HOUGHTON Cycling Club members were out in force for the fourth and final round of the 2013 Velo29 Winter Series at Croft Racing Circuit.
The first race of the day, was an eight-lap (18 miles) Go Race/4th/Ladies Category race.
There were over 80 4th category riders with Alan Pamler, Eric Henderson, and Dave Ranson all representing Houghton.
In a fast race, reaching speeds over 30 mph with a tail wind on the finishing strait, the bunch stayed together for most of the race. There were one or two breaks made, but they were caught each time, resulting in a sprint finish.
All the Houghton riders finished strongly in the bunch. The race was won by Richard Sharp (Clifton CC), with Jacob Brown (unattached) second and Donald Bruce (Moray Firth CC) third.
The second race was a handicapped Regional C+ Race E,1,2,3,4 and had a field of over 80 riders on a 15-lap (30 mile) handicapped race, starting at different time intervals.
Houghton had 4 riders – Richie Ranson and Chris Ranson as third cat riders, and fourth cat riders Dave Ranson and Alan Pamler.
Pamler retired after three laps, having put a lot of effort into the previous race.
The fourth cat riders were away until the Prime lap and were then caught by the third cat riders.
Richie and Chris Ranson were working well together but a group of six riders managed to get away. This resulted in a fierce sprint at the end which was won by Carl Donaldson (GS Metro).
All the Houghton riders finished in the main field. Richie Ranson had bad luck when another rider went into him, smashing his wheel as he was sprinting for the finish.
Results: 1 Carl Donaldson (G S Metro), 2 Ian Christie (Columba CC), 3 Rob Shields (Gosford RC), 4 Nathan Hesslewood (Rock Racing Team), 5 Tom Van Rossen (Rock Racing Team). Prime Ian Christie (Columba CC).
H On Sunday, the Houghton riders were in action at the Hetton Lyons Track in an event sponsored by Highfield Kitchens is a series of four Spring events.
There were over 30 riders in the fourth cat event, including Alan Pamler, Mark Donaldson, and Dave Ranson.
Mark was going really well, but was doing a lot of work at the front of the group and paid the price as he tired on the last lap. Ranson made a break on the final lap but got caught by the bunch.
The race was won by Ian Hesler (Ferryhill Wheelers) with Frank Montague (TS Racing Team-Vankru) second and James Moohan, (Ashburn Wealth) third.
The next race was a 3rd/4th cat event over 40 minutes plus five laps with three primes. Representing Houghton were Andy Brennan, Chris and Richie Ranson.
This was another fast race and the bunch stayed together for the first two laps before beginning to string out. Unfortunately, Chris Ranson had to retire due to debris on track, caused by vandals. Brennan and Richie Ranson , the other two Houghton
Group tactics allowed a break to open up and the sprint was won by Dan Bryant (Durham University), with John Cann (Blumilk.com) second and Andrew Miles (Durham University) third.