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Bethel snatches circuit victory at the death
Paul Bethel took a narrow victory in a hard fought contest on the twisting circuit round the National Tennis Centre.
There was a good turnout for Round 2 of the City Race Series at the new Sportcity circuit, with a higher number of 1st and 2nd category riders that the first round.
There were a number of strong teams present in strength, including velocity 3 in 1 cnp and Base2Race, as well as the usual collection of club riders.
The pace was high from the start, with tit for tat attacking beginning immediately. This caused some immediate splits in the group and a strong front group of about 15 riders emerged. Behind them were several smaller chasing groups and individual riders.
Despite frequent attempts, no one was able to break clear of the leading group until lap nine when, negotiating the hairpin in the shadow of the City of Manchester Stadium, a velocity 3 in 1 cnp rider misjudged the curve and slid into the barriers.
The ensuing confusion in the bunch was enough to allow John Crellin (Manchester Wheelers) and Paul Bethel (Team Elite) to gain a gap. They were soon joined by two other riders and, working fluidly together, they were able to build a significant lead which they held to the finish, Paul Bethel just beating John Crellin to the line by half a wheel.