Connor McGoldrick Primera-TeamJobs

Racing Is Back in 2021

A beautiful, sunny Sunday morning was the backdrop to a fast and exciting Road Race on the Mendips, yesterday. British Cycling’s first “Return to Racing” pilot event, which was successfully run within COVID mitigation measures, proved popular with riders even before the starting flag dropped.

Event Organiser and British Cycling South Region Events Officer, Felix Young commented – “Though the field size and duration were limited, the event felt like a really important first step towards getting back to ‘normal’ road racing, and the demand for places should give us all cause for optimism about the health of the sport. We hope that the great success of the event gives other organisers confidence in the weeks and months ahead, and we’ll be working with others both in the region and nationally to share our own learnings”.

45 riders set off on 3 laps of the well-known Priddy circuit, covering 51kms to the finish line.

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Leaving HQ at Bishop Sutton, riders faced a rather testy few miles of Neutralised Road – including the 12% hill-climb at West Harptree. But, as soon as they reached the top of the Mendips, the race was de-Neutralised and they were off. The pace rapidly increased and it wasn’t long before a mini-break tried its luck.

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The peloton reeled the first attack in – but it wasn’t long before another group of 3 riders staged another attack – this time more successfully.

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The breakaway group quickly established a decent advantage – one, ultimately, that would carry the winner to the line. The peloton tried its best to claw them back.

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Towards the end of the second lap, Conor McGoldrick (Primera Team-Jobs) bravely attacked off the front of the breakaway – which proved a winning strategy.

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20 seconds behind Conor, Charlie Revell (Team Tor 2000 Kalas) worked hard to keep the chasing bunch at bay – but they were closing in.

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Up front, Conor powerfully maintained his advantage – swooping over the line even as the bunch surged after him.

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Conor claimed a fantastic victory in an extremely fast race with Carl Jolly (University of Bristol) and Charlie Revell 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Check out the interview with Larry Hickmott of VeloUK:

Result: Mendips Test Road Race

The event was supported by numerous volunteers – as well as British Cycling Staff and it’s clear from all the feedback that everyone enjoyed themselves – even if the race was, necessarily fore-shortened due to COVID guidelines.

But what it clearly demonstrated was the fun and enjoyment isn’t just experienced by the riders. Volunteers are welcomed in many capacities – and British Cycling provides training and support for new volunteers. Of especial interest in South Region are “new recruit” Accredited Marshals – who perform such a vital role on road races such as that on display yesterday.

If you are interested in hearing more, or are interested in racing in general please contact: FelixYoung@BritishCycling.org.uk