Sunday 14 February 2016

Townsend in Perfs Heaven!

Rory Townsend (Pedal Heaven RT) won the 51st Perfs Pedal Race as the UCI Continental outfit made it a 1-2-4 at Southwick in Hampshire. DS Tim Elverson had stated the intention was to win the race; there was no arrogance in their ambition, rather a professional expectation.
Townsend recovered from a last lap puncture to claim victory,impressive taking 5th place last year, Townsend deserved the win, however Pedal Heaven did not have it all their own way. Gunther Zechmann (London Phoenix CC ), Al Murison (unatt), Liam Walsh (VC EQUIPE/FLIX1), Chris McNamara (Nunn Sigma Sport London RT)& Mikey Mottram (HR Owen Maserati RT) took the race to the boys in green & black, attacking on the tough circuit and refusing to be detached when pressure was applied on the cranks up front. Pedal Heavens legs may have been carrying some fatigue from a high-volume Spanish training camp and plans to boss the race from the front were thrown into further disarray on the first lap as the race was neutralized to allow safe passage for an ambulance on an emergency call, thankfully unconnected . Commissaires neutralized the race again shortly afterwards, this time to warn riders for crossing the white lines. The truncated start kept the bunch together and frustrated the Conti outfit as Mottram attacked early, building a lead of some 40 seconds.
Zechmann too was no respecter of reputation, the 33 year old Austrian looked comfortable as he stretched the thinning bunch out on Portsdown Hill, having also tried early on.Ultimately though they were rewarded, reducing the race to just 13 as they approached the final climb. Behind these the race had split into two groups, both never giving up the chase in sunny un-perfs like conditions.
Townsend punctured at the foot of Portsdown, no panic and a quick change from neutral service cost him no more than 20 secs and a serious effort saw him quickly back with the leaders, recovering in the wheels. Teammate Grant Ferguson attacked across the top, amazingly it was Townsend who reacted jumping across to Ferguson, the move was brought back but immediately Joe Fry went on the offensive, Fry was brought back and Townsend made the move, establishing a lead of 15 seconds as he descended to Southwick. The gap continued to grow as the 20 year old time trialled to the finish, his victory salute, a private tribute to a friend!
Lots more pictures on our facebook page.
Rider Reaction
“ Really, really happy, I can barely stop smiling, this race last year was a coming of age for me really, first time I had been in the mix-up, so for me it was one I was keen to win. Being at university I have got to make the most of good form when I have it, I have had a bit more time to train recently hence my form. Initially I was calm when I punctured, I put it in the big gear to get the wheel out and was ready when service arrived, it was no good being behind the car so I had to put in a serious effort going up the hill, it wasn’t that I thought I would not get back on, more of what it would take out of me. I sat in behind Grant (Ferguson) he moved over to give me a bit of shelter. I attacked again after Joe (Fry) was caught and the moto rider told me I had 15 seconds. That road is a hard road and where I got the gap. I have done a bit of time trialling lately, something I have never done before and its given me the confidence that when I am by myself I can do the job. It was only 8 km to go I knew no one in that chasing group could bring me back."
Did things go the way the team planned?
“Not quite no, being our first race as a UCI team it would have been nice to beat OnePro’s Performance of last year. Problems on the circuit, the ambulance, everyone got a bit of a rest and the group was bigger than we had hoped. Everyone in the team pulled their weight, we had someone we wanted to win it but no one was protected, you have to earn your victories”

Mitch Webber
We planned to hit hard on the first climb but it got neutralized for the ambulance, so we held it off for a lap but it was neutralised again and it disrupted our flow. We hit hard again and reduced it to fifteen or so but there were some strong guys in there but they were relying on us to break it up. It did not go the way we planned but we won it, that’s all that matters really. The tactics on the road changed, they had to, we were attacking and it came good in the end, Alex (Paton) lit it up but I put in a dig and held on. As long as a Pedal Heaven rider won we are happy”

