Rail cyclists are ramping up training as the evenings lighten in preparation for the next Railsport Cycling event, a road race at Oakley, Buckinghamshire, on Saturday 6th July 2013.
Interest is high after a stirring performance by the team last year in the Czech Republic at the USIC (Union Sportif International De Cheminots) Railways Cycling World Championships at the northern city of Usti Nad Labem.
A team of six from the rail industry in Britain travelled to compete against teams from other railways. The event consisted of three stages over four days against the best railway riders from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Norway, Poland & Switzerland.
Representing Railsport GB were: Greg Ashley (London Underground); Ian Cooper (Chiltern Railways); Rupert Denny (Network Rail – Dependant); Steven Golla (Morgan Sindall); David Nicoll (Thales); Daniel Smith (URS Infrastructure & Environment UK).
Stage One was a 55.3km Team Time Trial of three laps on an out-and-back circuit near Tremice in the southern suburbs of Usti Nad Labem. Great Britain were seventh in 1 hr 19 min 44 sec.
Following a 30 degree heatwave the previous day, the start of Stage Two was drenched with torrential rain and a rather chilly 10 degrees. Ahead of the riders was a mountainous 85km circuit near Telnice on the German border. Early attacks from the French and Kazahkstan teams whittled the race down into a number of small groups with strong performances near the front by British riders Rupert Denny and Steve Golla.
Three Kazahkstan riders finished on the podium. The first British rider to appear through the mist at the finish was Steve Golla in an excellent 17th place.
Thankfully the weather and terrain improved again for the final stage – a 36km individual time trial on the Tremice circuit won by the French, with Steve Golla in 12th place in a time of 25 min 13 sec. The individual USIC champion 2012 was Frenchman Yohan Soubes, with top UK rider Steve Golla in a great tenth overall, the highest place ever for a GB rider.
Overall the event was won by France, with Italy second and Czech Republic third. The Railsport Great Britain team also finished in their highest place ever, in a creditable seventh. The team wishes to thank Costain Hochtief JV, URS, Railsport GB and Thales for their support and sponsorship of the Railsport Team at the event.