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A Bridge Too Far Road Race, Bristol Road Club (Cotswold League)

As I trundled down the M5 early on Sunday morning I remember thinking to myself that I probably wouldn’t have entered this race had I bothered to check where it actually was. I’d just assumed that the final round of the Cotswold League would be somewhere in the Cotswolds. It wasn’t. But I’d paid my entry fee, so here I was, driving 100 miles to a small Somerset village called Priddy in the Mendip Hills.

Ride 24/7 riders at the start of the Cotswold League race


Almost as soon as we got underway there was a large crash and the race was stopped. Lots of riders had come down and two were seriously injured so were taken to hospital by the ambulance. This meant the race had no medical cover, so the first 2 laps were neutralised while we waited for the paramedics to return.  Hopefully, the fallen riders make speedy recoveries.

The racing started again with 5 laps to go and it was ferocious from the off. As we hit the climb a group of 7 riders broke clear and quickly pulled out a gap of around 30 seconds. Because the circuit had a lot of long straights the break was never out of sight for long and with a couple of laps to go a group of around 10 of us near the front of the bunch organised a chase. We caught all but one of the breakaway riders with about 5k to go and it looked like a day for the sprinters. I’d worked out during the neutralised laps that this finish was going to suit me, and to be in contention I would need to be one of the first riders around the final corner. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea. I hit the corner in about 15th place, which was way further back than I’d planned, but still good enough to bag me 5th place. A good race and fantastic weather. Well worth the drive.

Provisional Results

1. Gerry Bowditch, Dream Cycle Racing Team
2. Luke Nolan, Live2ride Sunwise
3. Sean Townsend, Raedon Cycle Coaching
4. Charles Ormerod, University of Bristol CC
5. Justin Belcher, Shutt Velo Rapide / Digital Keystone
6. Ross Evans, Live2Ride Sunwise
7. Thomas Leach, Raedon Cycle Coaching
8. Jack Thompson, Performance Cycles
9. Daniel Marshall, T1
10. Mark Perry, Ride 24/7
11. George Smith, Gillingham and District Wheelers
12. Jamie Penton, Dream Cycle Racing Team
13. Stuart McCombie, T1
14. George Wise, Veloton Team
15. Haydon Burton, Bath Cycling Club
16. Christopher Harris, Bristol RC
17. Adrain Lawson, Ride 24/7
18. George Jones, Clevedon & District RC
19. Robert Slocombe, Offcamber
20. Malcolm Dixon, Dream Cycle Racing Team
21. Dave Tiling, Veloton Team
22. Stephen Brown, Dream Cycle Racing Team
23. Tom Clements, Offcamber
24. Hamish Belding, Cardiff Ajax CC
25. John Russell, T1
26. Steve Thomas, Dream Cycle Racing Team
27. Matthew Franklin, T1
28. David Stoyle, Bath Cycling Club
29. Ashley Martin, Easton Ritte
30. Vincent Harding, Unattached
31. Ben Millar, Cardiff Univerity Marmots
32. Casmir Ludwig, Bristol RC
33. Stuart Gorley, Radeon Cycle Coaching

- Justin

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