Grant Martin secured victory on Stage 1 of the Junior Tour of The Mendips on Saturday after 103 kilometres of hard racing on the Mendip Hills Circuit.
Etienne Georgi had to be content with second as Martin, the stronger of the two, took the sprint finish into a fierce headwind. Charlie Quarterman took third, the Zappi’s RT rider finishing just ahead of the closing main field.
The sting in the tail came early with a 3.5-kilometre climb which had the field strung out. Kieran Simcox (Bike Box Alan), Alex Foster (Border City Wheelers) and Matt Draper (Velocity Globalbike) opened up the early attacks but they was short lived, a pattern which would set the tone throughout the race with strong winds playing their part in deciding the breaks.
As the race crossed the finish line for the first of seven laps, it was Will Gascoyne (Pines Cycles) and Matt Fratesi (Dream Cycling) that had gained a small break on the field while James Ireson (WWCC) was having a dislocated knee attended to after an early crash. The heavy rolling course soon had riders out the back of the field, the going tough in the headwinds.
Kieren Simcox’s early attack looked to be paying dividends, as he was still away off the front some 20 seconds to the good. Spokes RT rider Ryan Hill worked across to join Simcox and the two remained alone for a short time before been hauled back to the bunch.
Jack Billyard (RP RT) and Robert Grey (York Cycleworks) countered and were away, joined by Alex Foster and Grant Martin. The small break began to edge a nice gap while the bunch looked at each other for ideas, but as the road turned towards Wells the field were back as one.
Small breaks formed throughout the following few laps but the strong winds and heavy roads were making it difficult to stay away.
By mid-race a group of eight had got away and had a useful 25 seconds on the main field but the escape was short lived and order in the race was restored.
It was the penultimate lap that saw the race defining break stick, Martin and Georgi along with VC St Raphael’s Ashley Hutchinson put the effort in and were working well but the pace was too high for Hutchinson and he sat up.
As the final lap approached, the two leaders were increasing their lead when Charlie Quaterman attacked the bunch and with no real response from anyone he got away, the leaders were holding on to a 30 second gap to Quaterman who in turn had 45 seconds on the bunch who didn’t look to be organising any chase.
Martin and Gerogi took the final Chedder Cross turn together but Martin proved too strong and took the victory from the sprint, Quaterman held onto third place just ahead of the main field.
Stage one (provisional):
1 Grant Martin (Spokes Racing Team) 2.36.35
2 Etienne Georgi (Giant Cycling Team-Halo Films) at 0.02
3 Charlie Quaterman (Zappi’s Racing Team) at 0.14
4 Michael O’Louglin (Cycle Ireland)
5 Marcus Benett (Corley Cycles-Drops RT)
6 Jacob Booth (Dave Hinde Racing Team)
7 George Clark (High Wycombe Cycling Club)
8 Oliver Peckover (Sherwood Pines Cycles Sram RT)
9 Reece Wood (Velocity Globalbike)
10 Kieren Simcox (Bike Box Alan / Envelopemaster)