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PX team crash in RAS Stage 4

PX team crash in RAS Stage 4

Disappointment as crash halts Planet X Train...

Stage 4 of the FBD Insurance RaS ended in disappointment as a crash some 25km from the finish put the Ginger Avenger and his loyal team outof contention.

Another brutal stage in the years race with 179km riding and 2 KOM climbs faced the Planet X boys as the day got underway. The pace was high as 51km were covered in the first hour. Not backwards at coming forwards Dodger Atkin and Stephen Barrett mixed it up with the big guns from the start. The pace must have been high when Lovatt, normally found swinging last man, appeared near the front as said, "F**K that, loads of gutter snipers back there slamming on"

Next thing you know he is trading blows with the Yellow Jersey wearer Dan Craven 50 yards off the front. The stage dragged on and the 2 climbs beckoned. Up and over the first and the Ginger Avenger was still hangingon, climbing with the front group. On the drop down of the mountain Stephen Barratt attacked again, this time the move stuck. 30 secs, 2minutes, 4 minutes. The gap was opening and no-one was riding at the front. Barratt was chasing agroup of 18 riders that had gone clear just before the first climb.

The second climb, the line stretched but the elastic never snapped; the Ginger Avenger accompanied by his team lackey Lovatt was in the chase pack now down to about 50 riders. Once again he had climbed with the big dogs and not got bitten. 45km to the finish, tail wind, flat and Rapha and AM Post were riding at the front. The gap was closing to the leaders and Barratt was still out in no-man's land with Phil Lavery, who recently claimed 2ndin the Lincoln GP behind Chris Newton.

25km out and the gap was down from 6 minutes to 2 minutes and the bunch sprint was on. Then, disaster struck. The lineout was at full stretch with Ginger and Lovatt safely in the middle when a touch of wheels brought down 3 riders and stopped half the group in its tracks. Navigating through the Malay was not enough as the chase group fled the crime scene. Another pop at the stage win gone as Ginger and Lovatt chased but could notregain the group.

Barrett meanwhile was still out, chasing the leaders but notgetting across. 30 seconds was the gap. Then with 4km to go he was caught bythe AM Post / Rapha train. Dodger had managed to sneak through the crime sceneand stay with the chasers and finish safely in the bunch. Not to be denied the Ginger Avenger did unleash the sprint to lead in the group but to-little-to late.

Another day bites the dust...

28 May 2010

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