Clarke Continues Winning Run
Jean Baker Memorial Road Race
Astley, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, 70 miles
Event: 7th August 2011
Report: Snowdon Sports
EMERGING junior Matt Clarke continued his winning ways in Wyre Forest CRC's Jean Baker Memorial road race, outfoxing his more experienced rivals to take victory in a ten-man sprint after five laps of the undulating 14-mile Astley circuit.
The 18-year-old, from Hagley, near Stourbridge, was part of an eight-man break that broke away as soon as the flag dropped, and although the main field were never more than 40 seconds adrift, only two riders managed to escape and bridge the gap just in time to contest the finish,
The race was halted on the second lap when, after the break had gone by, a tractor pulled out in front of the bunch. Some riders squeezed by, but with so many impeded, the organisers decided to call a temporary halt and restart the race with the leaders given a 30-second advantage.
It was enough to keep them clear, and Clarke - a winner on Stourport's closed circuit five days earlier - used his younger legs to outsprint seasoned campaigner Mike Harrison (Congleton CC) for his fourth road success of the campaign.
1 Matt Clarke (Halesowen A&CC) 3:04:00
2 Mike Harrison (Congleton CC)
3 Luke Dunbar (Team Qoroz)
4 Flavio Zappi (Team Zappi)
5 Gareth McGuinness (Energy Cycles)
6 Steven Fidler (Team Elite)
7 Barry Charley (Wolverhampton Wheelers)
8 Richard Harris (Cwmcarn Paragon CC)
9 James Cartwright (Adeo Cadence RT)
10 Matt Jennings (Lutterworth Cycle Centre RT) all @ same time