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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bikeshed UEX Season Review


Bikeshed UEX TEAM PRESS RELEASE

It’s been a long, successful season for the new project, with all the riders on the Bikeshed-UEx squad going through purple patches and suffering some bizarre misfortune along the way.

Al Murison’s run of 10 race wins was outstanding, especially when his final-year degree studies mid- season are factored in. Big wins came at the very well supported Winchester and Bournemouth crits, events that suit Al’s style very well indeed. Always a threat in both, he featured in breaks and made decisive moves when needed, to take some delight in winning- we have photographic evidence! Consistent throughout the year, Al maintained his Elite status comfortably, racing from Feb to Sept, developing into a very capable all-rounder with a monster kick, a great year for him. A real pleasure to have on-board.

Andy Feather ventured into the unknown, keen to find out whether his physical strength translates well into longer, tougher events. I think he found it does, being part of the race-winning break up to 95 miles mark in the National RR Champs proved that. In very good company, when the pressure was on, he featured with the Pros, only to blow when the distance eventually got to him. An outstanding performance that proved a point, form that is backed up with great rides elsewhere, particularly in horrendous conditions at 1 Day in Dorset, for 3rd. Andy gained his Elite licence this year and is an undoubted talent.

Pete Medhurst was a model of consistency throughout the season, ably gaining his 1st cat licence, pushing very hard when needed in his unique style (heads-up racing Pete!). Always eager to get off the front and drive breaks along, Pete enjoyed his best season to date, a great effort all year. Perhaps the most ill fated stories of our season belong to Ash Martin. Combining great form and an eye for the right move, he suffered a spectacular crash whilst in the winning break at Lincoln GP, when a dog took his front wheel at 35 mph! Alongside this, an innocuous slip on gravel in National TTT, when on for a solid top 6 finish, were hard pills to swallow.

However, always able to read a race very well, Ash has developed into an excellent rider, with his obvious TT ability coming on very well, he now has a great deal of race experience from which to draw and develop further. There’s much more to come. Boris Hutchings development is coming on strong, combining very capable TT strength and the ability to climb, proving to be a good combination.

This year was very much a step-up and one for gaining race experience; an excellent ride in Cycle Wilts GP (56th) should bode well, and creditable 6th SW Champs, 9th Overall Ras de Cymru (always a tough race, even more so with 6 hours in A&E and stitches in his hand after Day 2) are solid results on which to build. Rich Oram had a limited season, with his PHD and work in RDE Hospital inevitably forcing his hand somewhat, he nonetheless proved to be a more than capable strongman with undoubted TT ability. Shame about TTT misfortune though.

The team has had great support all year and would like to extend all it’s heartfelt thanks to the sponsors, particularly Bikeshed, the guys at the Uni (good work, Beef), many all-weather feed zone helpers, Sam Bailey for driving and general mucking-in duties, Marcin for being cool, and everyone that has shown a real interest in what we’re doing. It’s all very much appreciated and important to us all.

The programme is developing, the race calendar evolving and we will be fielding a women’s team along side the men’s next year. There will be much more news in coming weeks, but any aspiring rider looking at combining Higher Education with a dedicated, extensive cycling programme should consider the University of Exeter, where cycling and rider development is going from strength to strength.

Contact us for lots more info.

Follow via twitter @BikeshedUEx and Facebook Bikeshed UEx for updates, news, gossip.

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