One thing you can say about George this year has that he has been consistent; consistent in his approach to racing; consistent in supporting his team mates; consistent in bringing back the breaks and leading his colleagues out for the sprint and it was this consistency that allowed him to deliver 5th on GC in the OVB 2 day stage race this weekend.
Day 1 started with a TTT and with George being the engine in the team we finished in a good 3rd place leading into stage 2. Stage 2 consisted of a road race around the Harby circuit and the team set out to consolidate their position. David Ogg the lightweight in the team put the pressure on every time up Harby Hill and himself and George finished the day 3 seconds off the GC.
On day 2 we had two cards to play: Sam and Tom were between 20 and 30 seconds off GC and so for them to succeed they had to be aggressive and force a break, whilst George and David could sit back and and wait for developments. Tom forced a move coming into the head wind along Long Lane with Sam bridging across to join him. They then drove the break hard causing alarm bells in the peleton. A number of riders chased the break down and then they just sat in rather than capitalise on the break allowing the peleton to close the gap.
With two laps to go this was the signal for George to go into “Derny” mode and he dragged around 10 riders away with him and that was the definitive move in the race as they held a minute over the peleton. Climbing is not George’s strongest point but he held on up Harby Hill to finish 7th keeping him in contention.
The final stage consisted of a 2.5m individual TT and George was only a few seconds off the podium. He set off at a strong pace and was up on his rivals as he passed in front of Belvoir Castle but the effort used to in the road race cost him seconds in the final rise to the finish and he finished in a very creditable 5th place.