Finlay Pickering made it a very successful week for the Fensham Howes - Mas Design Team, adding the prestigious Bath Road Club Junior Road Race to his national title won at last weekend’s Junior Time Trial Championships.
In scorching conditions, Pickering dug deep in the final lap to break away and ride to a resounding solo
victory. He added his name to an honours board that includes Geraint Thomas, Alex Dowsett, Luke
Rowe, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Tom Pidcock.
It was an exciting day of racing on the hottest day of the year, with several attacks and attempted
breaks going straight from the off as the race left the neutralised zone and headed out of Wing.
Several riders suffered badly from the heat, with temperatures hitting over 28 degrees
around the parched Buckinghamshire countryside, proving too much for some.
The first break came early and saw a group of nine riders head up the road led by Tyler Hannay of Utmost IOM Junior Cycling Team. This was closed down soon after to be replaced by a two man
breakaway with Joshua Tarling (FlandersColor Galloo) and Jamie Whitcher (BmthCycleworks VitecFire
FordCE) putting over thirty seconds into the chasing bunch at one point.
Again the break was closed down only for Jack Brough (Cero - Cycle Division Racing Team) and Joshua
Giddings (Z Junior Race Team) to ride off the front and gain a 52 second advantage over a small
group of 4 containing Pickering and national champion Max Poole (Fensham Howes - MAS Design).
The gap held well into the final 20km of the race when Pickering dug very deep and chased after the
break. Teammates Max Poole and Aidan Lawrence went with Pickering on the climb out of Dunton to
swell the lead group and set up a riveting final five kilometres of racing.
It was on the last steep climb out of Whitchurch that Pickering made his move and attacked, Poole
and Lawrence stayed with the group to cause some problems allowing Pickering to give his all, riding
away to finish 1 minute 33 seconds ahead of Giddings in 2nd and Poole in 3rd, with Lawrence riding
across the line in 6th place.
Like many riders on the day another Fensham Howes - MAS Design rider, Josh Charlton, suffered from the heat but won the bunch sprint to finish 8th on the day and fourth team rider in the top top 10 to make it an excellent day out and great week for the team.