On Sunday, four immensely proud yet nervous riders took the start in the Rutland-Melton International Cicle Classic representing Team PB Performance. Lining up alongside the very best national and international teams could have been daunting for the largely young and developmental squad, however they stood proudly and conducted themselves impeccably.
Being included in this race was the culmination of many months of planning and hard work for the new 2016 squad. Feedback has been incredibly positive so far in terms of how the team have prepared for the 2016 season, following many structured coaching sessions throughout the winter months, focused on riding as a unit.
The team consisted of Pete Nicholls, Ross Simmons, Josh Housley and Bradley Symonds who all have their stories to tell from the day and memories, which will remain with them forever.
Pete Nicholls, whose role it was to support the three development riders on the squad, commented on what a pleasure it had been to guide the younger riders and how proud he was of their performances. Pete has been instrumental in growing and developing the team behind the scenes. He commented, “everything is amplified in a race like this; the build up, the speed, the crashes, the quality of riders, the noise, the following cars and horns”. On the initial two laps of Rutland Water, Pete described the fact that with such a large peloton, racing at speeds averaging 48km per hour, “it was impossible to see what was coming due to the wall of riders all following wheels”. He noted that compared to other races, “it was easy to get caught out”. The whole team were relieved to learn that the rider who was airlifted to hospital following a crash was bruised and sore, but nothing more serious.
Ross Simmons (20) remarked, “It was inspiring to be racing within a field of that class”. Josh Housley (18) stated that the “sheer pace of the peloton was truly impressive and inspirational”. Josh rode impressively to just before the 120 kilometre mark and remarked that to be part of the race was an “honour”. Eighteen year old Bradley Symonds said, “it was the toughest day in the saddle so far!”. Like his team mates, Bradley commented on what a buzz the day was and that “chasing back on through the convoy of cars and taking the road both sides of the roundabout” gave him the real pro rider experience.
Team PB Performance prides itself on offering an ethical and supportive environment in which young riders can develop and progress by providing positive role models and supported training and racing experiences.
Whilst we may not have taken a podium place, the support for the team and enthusiasm from all those connected was staggering. Team DS, Paul Bennett, had ensured that the riders had the best possible back up so that all they had to concentrate on was racing. Alex King, was thankfully without incident as team mechanic and team soigneurs, Louise Bennett and Steve Jenkyn ensured that all riders were fed in the feed zone; something that cannot be said for all teams! Other team members took spare wheels to key points of the course and provided much needed vocal encouragement. Ross Simmons commented, “He was really grateful for the experience and for the support that we received throughout the build up and during the race itself”.
What a day!
Thank you, as always, to our partners:
QR Massage Therapy
Yellow Jersey Insurance