Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The real Wolf Hall?

You've seen the tv series, now follow the sign
I've read the books, I've seen the tv series and now I've seen the house. Well actually I haven't – it's not there any more – but I have visited the spot where Henry VIII's wife to be, Jane Seymour and her family lived.
The clue was a road sign pointing to 'Wolf Hall' and the name of the canal bridge above the top lock of the Crofton flight.
And it leads you to Wolf Hall Manor but not the real one
All that's left of the Seymour manor house today is a sprawling but decidedly down at heel part 16th century house, called, yes, Wolf Hall Manor and across the road is Wolf Hall Farmhouse, whose hugely out of scale Tudor chimneys suggest a property much older than the rest of the present building. Historians reckon it was probably the laundry for the main house.
And where is that? Well somewhere in between the two buildings but not a trace remains. Not even a painting. Last surviving part was a great barn which Henry apparently visited. This was destroyed by fire in the early 20th century though by then was in ruins.
Huge Tudor chimneys are a clue to the farmhouse's origins
Hilary Mantel fans will know the story of Jane Seymour, the modest lady in waiting he took a fancy to while married to Anne Boleyn, wife number two. The day after Anne's head was removed he married Jane!
But it wasn't long before the Seymour family's luck changed. Jane produced the much wanted male heir (the future Edward VI) but died of complications shortly afterwards at only 29. Her two brothers later cashed in on the family contacts with royalty - Thomas tried to marry various royally connected women including the then Princess Elizabeth but finally had to settle for the dead Henry VIII's ageing widow. He then got involved in various treasonous plots and lost his head too.
Brother Edward was made Protector to the young King Edward VI but syphoned off the royal cash to fund building of Somerset House and Syon Park House. He was beheaded as well after unwisely going for a third new build pile too. Later his son crossed Elizabeth I, was chucked in jail for a few years and came out to find Wolf Hall in rack and ruin so it was pulled down.
The present manor spent some years as a haunt of local hippies and druggies before it was recently inherited by the grandchildren of the late owner. One of these now lives there with his family and, boy, do we wish him luck with his restoration project. It makes our ten year restoration of the White House in Suffolk look look like a quick re-decoration job.

Monday, 29 June 2015

It's all down hill from here

Moving up through the picturesque Wooton Rivers locks
The top of the Caen Hill flight might be regarded as the moral summit of the Kennet & Avon Canal but the actual summit is nearly 20 miles on at the Bruce Tunnel, a five hundred yard long tunnel that we came through today and then dropped down six locks to Crofton Pumping Station.
It is all down hill from here to the River Thames at Reading, though a long drawn out, slow down hill of forty something locks strung out across nearly as many miles.
Pewsey's statue of King Alfred stands in the village centre
We've done the trip from All Cannings in two stages. On Sunday, suffering mild cabin fever after a day trapped inside by insidious, non-stop rain, we set off when the sun finally came out at five p.m. and reached our goal of Pewsey in just over two hours.
I suppose it was inevitable but shortly after I'd commented to Harrywoman that the K&A might be shallow at the edges but as a wide canal it was always decently deep in the middle when we ground through some filth in a bridge hole and spent the next five miles churning slowly through shallow, silty waters.
The trouble is that for mile after mile the banks are eroded, eating right into the towpath in places, so the canal has become wider and shallower, and more and more silt has been deposited into it. Presumably piling of the edges isn't allowed by the nature lovers so eco-friendly new banks are being laid with painstaking slowness. It was never a problem when the canal's boats were horse-drawn but the coming of power – and especially the 'too fast' brigade has created it.
Guide book opinions differ on Pewsey. Michael Pearson says it 'admirably repays a visit' while Nicholsons says it has 'the usual mixture of buildings; while many are attractive, few are noteworthy'.
We'd go with the latter: aside from a decent Co-op and a charity shop the shops are esoteric in the extreme – galleries, bespoke furniture makers and a clock restorer. And, all the while, the little town is pulverised by main A-road traffic. Even the pleasant little station, just out of town, seems not quite up to its extravagant praise in both guides.
Brian meets Sally: a friend from a boat we locked with
And so, after a short tour, we moved on from Pewsey for the short run up through the four Wooton Rivers locks that hitch the canal up to its summit. They are a memorable little quartet, each one delightfully set in its own, individualistic backdrop.
Burbage Wharf, once a working site by the summit tunnel
After the tunnel it was a descent through six of the nine Crofton locks – a slow descent since each lock had to be refilled before we could enter as the instructions say each has to be emptied after use (it's to avoid flooding of the summit level since there is no other way of dealing with any surplus water pumped up to the top).
The picture postcard village of Wilton
After a very hot day the ship's cook quite rightly decided on an evening off and we took a ten minute walk across the fields for a very decent meal at The Swan in the pretty little village of Wilton.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

