Verulam Reallymoving sparkle amid the muck and bullets of the CiCLE Classic
PUBLISHED: 15:30 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:35 27 April 2018
Judith Parry Photography
Verulam Reallymoving faced their biggest test in their short history when they took on the biggest professional teams in Britain and Europe at the CiCLE Classic - and they passed it with flying colours.
Mind, most of those colours were covered in a thick layer of muck and dust as the event centred around Rutland Water and Melton Mowbray features numerous off-road sections over what is little more than farm tracks.
It is something that rightly earns it the title of Britain’s premier one-day race, drawing comparisons with the monuments of the sport, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.
But the quartet of Clay Davies, James Hedley-Smith, Luke Houghton and Michael Parry did themselves and the team proud and although none finished the 188.3km course, neither did more than half of the 192 starters.
Hedley-Smith, who was only called into the team as a late replacement on Friday, said: “It wasn’t too bad on the off-road sections, it was just trying to get back on after them was horrible.
“I felt a little bit under-prepared but then just went pop 95km in and stuck it in reverse.”
Houghton was in agreement and said: “It was just brutal and it stops and starts when you’re at the back, it concertinas.
“If you are at the front it’s a steady pace but at the back you’re sprinting then slowing down and sprinting and slowing down.
“It was chaotic and savage. It’s amazing to be riding alongside Ed Clancy and Harry Tanfield and people who race in Olympics and Commonwealth Games. You look and think ‘blimey, I’m riding next to them’.”
Rob Houghton, CEO of Reallymoving.com said: “It was a great performance in a world-class field.The thing that has impressed me almost more than anything is how well they work as a team. They really do all ride for each other. It’s a privilege to be a small part of it all.”
Doug Driscoll, chairman of Verulam Cycling Club, said: “I’m very proud at how far we’ve gone in just over a year. The invaluable experience they gained out there mixing it with a field of World Class riders will hopefully motivate and inspire them to take it up to the next level.
“Our investment in the team is all about opportunity, development and progression and I think we really saw that working.”