Sunday 17th March stayed dry but cold for the Betty Pharoah Memorial Road Races. Riders left the headquarters for a neutralised start through Cowbridge before climbing onto the A48 to Corntown and Ewenny. The climb through the Gulch [ called Death Valley by Cardiff riders ] led to the Prime point near the cattle grid, the race continuing through Wick to Llandow and Cowbridge for further circuits before finishing on the straight past the Llandow Circuit entrance.
The main event for Elite, 1st, 2nd and 3rd category riders saw Team UK Youth dominate affairs with Devon rider Yanto Barker crossing the line first, closely followed by his six teammates. The race for 3rd and 4th Cat. riders included Steve Williams, Dai Long and Dan Taylor. Steve and Dai were eventually distanced by the bunch in this their first race on the open road but Dan road strongly, placing himself in the front of the bunch throughout. He may have spent too much effort at the very front because approaching the finish and final sprint [not his best asset] he was passed by about twenty riders and dropped back to 28th of the 44 finishers.
More photographs of the race can be seen in the Photo Galley thanks to Kerry Lewis and Chris Thomas who is just managing to prevent the long lens from overbalancing him. Phil Andrews endured the cold weather to support our riders and cwtched up to Chris to stop him freezing to death. Phil is no doubt itching to get on his bike and have a go himself.
At the Llandow circuit the previous weekend Steve Bennett once again showed his ability, following up his earlier points score with a top ten placing in both events he rode. On this occasion he took 7th place in the 3&4th cat event and went on to secure 4th place in the Vets only event totalling 16 points in two weekends.
New member Gary Flower was due to compete in a 25 mile time trial at Usk today [Sunday 24th] but it was cancelled because of road works. Very disappointed at missing this event he instead rode the Cardiff Ajax 10 mile TT at Risca on Saturday afternoon. He found the experience a really enjoyable one but managed to extend the race to eleven and a half miles ! Approaching the end of the race he was concentrating so hard he powered straight past the turning into the finishing straight on the estate. By the time he realised his mistake he was on double white lines and because riders had been warned of disqualification for crossing them he had to carry on to the roundabout, retrace past the finish to turn into the estate. He was estimated to have lost three minutes and may well have claimed a club bronze standard but for the detour. Never mind Gary, you are not he first Acme rider to add miles to a TT. Undeterred, he is keen to wear our club colours in the next available event and looks forward to being joined by other Acme riders.