Max Walker claimed victory in the third and final stage of this weekend’s Isle of Man Junior Tour – part of the British Cycling | Junior Road Series.
Walker, of Equiom IOM Junior Cycling Team, became locked in a sprint finish against William Orrell-Turner of Wheelbase Cabtech Junior RT, Tom Dussek of Giant Halifax Race Team and Harrison Knight of ZeroBC Development Team, but held firm to top the podium.
For the final stage of this year’s Isle of Man event, riders headed for the ancient Manx capital of Castletown – once home of the legendary Castletown Kermesse – for 14 laps of the Southern 100 course.
Once again, Manannan Mac Lir, the Manx sea god, kept the fog away from the area.
The competition develops
Lewis Askey, of Team Backstedt/Hotchillee, set the early pace and took the opening two sprints from Niels Nicolaas van Ekeren of Sleepwell Hotels Monkey Town.
James Noonan, of Hoopers Rollers, picked up third on lap three behind Equiom IOM Junior Cycling Team B’s Ben Christian, with Santiago Isaac Cadavid of VC Londres taking the three points.
On the halfway mark, Askey slipped off the front and was joined by Noonan and George Mills-Keeling of Pro Vision Race Team.
Askey took the points on four consecutive laps, sealing the points competition overall before being swallowed up by the bunch.
Going for glory
The decisive break came a lap and a half later when Orrell-Turner, Walker, Dussek and Harrison pulled out half-a-minute on the peloton.
Orrell-Turner took the sprints on laps 12 and 13 but the stage win was destined to go to a Manx rider and it was Walker who edged the Wheelbase Cabetch into second place, with Dussek taking third.
Isaac Peatfield of Green Jersey RT finished 14 seconds later, with Christian bringing the bunch home four seconds later.
Yellow jersey holder Sam Watson finished in the bunch, which is enough to ensure that he finished five seconds ahead of van Ekeren, who also finished second in the points competition.
There was some consolation for the Dutch rider, with his colleague Lars Loohuis finishing third overall and helping to clinch the team classification.