The Banbury Star Road Race is a constant in the local road racing scene with many racers both past and present having taken on the challenge. The route is a tough one with 3 laps of a 15 mile (23km) circuit with three ascents of the infamous Edge Hill!
The weather was perfect on the day with dry, sunny weather and only a light breeze. The men’s race for Cat 3/4 riders started the day at 9am, with a maximum field of 80 riders. The club’s team of four riders were; Alexander Craig, Ben Dodd, Andrew Fickling and Jacob Hardy (second claim).
The race got underway after the flag dropped with six riders trying to form a breakaway from the off, the peloton seemed quite relaxed to let them go given the knowledge the the first ascent of Edge Hill was not far away. As expected during the first ascent the race blew to bits with riders all over the road, over the top a group of 25 riders had managed to make a breakaway including our riders Ben Dodd and Jacob Hardy. Just behind in the remainder of the peloton was Andrew Fickling and just behind that was Alexander Craig (still smiling).
Two riders managed to break away from the front group during the second lap and were managing to hold a gap of around 30 seconds over the course of the lap where the front group was thinned down to 23 riders with a 2 minute gap back to the main peloton.
At the top of Edge Hill for the last time Jamie Philpott (no club) managed to drop his breakaway companion Louis Genin (University of Warwick) to go solo with the group of 23 splintering over the top with 6 including Jacob Hardy and Ben Dodd moving away from the rest for a while. This came back together on the descent finish with Philpott winning solo with 53 seconds to Genin who just managed to keep the first group at bay with Jacob finishing strongly in 10th and Ben in 16th with the first group. Andrew finished in 37th in the main peloton with Alex riding the last 2 laps solo and finishing 66th.
It was a fantastic day with great support all round the course and very well run event by Banbury Star CC.
1 Jamie Philpott 1:39:36
2 Louis Genin + 00:53:02
3 Denis Gorman + 00:54:96
10 Jacob Hardy + 00:56:46
16 Ben Dodd + 01:14:56
37 Andrew Fickling + 06:08:08
66 Alexander Craig + 29:08:84
Photos kindly provided by Paul Dean & Chloe Rees.