A cold a crisp morning greeted the riders for the 3rd running of the Portmore Classic in Dorset. The course has been described as gently undulating and runs around the Cranborne Chase for 6.5 miles and was to be tackled 8 times.
Thanks to the title sponsors www.portmoreelectrical.co.uk there was a healthy prize purse up for grabs. This year this was split across all laps with the winner of each lap taking home a tenner and double money on laps three, six & eight. Added to this was a points competition which ran every lap with the top 5 places each lap getting ten, eight, six, four & two points respectively, with double points on laps three, six and eight. The winner of that competition would take home £30 and the weight of their winning bike in www.sixpennybrewery.co.ukBeer.
So the peloton rolled out from Horton Village Hall at 10 am onto the course and through the start finish line under neutral conditions. Gerry the Wise drew in the flag from the assistant comms car and the riders were off. A few early squirmishes were nullified by a rampant peloton, but no one could control it forever and Lewis Keightly of Primera TeamJobs clipped off the front and set about putting distance into the group. Lewis blasted through the first lap and crossed the line for the first ‘prime’ he then continued his early expedition and crossed for a second and third time. By this point the angry mob behind were fed with letting the Primera TeamJobs rider take the money and points on offer, so managed to work together and reel him in.
Once back together the peloton contested the fourth lap ‘prime’ as a bunch with Kim ‘Percy Pigs’ Little Merida Factory Racing collecting some pounds & points. It was the lull after the surge for the fourth lap that two Guernsey riders decided enough was enough. They had a reputation to uphold as the two previous editions were won by their fellow islanders. The two riders, Matt Osborn from Team Estera & Andrew Colver from Guernsey Velo Club, quickly set about their task, pushing hard for ten minutes and breaking the will of the chasers behind. The Guernsey men by now had cracked the disorganised bunch behind and were pressing on, at times building their lead to over 1 min 30 secs. With little cohesion in the group behind each lap went past with Osborn & Colver hoovering up the ‘primes’
By the time the sprint for the finish came it was a two up between Osborn & Colver, with the Team Estera rider taking the win. Colver revealed in the post-race chat, that he did the honourable thing giving Osborn the victory as he was the one who really pushed the pace and did the majority of the work in the break. Almost a minute behind four riders had clipped of the front of the drastically reduced peloton on the small climb up to Haythorne, 1 km from the finish. Next over the line was Simon Merritt (GS Vecchi), followed by Archie Whyte (BPF Cycling), Gethin Musk (Performance Cycles) and then Dominic Maxwell (Worthing Excelsior). The peloton then came into view and small group gallop for the minor placing ensued, with Russell Speight (Sotonia CC) 7th, Dan Murphy (Weymouth CC) 8th, Kim “Percy Pigs” Little (Merida Factory Racing) 9th and Zak Snell (Bournemouth Cycleworks/ UK Biking) 10th. So for the third year in a row the winner of the race was from the beautiful island of Guernsey. Osborn was also the winner of the points competition & won the weight of his bike in beer. The strong Guernsey rider was happy to be taking home some prize money and a tidy amount of www.sixpennybrewery.co.uk beer for his travels, thanking the sponsors www.portmoreelectrical.co.uk for their support of the race and saying “the addition of the primes on every lap made for a more aggressive race and was a great addition”.
A huge thank you to all the accredited marshals, officials, drivers, NEG & red flag marshals that make the races happen. Also a huge thank you to Theresa & Julian Day from www.offcamber.co.uk in Blandford for all their support.
Next year keep an eye out for the Sandisons 2-Day which will be held in the springtime.
Thanks to Tom Clements
Top 10: Portmore Classic RR
1. Matthw Osborn Team Estera
2. Andrew Colver Guernsey Velo Club
3. Simon Merritt G.S Vecchi
4. Archie Whyte BPF Cycling
5. Gethin Musk Performance Cycles
6. Dominic Maxwell Worthing Excelsior
7. Russell Speight Sotonia CC
8. Dan Murphy CC Weymouth
9. Kim Little Merida Factory Racing
10. Zak Snell Bournemouth