Chris Macnamara
“My race was about marking Pedal Heaven, I knew they would smash it up the climb, I think they went to do it first time but the race got neutralised, the second time they hit it really hard, then just drove it and drove it, that caused a split and they just rode from there. They were trying to put men up the road and we were just trying to cover it, I was a bit of a passenger to be honest. I thought they would get two or three away but a few lads in the break were strong, Gunther rode well and Al Murison was very strong. I thought they were running out of ideas but then Rory went and there was that classic hesitation with people looking at eachother”

Al Murison
“ Pedal Heaven were riding hard to start with but I felt they were running out of gas to be honest, they started looking round a bit. I tried to split it on the last climb, just to improve my odds a little, I had them on the edge but did not have the legs to split it. I felt good but there were so many of them just 1-2ing us all the time”

Gunther Zechman
it was good, I got into the break, I felt good, always with the first race it’s a bit of benchmarking, where you stand. Pedal Heaven made it tough. I like the hill, I am a good climber, I tried to stretch it out and shed a few riders and it was tough with the wind. It was always tactical with Pedal Heaven pushing. Rory punctured right in front of me, it was just at the bottom of the hill, I felt sorry for him, I never thought he would ever get back on, so good team work and richly derserved.”

Mikey Mottram
“Solid race, its early season, I have been away on training camp in Spain, so am feeling good. A steady week this week, it would have been better with another big team, Pedal Heaven were solid, I went on the first lap, when they came across they were riding hard, the cross wind on the top of the course is where the gaps opened up, you don’t often get those proper cross winds in the UK, I enjoyed that, a good day out! We had to take it to Pedal Heaven, we could not just let them do their own thing but Rory was comfortable”

George Stainton-Ellis, caught up in a crash....
“Yeah not too bad , I've fractured my scapular and a bit of road rash but shouldn't be out for too long. Someone braked and moved across In front of me towards the bottom of the descent and completely took my front wheel out sending me tumbling across the road at speed. Nothing I could do to keep me upright!”

Race Director Mick Waite
Mick Waite insisted he could not have asked for more from the 51st Perfs Pedal, Reports Rob Atkins.........
The 69-year-old, who organises the race on behalf of host club VC St Raphael, watched a week of heavy rain and high winds make way for brilliant sunshine as riders tackled the 46-mile battle on the outskirts of Portsmouth.
Rory Townsend claimed victory for pre-race favourites Pedal Heaven after an ambulance had forced the opening lap of Portsdown Hill to be neutralised.
Chief commissaire Tim Knight also had to disqualify a couple of riders for crossing the white lines and using the opposite carriageway.
However, they were minor details in an otherwise successful running of the prestigious contest, which has become the traditional curtain-raiser for the British road racing season.
Waite said: ‘Considering how changeable the weather has been, we couldn’t have asked for better.
‘The sun came out and we had a lovely day in the end. It probably made the race a little bit easier than normal, which is not such a bad thing.
‘As events go, that’s about the best you were going to get. Everything went so well.
‘I know there were a couple of issues and Tim disqualified a couple of riders. But they know they must keep on the right side of the road.
‘The way it is with traffic at present, they know they have got to do it right. The rules are there for their own safety.
‘I was not concerned about that one bit.’
Waite did not see the ambulance which, responding to a 999 call, caught up with the peloton just a few minutes after the flag dropped.
But he believes the experience of his team, which included the likes of moto commissaire Colin Docker and senior judge Mick Metcalf, meant it was dealt with calmly and efficiently.
Waite said: ‘I didn’t see the ambulance but if you’re going to have a problem, I guess that is the time to have it because it could have messed the race up completely.
‘I try to use senior officials all the time. People like Mick, who is a senior commissaire, and Colin, who is a UCI national commissaire.
‘You just have to surround yourself with the best people and that’s what it is all about.
‘They have the experience and knowledge to deal with situations like that safely and they did.’
VC St Raphael’s wait for a second winner of the Perfs Pedal – following Paul Rogers in 1991 – goes on.
But Waite had no complaints about the result.
He added: ‘I reckon it was just about right.
‘We had the radio up at the finish and, while I missed the first couple of laps, you could tell what was happening.
‘It wasn’t just a case of Pedal Heaven had gone.
‘There was plenty of activity – in front and behind.
‘I was talking to one of our riders and he felt if the second group had all got together they might have pulled some more of the gap back. But it’s early season.’

