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.

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