White horses and crop circles

The rolling landscape of trackways and carvings
We are in the land of ancient tribes and modern myths; of prehistoric burial grounds and crop circle devotees.
We have reached the wide open spaces and rolling chalk downlands of central Wiltshire where we are moored in one of our very favourite spots on the whole K&A – outside the little village of All Cannings, half a dozen miles east of Devizes on a long and lock-free section of the canal.
Up on the hilltops are the trackways and burial sites of ancient man; the long barrows, Wansdyke and Ridge Way. Around the peaks circle brightly coloured paragliders and on a hillside in the distance is one of the many white horses that decorate the downs, this one dating back merely to 1812 not the stone age. Down on the canal are the familiar signs of the modern travellers: from orange lifeboats to massive barges.
And the signs of the modern waterway traveller
It's all an utter change of style and pace from the rocky gorges and limestone villages of the western canal; almost entirely bereft of canalside communities and with a narrow, reed edged waterway.
A local shop for local people at All Cannings
The afternoon was too hot for any lengthy walking so we strolled instead the half mile to the village where a community shop was still thriving, then wandered through the fields on a loop back to the boat.
See that tiny white speck up there
After dinner, though, we decided on a longer stroll in the cool evening – just up to that white horse. Maybe four or five miles? Two and a half hours and seven miles later we were back just as twilight was closing in!
What a glorious walk, though. A steep uphill track, then following the White Horse Trail as it wove along the curvaceous contours of the ridges toward our target. The views in every direction were stunning, even in the hazy evening light.
Well now we are up here and it was quite a walk
In truth, the horse is better seen from below: once you're by it you're too close to take in the shape. But it's an achievement to be there all the same. It's been restored and fenced off; sensibly protected from grazing cattle and picnicking humans.
Then it was all downhill to rejoin the canal at Honeystreet by the famous Barge Inn, legendary headquarters of the 'croppies' and their fellow New Age travellers.
The raucous campsite at the famous Barge Inn
Just like the last time we were here, it was raucous with counter-culture life - the field beside the pub a mass of tents and teepees, full of music and blazing fire pits, just like an old-school Festival. The brightly lit Floating Cinema barge was here too, as a stop on its journey from Brentford to Bath. And, of course, it was showing 'Crop Circles and Other Mysteries'.
Where the Floating Cinema showed a 'Crop Circles' film
After that it was a long trudge back to the boat in time for a beer and bed!

Friday, 26 June 2015

A country town the way they used to be

Large and traditional town market is held every Thursday
Devizes is an utterly likeable country town. This is the way your local town used to be before out of town superstores, inner city 1970s wrecking balls and the rise of the commuter ran them through the urban architectural processor and turned them into bland lumps of mince.
Devizes has mercifully been spared the worst of that, probably by managing to hide itself in a corner of Wiltshire countyside that has no railway line and being a little too far from the nearest motorway.
Magnificent Corn Exchange flanked by the huge Bear Hotel
Yet, in the era before commuters and inter-city rail travel it was a significant market town with Georgian coaching inns, outdoor and indoor markets, a fine Corn Exchange, sizeable churches and even its own castle, albeit a Victorian replacement of the Norman original knocked down by Cromwell.

