Paceline RT showed strongly at the opening handicap of the year at Kitsmead Lane on Thursday 30th April with the four in the first eight finishers: Stephen Harvey in 2nd, Andy Clavell 3rd, Andy Lack 7th and Maryka Senemma 8th.
All four were set off in the first group of 3Vs and worked well to maintain a good pace and keep the chasing groups. Addiscombe CC rider David Kennett pipped Stephen and Andy to the line in the sprint, with Andy and Maryka following close behind. Also racing were Gareth Thomas and Damien Breen who were set off in a penultimate group of four but despite riding hard and being joined by the scratch group were not able to make the catch.
Keith Lea set a new 10 mile PB of 19:45 at Tring on Monday 4th May, beating his previous best of 20:11 set on the same course last September. Although well known for being one of the fastest 10 courses in the country with its ‘gift hill’, Keith’s 26 second improvement on the F11/10 is an impressive achievement in its own right and capped a great weekend on the bike following on from 4th place in a 50 mile road race the previous day.
Keith’s time was only 13 seconds slower than winner Pete Lawrence of Team Swift. Teammate Keith Griffin was also racing and came home in 21:38.
Keith Lea lined up for Paceline RT in round 2 of the LVRC Toachim Vets/PS+cyclewear regions 9 and 10 points series on Sunday 3rd May and was pleased to find himself in an aggressive race from the off. Billed as the Herriard circuit, the 50 or so categories A (40-44) and B (45-49) riders faced 8 laps (50 miles) of the Axford circuit following a late change.
“The course was run on narrow roads, single track in places. I wouldn’t like to do the equivalent in Surrey, but we were out in the middle of nowhere, so the few cars out there seemed very patient, pulling into the verge as we approached. The road surface was okay, but it was very wet so it was a race to be near the front to avoid hidden holes and keep out of trouble with tight roads.
“For a while it was a game of ‘chase Rowan’. I guess a lot of the bunch know of VC St Raphael rider Rowan Horner’s ex-Elite reputation.” There followed another solo break (Vince Divine of Finchley) before Keith himself got into break of four, including Horner. This was chased down after a lap but Keith kept plugging away and eventually a break of six formed that started to work well together (Keith, Horner, Gianluca, Vince (Finchley), Warren Jesse (ex-Pedal Heaven), Richard Unwin).
“Next time round the bunch were only 10s behind at the top of the hill. Phil Starr (Python RT) bridged and the group kept working. The gap then started to increase with four good laps of through and off, not too hard up the hill. We lost Richard on the hill (puncture) but had pulled out a minute on the bunch by that point.
“Last time up the hill, Warren went hard and gained a clear gap. Vince Divine was not too far behind. Then me with Phil Starr on my wheel. I pushed hard on the drag but the gap to 2nd didn’t come down. Phil came round me to take 3rd, leaving me in 4th place overall but 2nd in the ‘B’ age category.”