For this race our riders were;
*Charlie had come down with a fever Friday so couldn’t start.
This race has always been tough, with heavy roads,lots of climbs and often harsh weather conditions, but this years race was 1 of the toughest in recent years.
The weather was kind, it wasn’t snowing like last year at least.
However, the wind was forecast to become stronger through the day, and this would influence the race.
140 riders on hilly narrow roads makes for a tough day.
The pace was high from the start and riders were getting distanced from the bunch within the first 10km.
A crash caused a split in the bunch as lead group was going away.
Joe was about to make contact with the group, but got caught in the chaos and couldn’t quite close the final 20 metres.
Joe escaped later in a chase group, but with all the big teams represented up ahead the group didn’t work as well as we would like.
A hugely reduced peleton caught Joe’s group in the final 20km.
Joe finished 31st, with Liam and Jake a little further back.
The race had been smashed to pieces, with huge time gaps.
This stage was set to be potentially even tougher than the previous day, with the wind significantly stronger than the previous day.
Using the stage 1 circuit, plus a circuit with a 15 minute climb of Horseshoe Hill, then returning to the Reservoir circuit.
A group of 6 riders went clear within the first 10km. Jake attacked after the first climb and was making his way across to the break when the TV motorbike held him up and resulted in him being caught by the peleton.
The first accent of Horseshoe Hill was tough, but controlled with pace being set by OnePro.
The climb was tough, but the following decent was equally challenging, with howling crosswinds riders were split into groups.
By the third and final accent of Horseshoe Hill only Joe was at the front of the race.
The front group splintered on the windy decent and Joe had to chase hard in 6 rider group.
Joe rejoined the front group, but was then caught at the rear in the crosswind.
he chased hard and almost made it, but with the race commisaires ever attentive, it was difficult for me to help Joe with the team car.
Joe finished in a small group with riders from OnePro, Madison and Bike Channel.
Joe was 41st on the stage and 45th on GC.
The consensus was that this had been one of the hardest races in a while,
For Joe and Liam it was the toughest race yet, and showed how both Liam and Joe still had much room for improvement to bring their race craft on-par with their physical ability.
The lads had ridden well and gained valuable experience.
The race was won by Tom Stewart (Doncaster lad,adopted Sheffielder..) of OnePro.