Land Army plaque on Corn Exchange
Fine detail on old house

 Today it has a lovable air of shabby gentility. It's not posh, like Bath, but rather like the farmers who still visit the weekly market, it hides what affluence it may have (and there certainly is some) behind worn shirt cuffs and patched jacket elbows.
St Mary's Church dates back to 12th century
There are fine buildings on every street and simple, homely ones too. Many were built in the soft local limestone which has worn and crumbled with age to the point where a richer town would have had them expensively restored. Not so Devizes and they look all the better for a few patches and a bit of stitching instead.
The Victorian castle – now luxury apartments
Tucked away, a former town mayor's house
We are here for the third time because as mountaineers say 'we've summited'. Eleven locks on Wednesday afternoon after a lunchtime reminisce with a couple of old motoring lags, the mighty Caen Hill flight in 2hrs 15min after an early-for-us 8.00 start yesterday morning then six more locks and now we are taking a breather in Devizes.
It hasn't changed much since we went down and back up the K&A two years ago. If we come back in another two, I doubt it will change any more. Probably not if we come back in another ten.
And it's all the better for it.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Tomorrow's challenge looms

The steep climb of the Caen Hill Flight looms ahead of us
Well, this is it; the giddy 16 lock climb that is the Caen Hill Flight. It is an astounding feat of engineering and, like so many pieces of engineering excellence, a thing of elegant and beautiful symmetry.
First thing tomorrow we will start them and once started, there is nowhere to stop until you reach the top some three hours later.And then, since that is in the middle of nowhere, there follows the six lock dessert course that brings you to Devizes and a well deserved rest. This afternon we tasted the hors d'ouevre in the shape of eleven locks that brought us here from the Barge at Seend.
Tonight one of the duty lock keepers stopped by for a chat and told us a few statistics about this amazing lock flight which lay in ruins until its spectacular restoration as the crowning glory to the re-opening of the whole canal.
Apparently the 1 locks and their huge side ponds hold 16 million gallons of water and all the water which is lost down them is pumped back to the top via a pumping station further on down that can pump 33 million litres of water a day.
We heard a few tales, too, of life as a lockie: like the group of Scandinavians swimming naked in the bottom pound after finishing the flight. Or the novice lockie who managed to drive his quad bike (and himself) into the top lock – fortunately with no lasting damage to either.
Tomorrow we will be hoping to get up without adding to the lockies'

Missing explorer found!

Missing explorer gone native on the K&A

The missing explorer Anthony 'Mac' Mackenzie has been found alive and well in Wiltshire.
Mac disappeared on our previous expedition down the Kennet & Avon Canal two years ago. We left him doing solo explorations near Devizes but when he missed several pre-arranged meetings, sadly the Tug Harry expedition had to move on without him.
There have been several reported sightings since then but none has been confirmed so I am delighted to report that we were re-united with him several days ago near Bradford-on-Avon.
It seems that Mac has 'gone native' and has been living among the tribes who inhabit the banks of the canal in these parts. There are several tribes here: some are established and practise crafts or agricultural activities. Others are nomadic and travel short lengths of the canal and it is one of these that Mac has joined.
After a couple of enjoyable meetings and a short trip with Mac from one of his nomadic stopping points to another, we said our farewells and left him to carry on with our latest trip.
The handsome village church at Seend

And speaking of missing explorers, yesterday we visited the handsome village church at Seend where there is a memorial to William Rozet Martin who disappeared in 1934 on an expedition to Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana) in Kenya.
Memorial to a missing explorer in Seend churchyard
He and a companion were part of an expedition led by Vivian Fuchs (later to lead the first crossing of Antarctica) when they went by small boat to explore an uninhabited island in the lake and were never seen again – most probably drowned when their boat was swamped in difficult currents around the island.
The pretty Send main street in a rare traffic-free moment
Born in the USA of British parents, his memorial stands alongside their graves in the churchyard.The village of Seend sits on a ridge and offers stunning views in all directions – after a couple of days travelling through a bleak hinterland after the delights of Bradford it was good to see the rolling hills of Wiltshire start to appear.
Unfortunately Seend, a prosperous village in its day with many magnificent old houses, is swamped in noise these days from the very busy A361 that runs through it.
We had a farewell dinner with our gone-native friend Mac last night at the canalside Barge Inn, Seend. It's a popular pub but, sadly, the food turned out to be poor so we returned to Harry for some final drinks before he returned to his mooring in the bankside jungles.
Today we will be moving on towards the metaphorically and physically looming Caen Hill flight to be tackled probably tomorrow.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

