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Ginger Avenger down but not out...

Ginger Avenger down but not out...

Close but no cigar as the Ginger Avenger narrowly missed out on winning the British Cycling Endurance League, Scunthorpe Poly Trophy, 20km Scratch Race on Sunday. This comes only 2 weeks after his year was nearly brought to an Epic end at Newport in a high speed crash during the British Cycling Hard Track Endurance League Madison meeting.

Riding with his trusted partner “coops” the dynamic duo were six laps from winning the first 20km Madison of the Newport meeting when disaster struck. During a string of tight changes and only 6 laps left the Ginger Avenger came whacking down onto the concrete in the middle of the track and landed like a stone.

Unable to regain his feet or get back on the bike Coops finished the final 6 laps and hung onto 5th place; unable to sprint for the final points where the “A Team” had won the first set with ease!

With the season long target of the World Masters Track Championships in Portugal looming at the end of October this was not good news as smashed ribs and a purple and black back were enough to keep the Avenger of his bike for 10 days as he struggled to recover.

Only 7 weeks until Portugal and 3 weeks until the British Cycling National Championships “Ginge” decided to get back on the iron horse (PX Carbon track bike) and head to Scunthorpe for the final BC Endurance League 20km scratch race of the year. Completing a big block of training prior to his crash the Avenger was strong for the main event leading the field in minor break-a-ways as the field of over 40 riders smashed across the track as the speeds reached 35mph.

Coming into the final 4 laps of the 40 lap race and a break in the action offered a chance for the Avenger to go on the attack and he seized the initiative to get a gap over the main field. Only Chris Bush was able to respond and the two men pulled away from the main field.

Taking the bell with 450 meters to go the Avenger led out the sprint but was unable to hold off his rival and multi UK and Euro masters champion Bush. As they came down the back straight into the head wind Chris attacked and opened a gap of 20m and held it to the line.

“I was unable to respond in the final 300m” said the Avenger. “I can’t really get out of the saddle or put any pressure through the bars so I was relying on just legs, seems they are piss weak!!. It was a good day, 3rd in the Devil, 5th in the block handicap and 2nd in the big race”.

The focus now turns to the British Cycling National Track Champs at the end of September where he will ride the Scratch and Points events in preparation for the World Masters in Portugal.

“The BC Champs are great practice for the World Masters. They will be very fast and extremely difficult races to even hang on to. The standard in the UK is so high that going from this to the World Masters should provide great preparation. I just hope I can get back into training soon or it could be a very long and disappointing year”.

7 September 2010


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