June the 9th saw the HSBC UK National Road Series head to Lancaster for the inaugural Lancaster Grand Prix. It would prove to be a testing circuit consisting of 7 x 12 mile laps and over 8500ft of climbing round the Dolphinholme racing circuit. This staple circuit of North West racing travels through the Forest of Bowland which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. With the start/finish line being located in Lancaster’s Williamson Park.
A top class field of over 100 riders lined up on the start line and despite the fears of rain it turned out to be a lovely sun bathed race. However, it proved to be a tough race for Ribble Pro Cycling and the rest of the field with only half of the competitors who lined up on the start line finishing.
It was a strong showing from the depleted team, with only 5 members of Ribble Pro Cycling making the start line, rather than the 6 that were expected to line up due to injury. The teams aim for the day was to get someone into the days break and hopefully go on to win from there. Sure enough John Archibald broke with two other riders early in the day and eventually built up an advantage of over 3 minutes over the peloton. For a time this looked to be the race winning break and the trio were working well together.
However, it was not to be as the peloton’s big teams combined well to reel the break back in. When the first of the trio cracked, to then drop back into the clutches of the pack it was John who was looking the stronger of the remaining duo. The chasing pack then split into 3 groups of approximately 20 riders. The lead group gradually whittled away the leading pairs advantage and eventually John and his breakaway companion succumbed with approx 15km to go.
Despite the catch, John put in a momentous effort to not only stay with the leading group but to also finish amongst them in the final surge for the line. Eventually finishing in a well deserved 8th place. The rest of the team sadly missed out on this race winning group and had to settle for finishing in the 2nd group on the road. It was a tough day at the office but was a commendable performance from all of the Ribble Pro Cycling team with all riders finishing.
In other news it was a tale of success for the team in the Dave Hitchen 2-Day with Si Wilson taking a clean sweep of all 3 stages and winning the GC outright. Ed Hopper also finished an incredible third on GC to take 2 of the top 3 steps of the podium. It was a great combined effort from all of the team to achieve this incredible result.
The feeling from the squad is that it is all coming together individually and collectively and that they continue to progress in the ranks of the Elite cyclists. Next up is the Circuit of the Mendips on the 16th June.
Want to know what Ribble Pro Cycling ride? Find out here.
Ever wondered what training is involved in Ribble Pro Cycling’s pre-season training camps? Find out more here.