September 23 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Crowds lined the streets of Whittlesey and the Fens on Sunday to watch a wave of cyclists flash past as they competed in the Circuit of the Fens.
The 133-mile course started and ended in the town’s Market Street and drew huge crowds.
Local organiser Tom Caldwell was delighted with the support given to the race, which was blighted after one rider was seriously injured when he collided with a stationary traction engine.
Afterwards Tom tweeted: “Thanks to everyone that helped out at Circuit of the Fens; couldn’t do it without you. Thoughts with the injured rider, ambulance and police were A1.”
Adam Blythe, a former Derbyshire junior sportsman of the year who now lives in Monaco, was the toast of Whittlesey after securing victory in this, the second Circuit of the Fens event. It is a race in the British Cycling Grand Prix series, which is just one rung below the Tour of Britain and it featured up to 140 leading riders.
A supporting race for amateur riders was also held over 84 miles, starting just after the main event.
Adam put his success in the finishing laps to “trying to select the right move without wasting too much energy”.
As he headed for the sprint finish he said: “We did everything we could to hold it together.”
Ironically it was one of Adam’s team mates from NFTO Pro Cycling who was injured in the earlier accident, which saw the race stopped for around two hours.
The cyclist, who was in his forties and not local was air-lifted to Addenbrookes’ Hospital after being treated at the scene on the B1040 at Pondersbridge by paramedics for serious head, chest and leg injuries. His condition was serious on arrival at the Cambridge hospital.
Organisers held talks before deciding the race could continue, but with a shortened course.
Cycling Weekly reported that “with no breaks having stuck prior to the stoppage, a 12-man break finally got clear, and on the last lap of the finishing circuit it was Blythe who proved strongest, with Chris Opie (Rapha Condor-JLT) second and Downing third.”
Locals loved the occasion with the sun out, the bands playing, and, as one bystander said: “What a great afternoon watching the start and finish - with a couple of beers of course”.
Cycling Weekly has a full report on their website for race enthusiasts.