More morning mayhem

Coming, going, stopping, starting. It's all action at the lock
More of the weekend bedlam at Bradford on Avon lock today as hire boats, day boats, private boats and the trip boat all milled around going in and out of the lock, turning round, trying to get water and just trying not to hit each other. Often without success!
It's been called the busiest lock in the system and I'm not surprised – over the past couple of days I've counted boats from no less than thirteen – yes that's thirteen – different hire companies in the vicinity of Bradford.
That's narrowboats, two or three widebeams, a massive hotel boat and day boats. And they're the worst.
Just trying to avoid each other is hard enough
Today two boatloads of boisterous lads loaded up their beer and wine onto the local Wiltshire Narrowboats day boats and set off. Sort of. Later, while we were out on a short cruise with friends we saw them helling down the cut towards us like a pair of speedboats, massive wakes ploughing into the banks either side. Fortunately no-one was moored on that stretch; if they had been, their mooring pins would have been yanked from the ground.
Dayboats get ready for their booze cruise – and a dip
But this grumpy old boater got his revenge. It was showtime for everyone back at the lock when they returned at the end of the day and one tried to moor on the lock landing. Bash, the nose hit it; bash, then the stern. Next, a drunken throw of the stern rope to the bank sent it into the water where it was gobbled up by the fast revving prop. And finally – and inevitably – someone fell in. Did he have his phone in his pocket? Of course he did.

Friday, 19 June 2015

A little town with a lot of history

Bradford on Avon built around the river crossing
Quite why anyone would want to build a town that had to cling to life on the steep, rocky side of a river valley is hard to understand.
The answer is in the name: Bradford on Avon – or as it originally was 'broad ford' on the River Avon. For here, since Roman times and indeed well before, was a usable crossing point on the river. And from the ford came a bridge and then a town.
Looking out across the town from high up
Today Bradford on Avon's buildings still cling, huddled together as if for safety while narrow roads wind up the hill between them. Looking up at the honey stone buildings with their ochre red roofs as they cascade down to the slow flowing river one could easily be in one of those little towns in the Dordogne. Except for the traffic. For BoA is pulverised by traffic that grinds, nose to tail, day long through the town.
The canal is about ten minutes walk away and we've done that route a few times now, either along the river path (lovely) of up the main road from the lock (noisy). There are plenty of pubs and a few restaurants in BoA but not a lot for the shopper – a Budgens which even I could see was absurdly expensive, a couple of newsagents, a decent little ironmongers, couple of charity shops and, er, that's about it (though if you want food stocks there's a Sainsburys close to the canal just out of town).
Appropriately named 'Mountain Cottage' above the town
Yet noise and lack of shops apart it's still my favourite place on this stretch of the canal. In fact the lack of shops probably adds to its charm.
You can wander the streets, the parks and admire the charming old buildings without the distraction of shopping.
And yet again, though we have stopped here twice before, we found new sights to see. We walked up above the magnificent riverside manions and through the steep back streets above the river which then become a warren of alleys and steps linking rows of small terraced houses, many of them boasting magnificent views out across the town to the distant hills.
A labyrinth of paths and steps to the weavers' houses
These were originally weavers' cottages where hand loom weavers struggling to earn a pittance brought the town its pre industrial revolution wealth by turning wool into wool cloth. Then, as mechanisation came, the weaving moved down to the river below where there was water power and the poor old hand weavers were destitute.
Ironically, the next stage saw weaving leave the town completely as the huge new mills of Lancashire and Yorkshire took over.
Today, those weavers' cottages are clearly sought after bijou residences and BoA as a whole is a sophisticated adjunct to nearby bigger cities. But there was an in between industrial stage which we didn't know about until visiting the sweet little town museum (another first) upstairs in the Library.
Grand mansions grace the riverside
Bradford on Avon was home to Spencer Moulton a rubber industry company who operated from two large mills here. And if the Moulton name sounds familiar that's because the technical director was Alex Moulton.
When the company was sold to Avon Rubber he went his own way, devised the rubber suspension used on the Mini and subsequently the innovative, rubber sprung, small wheeled Moulton bicycle – which is still made here.
After Avon closed, one of the occupants of the old site was Marcos Cars, while Royal Enfield motorcycles had a factory here too for a while.
Meanwhile, just outside BoA, Heinz was growing mushrooms in underground caverns created by redundant stone mines. They've stopped but mushroom growing goes on.
The enchanting Becky Addy Woods
Talking of quarries, looking for a new walk we crossed the canal just outside the town and took a footpath up into woods along the steep opposite bank, following it along a man-made stone path through what was almost certainly an old quarry. It was a delightful but slightly spooky walk, with the evening sun flickering through the green leaves into a completely enclosed silent world. When we finally emerged onto a country lane we discovered we had been in 'Becky Addy Woods' – a mysterious spot the origins of whose name is unknown aside from the fact that somewhere in there is the remains of an equally mysterious old cottage. Anyway, we strolled down the lane and found ourselves back at Avoncliff Aqueduct where I had just enough small change in my pocket for a pint at the riverside Cross Guns.
Today has been mayhem on the canal: we moved up through the town lock to get water and found ourselves in a Hyde Park Corner of boats going everywhere - into the lock, out of the lock, turning at the winding point, hire boats going back to the base opposite, other day boats getting ready to leave it, a huge trip boat, a busy waterpoint and the inevitable interested gongoozlers asking engine questions when you're in the middle of mooring up. Tonight next week's crowd have been starting off – including the beery stag and hen parties of course.
We came up the lock with a couple who've been boating on the K&A since it was re-opened. "We don't like coming down this end any more ," they said "it's just too busy. There are so many hire boats."
And there are – countless numbers of them. Today I've seen boats from seven different companies – and it's not even the school holidays! Who says the 'continuous moorers' are the problem down here? They stay quietly out of the way, getting on with the lives in spots where no-one wants to be. It's the hire boats that logjam everything up. I'm getting out of here well before the summer holidays start.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Third time lucky

