Waite has no complaints after another Perf-ect day

A VC St Raphael rider, centre, during the second lap of Portsdown Hill. Picture: Mick Young (160187-07)
A VC St Raphael rider, centre, during the second lap of Portsdown Hill. Picture: Mick Young (160187-07)
Abbie Manley leads her Hargroves Ridley Montezuma's team-mate Amy Perryman through a corner at the Swanmore Motocross Track. Picture: Neil Marshall (171339-131)

Fareham Wheelers dream of national service

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Mick Waite insisted he could not have asked for more from the 51st Perfs Pedal.

The 69-year-old, who organises the race on behalf of host club VC St Raphael, watched a week of heavy rain and high winds make way for brilliant sunshine as riders tackled the 46-mile battle on the outskirts of Portsmouth.

Rory Townsend claimed victory for pre-race favourites Pedal Heaven after an ambulance had forced the opening lap of Portsdown Hill to be neutralised.

Chief commissaire Tim Knight also had to disqualify a couple of riders for crossing the white lines and using the opposite carriageway.

However, they were minor details in an otherwise successful running of the prestigious contest, which has become the traditional curtain-raiser for the British road racing season.

Waite said: ‘Considering how changeable the weather has been, we couldn’t have asked for better.

‘The sun came out and we had a lovely day in the end. It probably made the race a little bit easier than normal, which is not such a bad thing.

‘As events go, that’s about the best you were going to get. Everything went so well.

‘I know there were a couple of issues and Tim disqualified a couple of riders. But they know they must keep on the right side of the road.

‘The way it is with traffic at present, they know they have got to do it right. The rules are there for their own safety.

‘I was not concerned about that one bit.’

Waite did not see the ambulance which, responding to a 999 call, caught up with the peloton just a few minutes after the flag dropped.

But he believes the experience of his team, which included the likes of moto commissaire Colin Docker and senior judge Mick Metcalf, meant it was dealt with calmly and efficiently.

Waite said: ‘I didn’t see the ambulance but if you’re going to have a problem, I guess that is the time to have it because it could have messed the race up completely.

‘I try to use senior officials all the time. People like Mick, who is a senior commissaire, and Colin, who is a UCI national commissaire.

‘You just have to surround yourself with the best people and that’s what it is all about.

‘They have the experience and knowledge to deal with situations like that safely and they did.’

VC St Raphael’s wait for a second winner of the Perfs Pedal – following Paul Rogers in 1991 – goes on.

But Waite had no complaints about the result.

He added: ‘I reckon it was just about right.

‘We had the radio up at the finish and, while I missed the first couple of laps, you could tell what was happening.

‘It wasn’t just a case of Pedal Heaven had gone.

‘There was plenty of activity – in front and behind.

‘I was talking to one of our riders and he felt if the second group had all got together they might have pulled some more of the gap back. But it’s early season.’