The National Under-23 champion and National Trophy Series leader, Steve James (Hargroves Cycles) took a fine win at the Thruxton Motor racing circuit in Hampshire on Sunday.
From the start he was in a group of four strong riders but he pulled away with Adrian Lansley (Pedal On) after a couple of laps and then made the decisive move with a lap to go.
Despite the bad weather during the week the course was dry and well drained although it was a little slippery. The morning started dry, cold and windy and there were a couple of small showers just before and during the combined Vet/Women/Junior race.
Once the senior race got underway a very strong group formed at the front with Ian Legg (Primera/Specialized) leading them through the first few turns. The group contained James and Lansley along with Matt MacDonald (Hargroves Cycles), Michael Cotty (Wheelbase/ Cannondale) and Matt Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles). Also nearby was Sam Allen (Hennebont).
Once the race order was established James and Lansley started to pull clear of Cotty and MacDonald with Allan now six seconds behind the leaders. With three laps completed the leaders had a gap of 21 seconds over Cotty and MacDonald with Allan now feeling the pace back at 50 seconds.
The race order did not change over the next few laps, just the gaps between them changed. James and Lansley were together at the bell with Cotty and MacDonald at 47secs and Allan a distant 1min 45sec. As the leaders raced away from the bell Steve’s James put in a big effort to pull clear of Lansley and it was the young rider that crossed the line 12secs clear.
The combined race in the Vets/Women’s/Junior League was won comfortably by Mike Simpson (GS Henley) after he managed to get away from the early leaders of Matt Woods and Harvey Lowe (Hargroves Cycles).
After the early part of the first lap there were two groups forming. The front group contained Simpson, Lowe, Woods and Robin Wilmott (GA Cycles). And in the chasing group were Dace McMullen (Team GWR), Keith Sheridan, Pete Scott and David Hobbs (Cotswold Veldrijden), Sean Williams (Wightlink Offshore) and Will Girvan (North Hants RC).
Soon the two young Hargroves riders pull away with Simpson and Wilmott locked together and then 10secs back a group of six riders all together. The next lap sees Simpson mixing it with the Hargroves boys before he gets past and pulls away. Sean Williams is the next rider up to pass the juniors. Wilmott is dropping back but he isn’t in any danger of being caught by the chasers.
The next change comes on lap four when Simpson has a gap of 18secs over Woods with Williams and Girvan now 30secs down, Wilmott at 50secs and now Dave McMullen at 1min. the next to get past woods is Williams who once again is finding speed in the second half of a race and he sets about chasing down Simpson.
Now with two laps to go the race order is first Simpson, from Williams at 19secs, Woods and Girvan at 40secs, Wilmott is 1min down and Keith Sheridan is at 1min 7secs. This order remained the same over the remaining laps although Sean Williams did continue a fast pace and was so close to catching Mike but he ran out of laps.
The youth race was won by Chris Rothwell (Swindon RC) continuing his fine form he has carried though the season.
Not wanting to hang about he set about putting time into his fellow youth riders. Second place was being held by his team mate Jack Saunders who was 19secs down with Ed Gronbech (Oxford City RC) 32 seconds back on the leader.
Elliott Lassiter was holding fourth until he started to ease up with a pain in his lower back and this allowed Dan Tuley (Chapel Tri Stars) to get past.
At the bell Chris has a lead of 47secs from Ed who in turn is 43secs clear of Dan with Elliott now slipping away at 1min 53secs.
The morning got underway with another large turnout of under 12s.
Jay Allen (PPV) continued his lead at the front of the league with another comfortable win ahead of his team mate Angus Hawkins.
1 Steve James Hargroves Cycle 56mins 30secs
2 Adrian Lansley Pedal On @12secs
3 Matt MacDonald Hargroves Cycles @ 1min 15secs
4 Michael Cotty Wheelbase/Cannondale @1min 20secs
5 Sam Allen Hennebont @2mins 31secs
1 Mike Simpson GS Henley 42mins 21secs
2 Sean Williams Wightlink Offshore @8secs
3 Will Girvan North Hants RC @28secs
4 Matt Woods Hargroves Cycles @38secs
5 Robin Wilmott GA Cycles @57secs
6 Keith Sheridan Cotswold Veldrijden @1mins 09secs
7 Harvey Lowe Hargroves Cycles @1min 12secs
8 Dave McMullen Team GWR @1min 42secs
9 David Phillips Cotswold Veldrijden
10 David Hobbs Cotswold Veldrijden
Women: Sarah Woods Wightlink Offshore
1 Chris Rothwell Swindon RC 30mins 12secs
2 Jack Saunders Swindon RC @33secs
3 Ed Gronbech Oxford City RC @58secs
4 Dan Tuley Chapel Tri Stars @2mins
5 Elliott Lassiter Swindon RC @3mins 33secs
1st Jay Allen PPV
2nd Angus Hawkins PPV
3rd Max Hinds 1st Chard Wheelers
1st Girl Alderney Baker Southdown Velo
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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.