Sunday, 24 April 2011

Podium for Coleman in Surrey League

"The win is coming."

Douglas Coleman surged into form yesterday with his strongest performance this year at the Basingstoke CC Surrey League Road Race.

"This was a 2/3 category race, so I was feeling confident after my 11th place at the Archer last week," he said afterwards.  After 32km, Coleman attacked and quickly formed a group of 6 riders. "I felt good and with such a hilly course, I thought there was a good chance of staying away."

At around the 80km mark, 7 others joined the group: "I played it a bit more carefully at this point," Coleman continued. "There were more people to share the workload so I actually regained a bit of strength."

The group of thirteen stayed away right to the finish, but Coleman had already set his sights high. Powering up the 25% gradient to the finish line, he took third place in what may well be his strongest performance to date.

"I wasn't feeling great this morning, and I had a stitch for most of the race, so although the result is pleasing, there'still room for improvement," he commented. "And given my winter injury, the curve is still very much in the right direction."

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Solid stuff from Coleman at the Archer Road Race

A tough course awaited the competitors at the Archer Road Race today. The infamous Chiltern course returned this year after an absence of severa years and included 3 climbs on each of the fifteen mile laps.

Doug Coleman and Paul Caton took the start for Anders TMG Horizon, both expecting a tough race. Coleman, having rested carefully before the race, stayed with the leaders right up to the last climb of Whiteleaf: "I managed all the right moves, so I was quite pleased with my general skills," he said afterwards. "I was just lacking the extra couple of percent to stay with the winning group."

Coleman finished with a strong 11th place: "It's good to get the points, but I can't help wishing for the top ten," he admitted.

Paul Caton demonstrated the team's strength-in-depth with a 21st place where many protagonists failed to finish: "It's a little disappointing not to come away with a point or two when I was so close," he said. "But it is a prestigious race with a strong field, and I couldn't get that kind of training on my own!"

organiser's report here
full result here

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Coleman scores National Points in 3rd race

Coleman & Wass continue progress

Glade Road Race, April 10, 2011 - Douglas Coleman & Neil Wass headed to Essex for another Elite level Road Race today. Having completed the Peter Young Memorial 2 weeks earlier, they were optimistic: "We both knew the course," says Wass afterwards. "It's an advantage here because it's pretty lumpy."

Continues Coleman: "I placed a couple of times here last season, but the field looked a bit stronger this time."

Amidst fresh and clear sprng weather, the race went hard from the gun, with the duo missing some early moves, one of which stuck: "The top guys were, frankly, out of my league," says Wass. "My strategy is to try & support Doug and sweep up some points further down the field."

Neil Wass (2nd left) leaves nothing in the tank
Another move went on the 3rd lap, and Coleman was frustrated: "My positioning wasn't great at that point and once I saw the gap, I knew it was too late."

The rest of the race saw them growing in strength & confidence in a rapidly diminishing group: "It was very much my kind of course," continued Wass. "There was one main climb and two secondary hills in each of the 9 laps. The main climb tended to eliminate the weaker guys and it was very much a race of attrition."

Bizarrely, such was the reduction in numbers that it became deceptive as to the nature of the race: "Because there were relatively few riders in our group," continues Coleman. "I thought there must have been a boat load of them in the front groups."

As it happened, there were relatively few, and the testing pace of the main bunch had dropped more than a handful of quality riders.

Doug Coleman (left) tucks before his final sprint for 19th

On the last lap, Coleman decided to attack out of the bunch and after one attempt which was brought back, he went again: "I just thought I had nothing to lose so I may as well test myself." Staying away up the finish hill, he came in with 19th place, only 3:15 behind the winner. Wass arrived in the same group for 24th place.

"On the day, I was disappointed," concludes Coleman. "I could have perhaps followed one of the earlier moves and been in one of the small front groups. But it shows I'm heading in the right direction." Wass continues: "When you realise how many people were jettisoned out of the back of the group, it makes you feel better. 3 laps were run out a over 41kph and we climbed over 1500m over 90 miles. You can't beat that kind of training !"

Organiser Will Hedden says in his report that "the field gets stronger every year." Nick Walker, team DS adds: "Our guys went all out and took some scalps themselves. Hopefully we'll continue this progress because it's certanly looking good at this early stage."

Thanks to Martin Orpen for the pictures

full result here