Report – Axford Victory at VC Venta Summer RR

Danny Axford comfortably wins re-arranged VC Venta’s 66 mile summer road race at Stockbridge Down in Hampshire

Report – Axford Victory at VC Venta Summer RR

By Eamonn Deane – see many more photos here

Dropping Oscar Hutchings (Bike Shed-University of Exeter) on the final climb of Winton Hill, Danny Axford comfortably won the re-arranged VC Venta, 66 mile summer road race at Stockbridge Down in Hampshire.

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The 40 year old was conceding 9 years to the younger Hutching’s but had the fresher legs and importantly the “nous” to take the win.

Axford had worked his way across a 60 second gap to Hutchings, John Veness (Hand sling) and early leader, Malcolm Dixon (Dream Cycling RT),adding impetus to the breakaway, pulling the lead out to over two minutes but ultimately consigning the three to the minor places.

Robert Ward (Danny Shane-Storck Racing) & Lewis Martin (Eden Veranda Racing) briefly led before Dixon attacked over Winton hill building a lead of 40 seconds on the second of six 13 mile laps. The Bristolian took the £10 prime on the line then eased to allow Hutchings & Veness to join up.

A lap later and riding well together the trio had stretched their lead out to 70 seconds as the sun burned off the last of the mist that had delayed the start by 30 minutes.

Harry Veale (Cycleworks.co.uk),Andrew Syme (Primera-Sports.com), Liam Walsh (VC ST Raphael) & Axford escaped the bunch on lap 4 but could not bridge across to the three leaders and the promising move was snuffed out. Half a lap later Axford went again, found himself alone, put his head down and caught the tiring leaders, setting up his first win of the season.

Originally scheduled for a June date, the VC Venta race was postponed due to flooded road. Slow-to clear mist threatened to scupper the event a second time but Commissaires delayed the start for 30 minutes and thankfully the sun appeared to save the day

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1 Danny Axford Arctic Tacx RT 66 miles in 02:52:04

2 Oscar Hutchings Bikeshed Exeter 00:14

3 Malcolm Dixon Dream cycling race team 00:54

4 John Veness Handsling racing 00:57

5 Alastair Barnard University of Bath 02:15

6 Robert Hurd 02:17

7 Warren Jesse Team Moore Fitness 02:17

8 Thom Hayward VC Venta 02:17

9 Liam Walsh VC St Raphael 02:22

10 George Smith Gillingham & District wheelers 02:22

11 Andrew Syme Primera-sport.com 02:25

12 Harry Veale Cycleworks.co.uk 02:29

13 Cameron Austin Look mum no hands 02:42

14 Stanley Kennett [email protected] House 02:42

15 Matt Cleaver Blazing Saddles Cycles 02:42

16 Will Houghton Hillingdon cycling club 02:44

17 Ian Taylor Leicester forest CC 02:44

18 Dave Billings VC St Raphael 03:21

19 Adam Moore Team Moore Fitness 03:31

20 Alex Anderson Neon-Velo Cycling team 03:33

21 Matt Downie Eden Veranda Racing 03:35

22 Nicholas O’Hara 3C Cycle experience 03:35

23 Simon Jodeth Team Moore Fitness 03:54

24 Lubomir Balek St Ives CC 04:03

25 Andrew Gough VC Venta 04:03

26 Ed Slot Sotonia CC 04:21

27 Patryk Rucki Skinline Race Club 04:37

28 Robert Ward Danny Shane- storck racing 04:52

29 Jed Webber Andover Wheelers 05:04

30 Douglas Tandy Fareham Wheelers 05:04

31 Adam Cotterell Wyndymillar 05:04

32 David Prickett Team Moore Fitness 05:04

1st junior: Mathew Dowie Eden Veranda Racing

1st U23: Alastair Barnard University of Bath

Prime 1 : Malcolm Dixon Dream Racing

Prime 2 : Oscar Hutchings – Bikeshed Exeter

Prime 3 : Danny Axford – Arctic Tacx RT

Reactions

Danny Axford “It was hard to jump across but I needed to do it because the bunch was not really going anywhere, I had tried earlier and expected other guys to come with me, the gap opened and I thought ok, Commit! I got about half way across pretty quick but the second half took quite a long time, I was wondering whether I was going to make it.”

“I could see they were tired, I took the last prime and wanted to try and win on my own, I went into the wind at the hardest point, Oscar came with me, he is just like a limpet, really strong. I had a little dig at the bottom of the climb but Oscar came with me so I put it in the big ring not really because I had the legs but to try an intimidate him a bit then just near the top that’s where I went”

At 40 is it still exciting to win? “Oh yeah, absolutely, yeah, yeah, yeah, I love it!

Oscar Hutchings “Hard, I attacked on the second lap, it took a while for me and John to reach Malcolm, we were working well but it got harder and harder, the course is a war of attrition really draggy. Once Danny caught us I knew we would stay away but also knew my chances of winning were slim, he was going so well. I managed to go with him once on the hill but could not respond the second time”

Malcolm Dixon “ I know the circuit, its very hard but I felt good today, I spent a lap out front on my own but had an eye on my power metre to make sure I was not working too hard. I took the prime then waited for the two behind, it would have been too hard to stay out on my own. We worked well together but when Axford joined it was clear he was strong, I could tell he was going to win it.

John Veness “I was starting to cramp and I was expecting Danny to have a go, I am pleased really, I have not been racing much so it’s nice to still be able to get in the breaks”

Rob Hurd “To be honest I have not done the racing, I would have preferred to have been in better condition, I am still not sure if I will race next year”

Warren Jessie “I fancied my chances this morning but for whatever reason I did not really have it, I was next to Danny Axford when he went, I knew that was the move but I did not have it, a hill climb in a couple of weeks and that’s it”

Andrew Syme “We kept on trying but it’s a tough course, it just wore me down, I dunno…………back to training I guess”

Paul Double “That was horrible, I have been ill all week, I had nothing in my legs, so I pulled out, the national hill climb coming up then that’s it for the season”

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Pedal Heaven DS, Tim Elverson was present at the race and had his eye on a few lads, Tim gave no names away but did stop for a quick chat. “Next year we are running a continental side and a shop team, obviously different BC licences and slightly different kit”.

“The logic is the shop guys will be what we feed into the Continental team for 2017/18, we have a proven pattern at the moment, every year we have a junior who comes into the main team, as we step up for next year we now want a firm plan, the shop side will do the National B and local races, I will help develop how they operate as a team so they are more ready to go into the Continental side.

“The continental side will do some early season national Bs because we need the racing but through the season we will only do National A races. There are a couple of lads here I have my eye on, in fact there are 4 lads we are watching, they are young , you have to look past that, it’s about having potential and its down to us to unlock that potential, it’s not all about results. We have proven that now and have turned three or four lads into decent racers.”