sport man, but even so it managed to get within about 15 seconds of the leaders. At this point the original break became aware that the chasers were closing on them and they upped their game. Their acceleration caused the failure of a desperate effort by the one Motorpoint to bridge the gap alone.

By the closing laps on the finishing circuit the five Motorpoint men had all got away from the break and were divided between the two leaders, Williams and Bialoblocki, who were doing a speedy two-up just beyond the sight of the other three, Bibby, McEvoy and Horton. At the finish it seemed that Williams and Bialoblocki had agreed to &ldqo;dead heat” - a reasonable strategy since they had clearly shared the work evenly over the last few miles. However, although Marcin Bialoblocki made a victory salute, it was clear that Pete Williams was first over the line by half a wheel.

The sprint for sixth place

The remains of the break sprint for sixth

Afterwards Williams generously said that the verdict might have gone to any of his team mates, but that “Once Marcin and I were clear, the others would not chase down their own jersey”.

Phil Griffiths, the owner of the Motorpoint team and himself a former champion rider, was acting as directeur sportif for his team for this race. He said it was difficult to find enough races of an adequate standard for his team in Britain, which meant they often needed to travel to Europe to race. However he complimented the high standard of the opposition in this event and said that his riders had found it harder to get away than they had expected. “It was like a criterium for the first two laps” was his comment.

Here can be seen the current weakness in our bike racing scene as we approach 2012: there's plenty of enthusiasm, money isn't a problem and there are some great riders, but there is too much reliance on club volunteers, many of whom are becoming increasingly elderly. The Hounslow race almost came to an end last year through lack of a promoter, and this has been the fate of many other races. Whether more money would help is a moot point, what is certain is that more volunteers and organisers need to be found.

View the full results here

Chris Lovibond