Coalville Road Race – Two on the podium for Vitus Pro Cycling
In the long running National B event, the Coalville Road Race (Sunday, March 25), Adam Kenway and Josh Hunt were second and third respectively in the sprint to the line after 130 kilometres of racing in bright sunshine.
Representing the team in the race were Tim Torrie, Adam Kenway, Julio Amores, Harrison Jones, Deins Kanepejs, and Josh Hunt. On a rolling course, and with a full field of riders (80), the squad was the only UCI team in the event.
Riding their black Vitus carbon bikes with Prime carbon wheels to match, they took up the challenge of making it a hard race for their rivals. After a few laps, Adam Kenway was away on his own for nine miles and then Deins Kanepejs was also applying a lot of pressure at the front of the race.
After a group escaped with four laps to go of the nine to race, and smaller groups joining it, the team was well represented in the dozen or so escapees with Josh Hunt, Adam Kenway and Julio Amores among the leaders.
Come the final lap and Adam Kenway with a lap to go had a dig and then at the foot of the long kilometre long run to the line, Josh Hunt took up the running. Being an early season race, the legs weren’t quite able to sustain what Josh was asking of them and it was then Julio who went for the win before Adam launched his challenge for the win.
Sadly for Adam, the victory escaped him but two on the podium in only their second race together in Britain was a positive result for Vitus Pro Cycling.
Afterwards team owner Cherie Pridham was both disappointed that the victory eluded the team but also pleased that after such a short time together, the riders were starting to knit together as a unit and had come up with a great result of two on the podium. “Being one of the strongest teams here, the plan was to take the race on from the front and that is what the riders did.”
“There is still some learning to be done for Julio and Deins to get familiar with how the British events are raced, particularly the National Bs which are different to the National As we’ll be mostly racing. It is a big learning curve for them but we’re getting closer to that victory for sure. The more racing we do, the better they will become at racing as a unit. This is only our third race for a new line up of riders and next week, we have another race which will be even harder and we’ll look to improve not just on the result but also in the way the riders race together as a unit.”
Josh Hunt (3rd): These national B’s are difficult especially when we were the only UCI team in the event and everyone expects us to dictate the race which is to be expected and we were happy to do that. The course was a great one to race, rolling roads, and it would have been nicer to have had a longer climb but the finish climb was one that suits me.”
Describing how the final selection was made, Josh explained, “Five guys went and then I chased with Hamish Graham and we hovered about ten seconds away and then another group joined us and all of a sudden, there was a group of 12 or 14 guys. It helped that we didn’t have too many guys in the break because when that happens, no-one wants to work with you and I would do the same in their situation. But in this group, there was only two of us and one came across and so the balance of our numbers to the rest was perfect”.
Talking about the finish, Josh admitted, “I was perhaps a little over confident and I went from the very bottom, trying to keep the speed, and just before the left turn into the finish straight, I thought I had I but with hindsight, I didn’t! I’d attacked before with another rider earlier in the race and that made me think, I can hold that, so that was the plan. The form is pretty good but not quite there.”
“We have big races to target so it’s good to test the legs in these and see where they are.”
Thank you VeloUK for imagery, race report and interviews.