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TMG Victory for Andy Eagers
The inaugural TMG Horizon Road Race got off to a flying start with 73 riders taking to the start line and tackling the Cublington Circuit in Buckinghamshire.
The circuit has seen a lot of action over the years, but this event marked a return to the course after nearly a two year absence.
Contrary to expectations, there was little in the way of long term breaks, but that is not to say no -one was trying. Mike Jackson of Luton CC dug deep with repeated attacks, especially on laps two and three which netted him the honours in the points competition but there were too many experienced riders in the bunch to let him get away: "I think I'm pretty heavily marked," was his understatement at the finish.
Laps four and five continued with an aggressive pattern of attacks with Team Virgin Active and CC Luton attacking and countering repeatedly. Paul Caton of Anders TMG Horizon said: "You got the feeling something was going to stick, but there were so many strong riders, it looked like it would end up the luck of the draw."
With just under a lap to go, Andy Eagers of Derby Mercury entered the fray, launching a ferocious attack which had other riders hesitating. Gavin Rumbles took up the challenge for CC Luton and the two of them formed an alliance which looked quite fragile with 4km to go. "I reckon they had about 15 seconds," comments Douglas Coleman of the promoting team.
Fortunately for the brave escapees, an awkward incident at this point with a local motorist delayed the progress of the chasing bunch and added another few seconds. However, with a fast descent immediately afterwards, they still had to work hard to hold off the advancing pack.
Andy Eagers came in first, showing that even when outnumbered by the collective strength of local teams, a combination of savvy, selective effort and a little luck goes a long way, while Gavin Rumbles took second place, four seconds behind. Jeremy Addis led the bunch home at 12 seconds.
Thanks to a number of kind volunteers, the promoting team was able to field two riders, who worked hard. Doug Coleman took eighth place whilst Paul Caton was sixteenth. "It's not a bad result for us," comments Caton.
"I'm working quite hard on the track at the moment and Doug is still recovering from a mountain biking accident, so pretty positive."
Neil Wass concludes: "It was a great day's racing - a challenging course, quality riders and the local teams really came out fighting. We're already looking forward to next year."
1. Andy Eagers (Derby Mercury CC) 2-59-36
2. Gavin Rumbles (CC Luton)
3. Jeremy Addis (VC Montpellier) all @ same time
4. Roger Browne (Beeline Bikes RT) @ 3sec
5. Aaron McCaffrey (Virgin Active)
6. Christopher Dredge (Team MK)
7. Conor Ryan (VC Montpellier)
8. Douglas Coleman (Anders TMG Horizon)
9. Neil Beazley (Beeston RC)
10. Joe Harris (Reading CC) all @ same time