Results (Provisionl)
1. Rory Townsend / Pedal Heaven
2. Mitch Webber / Pedal Heaven @ 30”
3. Tom Mazzone / Pedal Heaven Excel Academy @ 31”
4. Lloyd Chapman / Pedal Heaven @ st
5. Alex Murison / BC PM
 @ 33”
6. Mikey Mottram / HR Owen Maserati RT
 @ 34”
7. Liam Walsh / VC Equipe/Flix @ 35”
8. Gunther Zechmann @ 37”
9. Alex Paton / Pedal Heaven
 @ 39”
10. Chris McNamara / Nunn Sigma Sport London RT
 @ st
11. Grant Ferguson / Pedal Heaven
 @ 44”
12. Joe Fry Pedal / Heaven
 @ st
13. Tom Chandler / VCUK PH-Mas @ 2’ 05”
14. Matt Woods / Performance Cycles @ 2’ 08”
15. Adam Capes / PMR Toachin House
 @ st
16. Jack Freeman / VC Meudon @ st
17. Paul Double / VC Venta
 @ 2’ 09”
18. George Smith / Radeon-Bike @ st
19. Lee Frost / Team Tor 2000 @ st
20. Andrew Turner / KTM-Impsport
 @ 2’ 11’
21. Phil Trodden / Team Moda-Anon
 @ st
22. Ryan Visser / Hoste Taap Storck
 @ st
23. Daniel Nieto / TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT
 @ st
24. Will Harper / Pedal Heaven Excel Academy 
 @ st
25. Freddie Philips / Hoste Taap Storck
 @ 2’ 13”
26. Benjamin Marks / @ st
27. Harry Veale / @ st
28. William Haynes / Reading CC 
 @ st
29. Matthew Downie / Eden Veranda 
 @ 2’ 15”
30. Peter Merritt / TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT 
 @ st
31. Andrew Williams C/ wmcarn Paragon @ st
32. James Champken / VC St. Raphael/Waite Contracts/Hewitt Cycles@ 2’ 19”
33. Oscar Hutchings / Primera/Team Jobs @ 2’ 24”
34. George Wise / VC Equipe/Flix @ 2’ 29”
35. Scott Probert / HR Owen Maserati RT
 @ 2’ 35”
36. Calum Croft / Primera/Team Jobs @ 2’ 40”
37. Tom Hargreaves / Nunn Sigma Sport London RT
 @ st
38. Liam Yates / Neon-Velo @ 2’ 44’
39. Matt Clarke / Pedal Heaven Excel Academy 
 @ 2’ 46’
40. Barnabas Purbrook / London Dynamo 
 @ st
41. Ashley Hutchison / VC St. Raphael/Waite Contracts/Hewitt Cycles @ 2 50”
42. Sol Warwick / Pizzeria Espanola @ 2’ 53”
43. Josh Lawless / PMR Toachin House @ 2’ 54”
44. Ben Lockett / Tri UK @ st
45. Mike Smith / @ 2’ 56”
46. Andy Betts / Nunn Sigma Sports London RT @ 3’ 10”
47. Adam Thompson / Reading CC @ st
48. Will Ranoe / HR Owen Maserarti RT @ st
49. Ben Foames / TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT @ st
50. Paul Hayward / Cwmcarn Paragon @ st
51. Tom Morris / Portsmouth North End @ 3’ 11’

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