Road: Fortune favours brave attacker Purnell


Location: Cople, Bedfordshire
Event: 21 April 2013
Report: Snowdon Sports
Photos: Martin Dossett

Proving that age is no barrier, 54-year-old veteran Anthony Purnell (Cambridge CC) showed his younger rivals the way to do it as he rode to a solo victory – the first of his career - in Welwyn Wheelers’ 56-mile Fleche Welwyn road race.

After earlier attempts had been neutralised, Purnell finally made a break stick with a lap and a half of the Cople circuit to go and, with a lead approaching a minute just after the bell, held on to his advantage by just six seconds on the finish hill against a rapidly-closing bunch led in by Henry Farrell (Welwyn Wheelers).

“It’s my best result in a road race by a mile,” said the delighted Cambridge fourth category. “I’m completely thrilled by it. It’s amazing what a trip to Majorca two weeks ago could do.

“I did a great time trial last weekend, but even a scientist couldn’t find my sprint and I knew I had to get in a break today to have a chance. I just tried and tried, and eventually I found myself alone off the front.

“I raced as a schoolboy up to the age of 15 and then gave up for more than 30 years before starting again about six years ago. I just seem to keep getting better – it’s meant to go the other way!”


1 Anthony Purnell (Cambridge CC)
2 Henry Farrell (Welwyn Wheelers)
3 Mike Broadwith (Arctic-SRAM RT)
4 Simon Fox (CC Luton)
5 Chris Smith (Python RT)
6 Samuel Morgan (London Phoenix)
7 Edward Palfreeman (Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT)
8 Michael Cowland (St Ives CC)
9 James Archibald (GS Henley)
10 Tim Davies (Icknield RC)

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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.