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Rees wins race but Edgell takes overall honours
Somer Valley's Rob Edgell won the overall three race series with a fine fifth place in the final race while watching his rivals for the title.
The race was won by Charles Rees (Gillingham and District Wheelers) on a very wet evening across the New Forest just outside Southampton.
The race was 5.5 laps with a total of 50km over the undulating circuit used for the previous two races. The bunch rolled away just as the rain slowed, but before they had completed a full lap the rain came back to hamper the riders along with the local livestock that had been turned out.
First to show at the turn at Laycock's Green Farm was Charles Rees who had managed to pull out a lead of 24 seconds over Rob Edgell with the remainder of the bunch close by.
After they had completed one full lap Charles was now in control with a gap now 30 seconds over a chasing group of four riders who in turn had the bunch back at a further 10 seconds.
The chasers changed on the next lap until two riders Andy Powell (Hargroves Cycles) and Stuart Thompson (Andover wheelers) managed to pull away from the bunch. With the rain now getting heavier and the mist rolling in the race stayed the same for the next couple of laps.
The last lap saw Charles hold onto his lead through the bell with Andy and Stuart unable to bridge the gap which had now dropped to 10 seconds with the bunch a further six seconds behind and now beginning to stretch out over the last climb.
With his main rival back in the bunch Rob could take it a bit easier and allow his team mate Jerry Rayner to keep up the pace behind the leaders.
As Charles climbed towards the finish line he was well clear, but now there were two riders together, but it wasn't Andy and Stuart, as Andy had slipped back to be replaced by Jason Duckworth (Team Tor 2000) who out sprinted Stuart to the line to take second. The next three riders across the line were Gregg Shrosbree (Merida UK) just ahead of Rob Edgell and Andy Powell.
Charles said afterwards he was happy with the win as he had been unwell the last two weeks and had not managed to train but felt really good tonight. Rob was delighted with the overall win in the series as he had targeted this series and it all work well for him.
1. Charles Rees (Gillingham and District Wheelers)
2. Jason Duckworth (Team Tor 2000) @4secs
3. Stuart Thompson (Andover Wheelers) @6secs
4. Gregg Shrosbree (Merida UK) @12secs
5. Rob Edgell (Somer Valley CC) @st
6. Andy Powell (Hargroves Cycles) @st