Sunday 2 June 2019

Ashton & Freeman Take South Region Road Titles! Report/Results

Jack Freeman ( Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT) & Kimberley Ashton (Caesarean CC Jersey) won the South Region road titles on a contrasting day in Wiltshire.
Ashton claimed her 3rd title in 4 years, the 31 year old from Jersey, sprinting to victory in warm sunshine, (they said she couldn’t sprint). While 20 year old Jack Freeman from Alton, Hants took an emotional win in the wind and rain, embracing Mum, Julie, at the finish (or was it the other way round?) as he celebrated winning a title that means something!
Ashton had soloed to victory in 2015 and again in 2017 and a recent "under the hour" 25 on the Island suggested more of the same but she showed more than a little guile, winning the fiercely contested headwind gallop ahead of the effervescent Jenny Holden (Campinensie-Velo Performance) & the junior-gear riding, 17 year old Caitlin Peters (Story Racing).The women's race incorporated the South West championship with Emma Cockcroft (Bianchi Dama) getting the nod ahaed of teammate Natasha Reddy, a shame just a few more did not make the journey east.
Freeman has been in good form but the title was disappearing rapidly up the road as Alexander Cross (Meudon Pedal Heaven RT), George Smith, Chris Rothwell (Nopinz Symec RT),James Roe , Michael Serafin(Team Estera), Nicholas Tyrie (Primera-Teamjobs) & Thomas Bowering (Activeedge RT) pulled out a lead of nearly 3 minutes, the wind and rain helping the break more than the bunch. The 20 kilometre circuit based around Chitterne on Salisbury plain started to ask questions that the 7 could not answer and with 1 lap of the 80 mile race remaining Freeman was back in the game. He made his move at the flame rouge, the rest couldn’t or wouldn’t follow and the title was secure, if there was any doubt the NEG rider alongside confirmed it telling Freeman “You’ve got this”. Hayden Burton (SixtysixRSN) edged out Red Walters (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK) for the silver medal, to make it a trio of 20 year old's on the podium. Ashton, like Freeman has been in good form but was unable to break away, her trademark escape always closed down.
Holden & Reddy briefly held a gap of 13 secs but the bell was ringing and Ashton was leading the chase and the 55 mile race was altogether going into the finale. The key to success in the uphill, headwind gallop was not to go to early,brinkmanship! Ashton waited and waited till it mattered, it was close but that only made it better. Freeman also had to be patient, the 7 man move that had gone clear two hours into the race looked to have done enough to stay away.
Driven first by Roe & Tyrie, then the added horsepower of Bowering, they worked hard into the worsening weather, perhaps too hard? At the bell the cracks were showing, the weather that was helpful now not, the gap was dropping as Rothwell and Roe were pulling away and half a lap later it was all over for the break.

Rider Reaction
Kimberley Ashton “(Champion) Again! I think my training must be working, I am going really well this year and have knuckled down with my training, since the Commonwealth Games last year, I kind of thought I will just do it for fun and when you do it for fun and are happy you seem to go quite well. I tried to attack early on but everyone was chasing, not just myself but anyone who tried to get away. Luckily the sprint is uphill and into the wind, coming from Jersey I am used to the wind and knew where to position myself, I like a tough course”

Jack Freeman “We were 3 minutes down with two laps to go and there were a lot of people unable to work in the wind. I thought the race was gone, there were seven up the road and I had resigned myself to a top ten. At the bell the gap was down to one minute, we knew we could do it, it was a last ditch effort. I went with about a “K” to go, I knew I could not take Red (Walters) to the line. I looked back once and had about ten metre's. The South Championships has been a really big target for me all year, its my first National B win so its been huge for me, a big season goal

Jennifer Holden
If there had just been two more metre's........i recce’d the course in the week, I knew not to go to early, its so tempting to go early. I kept trying to get away, we tried hard but everyone seemed to want it to stay together and the wind made it tough, it was a grippy course rather than hard, the hills are not long enough or steep enough”

Hayden Burton
Not too bad, it was a pretty hard day, the weather made it hard. We kept pushing we knew the break were finding it tough out there. Miles (Burton) and myself were pushing hard. Jack went with a K to go, I was on the front, we let him go, it was a bit of a mistake really. Miles pulled on the front for thirty seconds or so but we couldn’t get him back”

Caitlin Peters
“Its good, unfortunately I just went a bit too early, the wind was picking up each lap. I did not feel great in the race but I am pleased. The rolling circuit made it fast, they were telling me to come through but it was hard on my junior cassette. I am very happy with a podium finish
Red Walters
I put a few digs in early on but people were chasing, the break had a big gap but we kept working. At the finish I knew if i reacted it would not go well for me, the SixtSixty guys would follow, I was not going to react immediately, I was tempted

*Credit must go to organizer Felix Young who took on the Championship at short notice. Along with his team of volunteers, accredited marshals and national escort group moto riders they kept the race running when a couple of non-race traffic issues threatened to halt the event.
E/1/2/3 Women 57 miles
1 Kimberley Ashton Caesarean CC Jersey
2 Jennifer Holden Campinense – Velo Performance
3 Caitlin Peters Storey Racing
4 Poppy Thompson Team Jadan Weldtite-Vive le Ve…
5 Emma Cockcroft Bianchi Dama
6 Nicole Coates Performance Cycles
7 Lucy Gadd Storey Racing
8 Natasha Reddy Bianchi Dama
9 Abbie Manley Hargroves-Montezuma’s
10 Jennifer Hudson Brother UK Fusion RT
11 Fiona Russell Brother UK Fusion RT
12 Louise Woolrich Velo Sport Jersey
13 Megan Dickerson Bristol South CC
14 Victoria Lovett Liv Awol
15 Jessica Finney Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm
16 Lauren Johnston Avid Sport
17 Rebecca Steens Velo Sport Jersey
18 Freya Richardson Hargroves-Montezuma’s

E/1/2/3 80 miles
1 Jack Freeman Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT
2 Hayden Burton Sixtysix RSN
3 Red Walters Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother…
4 Christopher Rothwell Nopinz Symec Race Team
5 George Smith Nopinz Symec Race Team
6 Andrew Kirby 73Degrees CC
7 James Roe Team Estera
8 Sam Firby Casp Racing
9 Charlie Lacaille University of Bristol CC
10 Jared Linden Royal Dean Forest CC
11 David Roper Ride 24/7
12 Nicholas Tyrie Primera-TeamJobs
13 Thomas Bowering ActiveEdge Race Team
14 Miles Burton Sixtysix RSN
15 Alexander Cross Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT
16 Michael Serafin Team Estera
17 Shaun Cook Nopinz Symec Race Team
18 James Peckham Sotonia CC
19 Chris Spence Casp Racing
20 Matt Lelliott Steele Davis Via Roma RT
21 Jack English Team Estera
22 James Bevan Army Cycling Union
23 George Jones BIKESTRONG-KTM
24 Luke Barfoot Tri UK
25 Owen Lewis Velo Club Venta
26 Adrian Lawson Nopinz Symec Race Team
27 Ben Millar Bike City
28 David Kovacs Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT
29 Alexandros Matsangos KMeaters
30 Connah Towers Army Cycling Union
31 David Le Roux Velo Sport Jersey
32 Oscar Hutchings Team Tor 2000 KALAS
33 Marc Cox Team Estera
34 Anthony Roberts Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT
35 Elliot Barratt BIKESTRONG-KTM

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