Tug Harry nestles in the steep valley
This is the third time we have been past this spot on the K&A but the first time we had moored here. What a find! It's an absolute delight. Where were we? At Claverton, nestled down in the steep, tree filled Avon valley.
Claverton water powered pumping station fed the canal
The only downside is that we arrived and found Claverton was shut. The famous waterwheel powered pumping station is closed to visitors during long term repairs – indeed the whole village seemed to be shut. There was not a sign of life when we walked through it.
And the next day we walked a couple of miles to Limpley Stoke and discovered that was shut too. It was Monday but the pub was closed, the garage was closed, the village shop (if it was ever open) was closed.
Even the main A36 road was shut – and had been for four months – because it was crumbling down the hill towards the canal. And that meant that the Spar shop in the local petrol station was shut too!
The only place that was open was the Angelfish Cafe at Brassknocker Basin at the end of the surviving stub of the Somersetshire Coal Canal which joined the canal by the Dundas Aqueduct. So we consoled ourselves with an excellent lunch in the sun there.

The causeway across the Avon at pretty Warleigh Weir
But it was all still a lovely place to be. The setting is gorgeous and the star attraction is the stunning Warleigh Weir, a long curving shallow weir across the river which is topped by a stone walkway that lies just below the surface, giving those a bit more daring than us the chance to walk across it.
The weir lies at one end of an island formed by the river and the millstream that feeds Claverton waterwheel which in turn fed the canal. These days an electric pump does the job though the waterwheel still turns on special days.
The island is rough meadow and a popular spot for local picnickers and swimmers – though not so popular as to be crowded or frighten away the birdlife. We spotted a couple of resident kingfishers though they resolutely refused to pose for the camera.
The little villages of Claverton and Limpley Stoke, further down the canal by the spectacular Aqueduct, are picture postcard pretty though, to judge by the stature of the houses, were always distinctly affluent.
Grand Warleigh Manor hides in the trees above the weir
On the edge of Bath, this is the land of grand houses. Big Warleigh Manor lurks in the trees on the hill overlooking the weir but is dwarfed by the huge Claverton Manor on the opposite hillside. Now the American Museum, this was for decades the home of the wealthy local Skrine family and, one imagines, every house in Claverton originally served the Manor. 
But is dwarfed by the huge Claverton Manor opposite
The mile long Manor drive is now a B-road
Claverton church is quite modest, though, which is perhaps why one of Georgian Bath's richest men, the self-effacing Ralph Allen chose to be buried here.
The tomb of postal pioneer Ralph Allen
He made his first fortune from developing the early postal system and his second from owning the quarries that provided the stone from which Bath was built. But he was a modest man and gave much of his wealth to local good causes.
Tonight we are moored in picturesque Bradford on Avon and on the first of doubtless many appalling K&A moorings – three feet out from the edge and yet still aground!
You can find delightful new spots on this canal but some of its horrors are still the same.

