Nicholas Narraway impresses in back-to-back criteriums
Nicholas Narraway continued his encouraging form for the Miller School of Albemarle Endurance team competing in the Hincapie Spring Series in South Carolina.
Fresh from clinching third and fourth-place finishes this month in the Stokesville 600-kilometre and Stokesville Little Switzerland 100km mountain bike races respectively, the 19-year-old returned to action in two highly competitive 60-minute criterium races last weekend.
Competing alongside five of his school team-mates in the men’s pro category, the group attempted to break up the peloton and take the challenge to some of the bigger teams.
However, their valiant efforts were to no avail as the fast-paced race culminated with three riders breaking away from the rest of the chasing pack.
Narraway crossed the line among the leading pack of about 20 or so riders, settling for 22nd position out of the 77 riders who finished the race. The Miller School of Albermarle had four riders in the top 25.
“This was one of the first races on the East Coast in a long time, so some big teams and top riders were there,” Narraway said.
“Everyone was hungry and went out really fast. You had no choice but to go hard or your race would have been over early.”
The second day of racing proved just as competitive. After a fairly smooth first half to the race with riders jockeying for position; a small group made a decisive breakaway.
While Narraway missed the initial move, his team-mate Luca Scuriatti found himself within that pack.
As a result, the Bermudian rider opted to play a supporting role, controlling the chasing pack in an attempt to allow Scuriatti a clear chance of a strong finish within the lead group.
It was a duty that he undertook superbly, with Scuriatti clinching an impressive fourth-place finish, while Narraway made a late push to ultimately finish in twelfth out of the 78 riders to finish.
“I worked to control the pack to aid the breakaway getting a gap on us,” he added. “This gave my team-mate a chance to secure a good finish position, the first rule of racing.
“Luca [Scuriatti] came fourth and I was the first of the chase pack to cross the line in twelfth. Unfortunately there was an accident behind the two lead groups that affected some of my other team-mates.
“Overall, it’s good to be racing again. With the Miller team, we all live together at school, we’re like a family and it helps out racing. We trust each other and look out for each other too.”
Narraway and his team-mates return to Hincapie Spring Series action but with a switch in focus to road racing, with races taking place tomorrow and April 28.
“I am looking forward to our first road race,” he said. “I think as a team we are suited to road races more, we can be more strategic together, and hopefully things come together for the better.”