On or off road proves no obstacle as Verulam Reallymoving shine in early races
- Credit: Judith Parry
There was success for Verulam Reallymoving racing team both on and off the road.
The road squad were taking part in their first international race in Spain with Michael Parry producing a superb ride to come home just behind the leaders.
Back in England, Tom Martin was the fifth-placed junior in the Mud Sweat and Gears cross-country race at Hadleigh Park on Sunday.
“I’m chuffed to finish fifth in my first cross-country mountain bike race of the season at Hadleigh Park,” he said.
“Being the venue for the 2012 Olympics it was always going to be a tough one with a lot of climbing.
“I got a very good start and felt strong in the first couple of laps though I probably went off too fast as the last climbs were painful and slow.
“Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the race, especially the fast single-track sections and I am looking forward to rest of the series.”
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Back in Spain the Vuelta Ciclista in the city of Villena, near Alicante, is considered as a showcase for future World Tour stars.
And in a field of over 180 riders on a hilly 72km course, and with team-mates Paul McGrath, Clay Davies and James Hedley-Smith in support, Parry was with the leading contenders throughout the race, eventually finishing 40 seconds behind in 35th.
“The race was quick to get underway, immediately getting up to a high pace, and it was a constant effort to keep at the front,” he said.
“At the first climb the peloton quickly broke up and I hung on with everything I had. I quickly moved back to the front of the peloton to re-assert my position at the front before taking it steady up the following two climbs.
“I was positioned well to go into the final climb until an incident caused me to drop back, forcing me to make up lost ground on the first section of the ascent.”
McGrath added: “The team is really stepping up a level this season. The UCI’s World Cycling Centre U23 Development Squad were here but we weren’t outclassed by them.
“Michael positioned himself well and held on superbly, so we were more than happy considering it was our first international race of the year and against the highest level of competition.”