Monday, 15 June 2015

It's past our Bath time

The ruined St Mary's Church at Bathwick
There are only so many ways you can walk into Bath from the canal and only so many things to see and do – unless you have the budget to visit the multiplicity of smart looking wine bars and restaurants. Which, sadly, we don't.
So after five days in and around the city it was time to move on. We haven't come far, geographically, just four miles up the canal to Claverton but we could be a hundred miles away.
The difference is extraordinary; we are buried deep in a steeply wooded valley through which run, closely bunched, the canal, railway and River Avon. It's sublimely rural; just the occasional toot of the train as it nears a pedestrian rail crossing and glimpses of pale stone houses among the trees. And yet, walk a mile up the steep hillside and there is the edge of the city for all we have done is loop round a long, long turn.
Carefully conserved with wild planting and subtle pathways
But there were a few last things to do and see before we left Bath. The most delightful was a complete surprise as we wandered round side streets on a haphazard alternative track to the usual route to the city centre.
The ruins of St Marys Church, Bathwick and its redundant graveyard have been turned into a carefully managed wilderness. A contradiction in terms perhaps but the wild flowers, grasses, bushes and trees that grow among the crumbling headstones are, if one wants to be poetic, a sort of heavenly vision of nature's ability to reclaim man's world – without the hell of brambles, nettles and rampant weeds. It's all been made possible thanks to Heritage Lottery money, skilled conservation and volunteer effort. There's a subtle footpath through between the graves, many of which have been identified and marked, and even a leaflet to guide you. Worth a visit if you find your way to Henrietta Road while wandering in or out of Bath.
Straight from East Berlin to Bath, the Hilton blockhouse
An utter contrast was the man-made hell that is the huge Hilton Hotel; a piece of Stalinist brutalism that would probably have been regarded as ugly even in East Germany. And to think that American tourists visiting Bath for the Georgian splendour stay at this abortion. Have they no taste? (Don't answer that!)
Eccentric ware and headwear at Green Park
Last port of call was Green Park Market, housed in the splendid arched structure that was the old Green Park station. A farmers' market and a miscellany of stall holders from eccentric to expensive kept us occupied on our final shopping visit.
Carefully conserved too, a wooden canal cruiser
And as we left Bathampton we passed another piece of careful conservation (though without the help of lottery funding), a wooden hulled narrow boat – an early example of a purpose made canal pleasure boat rather than a modified ex-working craft. It's a 40 footer, built by Dobsons of Shardlow in 1967.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Fun in the Park

The camera bike leads the race into the Park
I wonder what Beau Nash would have thought of the latest excitement to come to Georgian Bath – city centre cycle racing?
Hopefully he would have approved of the spectacle and colour though quite how John Wood might have viewed the sight of chaps in multi coloured Lycra racing past his magnificent Royal Crescent I am really not sure.
Racing over the cobbles past the Royal Crescent
Bath was hosting the final round of the ten race Pearl Izumi professional city centre race series on a terrrific little circuit in and around Royal Victoria Park – a lap which included a short but nasty climb leading onto evil cobbles, a sharp descent into an evil turn and a fast straight past the start-finish in the park.
The bunch heads through the tight street circuit
It's a team based series where the winners are the top points scoring team. Not that we knew any of that when we joined what must have been several thousand spectators viewing the main event. (There'd been earlier races for juniors, amateurs and a round of the parallel women's pro race series, too.)
The Conder team battled in vain to hold onto their title
Filmed for ITV4 and on tonight at 8.00pm – look for us in the crowd – it had all the accoutrements of serious bike racing including the motorcycle pillion mounted cameraman filming the action and a spectacular crash.
And it was bloody fast. The bunch went through that tricky downhill corner at scary speeds and through every lap of the hour long event you could see the gut bursting, leg straining effort going on.
This was a short but very sharp climb
For the casual observer it was a bit difficult to follow once the field started to splinter. Behind the leaders and the camera bike everyone was racing but who with, I wasn't always sure.
Anyway, that didn't detract from the fun and I did get a chance to try out my new Canon superzoomer in 'sports' mode. This fires off five frames in quick succession if you hold the button down. Does leave you with rather a lot of shots to go through afterwards though!
Race winner Marcin Bialoblocki sets the pace from the off
The event winner was ONE Pro Cycling's Marcin Bialoblocki – who certainly deserved it being at the head of the action all the way – but the overall team award went to Madison Genesis after ONE Pro lost its captain in that early nasty crash.