July 11, 2013
The blue and yellow army headed to Stockton-on-Tees, after a bit of a wobble at the mid-week Elite Circuit race at Otley.
The team came out fighting right from the start, ready to do business. Friday night saw Tom ‘Minty’ Murray, Rhys Lloyd, Rob Smail, Gruff Lewis and Matt Pilkington compete in the criterium, where Minty sat comfortably in the lead group that went away from the start. 100%ME academy rider George Atkins went off the front in the remaining few laps which left the remaining riders to bunch sprint for positions, where Minty got a great 5th place.
Scorching Sunday saw Kit Gilham, Ben Stockdale and Dexter Gardias join the squad for the Premier Calendar race of 111 miles.
The lads looked every bit as drilled and organised as their counterpart UCI teams Raleigh and UK Youth. Matt Pilkington got himself in the early break (a fantastic feat after being ill overnight). Gaining about 1’10”, the break pressed on with Matt not feeling too good. Road Captain Tom Murray made the decision to organise a chase and the lads massed at the front and literally smashed across the gap (Rob, Kit and Dex doing the damage in the sweltering heat). This had a devastating effect on the bunch and a new 17 man group formed containing Rhys Lloyd and Ben Stockdale. With most of the UCI Team’s represented, this advantage grew to approx 3mins as the break left the 80mls of countryside to retrace back to Stockton.
With 25 miles left it was clear this was the winning move. Gruff Lewis had also clipped off the peloton in a small group and was working well in the heat. Raleigh had the numerical advantage in the group (5) so were forced to take the race on. There were plenty of attacks but nothing stuck and the race would be decided by a sprint from this group. Rhys delivered Ben up to the wheel of 100%ME’s Adam Yates. Yates started to tire in the headwind and Ben was forced to go for a long sprint to the line, where he got pipped into 4th behind winner Ian Wilkinson (UKY) and two Raleighs. Rhys finished a very credible 11th and Gruff 23rd. This capped a great weekend off for the whole team who had all played a massive part towards the result.
Andy Swain, Team Manager said after the race: “This is a brilliant result for the team and for Ben individually. We could not fault anyone’s work ethic today and in this oppressive heat it is even more impressive what they have achieved. We knew the lads had the ability to ride as they did, challenge the bigger UCI teams and pull off a result. A lot of hard work, time and effort has gone into this team by everyone involved and it is such a brilliant feeling for all of us to see it come together. Having made our mark at the Pearl Izumi Tour Series and these recent results we now look forward to seeing what the remaining races of the season bring for the Metaltek-Knights of Old team.”
Pactimo is extremely proud to be the custom cycling apparel partner for Metaltek-Knights of Old.
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