Cocker mixes it with the professionals at Nationals
Former Witham Wheeler Peter Cocker (Richardsons Cycles) rode the National Road Race Championship at the weekend at Stamfordham in Northumberland.
The race was over 120 miles with 160 riders including all the domestic professional riders and many of the continental pros, including Mark Cavendish coming home to try and win the coveted jersey, and so it was always going to be a tough event.
Peter's race was not helped by an early puncture which meant he spent quite a few miles chasing to get back into the peloton through the race convoy, without expending too much extra energy. He managed this and as the bunch started to split found himself in a chasing group of around 12, including Sky rider Chris Lawless, which was riding for around 40th place.
However, crossing the finish line for the penultimate time, with just the final 10-mile short finishing lap to complete, Peter's group, now at around eight minutes down on the leaders, and all following riders were stopped.
Having survived over 100 miles including three ascents of the Ryals climb and being in contention for a top 40 place and originally been told the shut-off time limit was 15 minutes, this was obviously a little frustrating.
On the positive side, it was a great experience in front of some big crowds and proved to Peter that he is continuing to improve towards his target of competing at a national level.