Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to head back out to Lancefield for the 4th and final stage of the Northern Combine’s 3 Day Tour. I have however, gone through what I did capture from the sign on, and all the action of the 3rd stage. There is now 4 seperate galleries from the race that can be found here
The first gallery is a selection of images around the sign-on hall. Riders gathering, embelishing stories of the morning’s time trial, refuelling on coffee, checking out stage and GC results, signing on, trying to stay warm. The area was a hive of activity with riders coming and going. Officials, volunteers, marshalls all preparing the circuit, vehicles and themselves for the stage. Supporters, family members and friends busying themselves on getting up to date results, ensuring sons/daughters/friends are ready for the afternoons stage.
Stage 3 itself consisted of laps around the 30km circuit starting from Newham, through to Lancefield and back via Dons Rd. Mens A, B and C grade, along with Womens A grade all competed over 3 laps of the loops, while Mens D grade and Womens B grade were to complete 2 laps. Its an undulating circuit, with a couple of significant climbs thrown in for good measure.
The winter road season means riders battle not only each other, but also the elements in their quest for glory. Stage 3 appeared that this factor would continue. The weather had gotten much colder as morning became afternoon, heavy clouds had closed in and were hanging overhead as an ever present threat of rain.
Racing kicked off just after midday, and the attacks came early. Of the 6 grades in the grace all but the Women’s A grade had riders up the road. Trying to gain valuable seconds back on GC, trying to keep warm, trying for all the glory that comes with driving an early break that succeeds. Its going to be a hard day out, suffering, trying to hold off the bunch for 85kms, so if that glory comes, its definately been earned.
As the kilometres ticked over, hills were conquered, wind was battled and the A grade break of 4 slowly became 3, then 2 until finally Dever crossed the line in a gutsy effort with around 30
seconds lead over the bunch.
Congratulations to everyone who came out and raced, and of course a massive thanks must go to all the officials, marshalls, committee members and other volunteers. Without their dedication, this grand event would only exist in the imagination. Check out the Northern Combine website shortly for full stage and overall results.
This article was written by admin