SNCC hosted the third race in the NCRA Spring Series on the Keysoe circuit. The circuit is just over 9 miles, forming a rectangle starting in Keysoe, heading to Bolnhurst, the Bushmead Crossroads, Little Staughton then back to Keysoe. The riders had three laps to cover.
The races follow a handicapped format with 8 minutes separating the first and last riders at the start. Representing the club were Jake Hennessy, David Palmer, Alasdair Higgns, Joe Finucane and Dan Baxter. Dan and Alasdair started in the second group; following his victory the previous week Jake was pushed back to the fourth group while Joe (defending from last year) and David were in the fifth and final group
At the end of the first lap riders from the first group off were the first ones through, but the other groups were not far behind; the last group having halved their eight minute deficit. The five St Neots riders all looked comfortable in their groups.
By the time the third lap started, the race had been shaken up. A strong northerly wind was making the back straight to Staughton hard work. A good sized leading bunch had formed from the first three groups, but the 4th and 5th groups had joined up too with Jake and a couple of juniors leading a strong charge not far behind. They continued to push through dropped riders until the lead group was caught.
Plenty of spectators lined the finish with a growing air of expectation. A mile down the road, you can see the summit of Mill Hill in Keysoe Row. All eyes were turned to it, scanning for the first race car to crest. When it did, the finish line hushed and the excitement grew. Wayne, in the lead car was first across the line, then leading the sprint for the line came Jake to take his second consecutive NCRA win! David and Joe came in 5th (for the third race in a row) and 6th respectively. Dan finished 19th and Alasdair came in further back.
Overall a good day for the club. The race ran smoothly and last year’s teething problems were a thing of the past. Of course no race can happen without support, so a big thank you to all the club members who volunteered to make the race happen.