McGrath’s highway to the 
red zone still gets him a 
national podium place

PUBLISHED: 09:38 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 17 August 2017

Verulam ReallyMoving's Paul McGrath was second at the 35-39 National Championships at Rockingham. Picture: JUDITH PARRY

Verulam ReallyMoving's Paul McGrath was second at the 35-39 National Championships at Rockingham. Picture: JUDITH PARRY

Judith Parry

Paul McGrath picked up a hard-fought second place at the 35 to 39-year-old National Circuit Race.

Held on the pan-flat outer oval at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, the Verulam ReallyMoving man executed a pre-race plan almost to perfection.

He said: “Looking through the start list it was sprinter after sprinter, and sprinting is not a skill I have in my armoury.

“My game plan was simple; I had to get away early, and if that didn’t work, then go long at the end of the race and see what happened.”

On the second lap of the hour-long race, Nunn Sigma Sport’s experienced cat one rider, Robert Moore, jumped away on his own.

And with head and cross winds in the home straight hampering any chase he developed a gap.

McGrath realised his chance was slipping away so he buried himself for a lap and a half, going deep into his red-zone of energy reserves, and somehow managed to haul himself across to the leader.

The pair then worked well together and established a 40-second gap over the peloton, a lead they managed to hold until to the end of the race.

But such had been the effort to close the gap that when Moore attacked on the last lap, McGrath had nothing left to give and rolled over the line in the runners-up sport.

However, despite that McGrath declared himself “very happy with the result considering the level of the opposition I was racing against”.

It concluded another strong week for the team with Christine Pout taking third place in the women’s C+ category of the National Masters Circuit Race Championships at Rockingham.

The width of a tire saw Paul Williams win the category four criterium at the Milton Keynes Bowl, confirming his promotion to a category three licence.

Michael Parry finished well in the National B event of the Southend Criteriums at Hog Hill.

Attacking from the word go he finished fifth overall, claiming the Aspirant Trophy as the best U23.

In the Welwyn Friday Track League, Alexander Saunders took wins in the youth scratch race and the team sprint although special praise from Verulam Cycling Club’s chairman Doug Driscoll went to 15-year-old Tom Martin after Tom achieved point scores following elevation to the senior category.

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