Steven James (Hargroves Cycles) retained his South of England Championship title after a hard fought battle with Adrian Lansley (Pedal On) which he won by just one second on the line.
The two had pulled away from the start, and after a couple of laps they already had a clear lead as they followed each other all throughout the remaining laps. As the pair came into the finishing section Steven accelerated away to enter the twisty section first so as to exit first and it worked as he had just time to sit up to salute the win.
The race was held in the war Memorial Park in Basingstoke and consisted a couple of football pitches, some wooded sections and a BMX track. The course was very dry and did not cut up at all throughout the race. It remained dry but it was very windy throughout all the races.
After a furious start the pack started to string out and Steven and Andrew Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles) were at the head of the field as they came back across the main arena. There were already gaps appearing which was testament to the fast pace being set at the front.
The first time through the ‘bmx’ section a small group of five had formed which included Matt MacDonald and Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles).
Up the climb on the first lap John Whittington (CNP Orbea) joined in the action and was right on Steven’s Wheel. Once the race settled it was Adrian and Steven pulling away from Crispin and Andrew before Andrew started to slip away and this was allowing a hard charging Sam Allen (Hennebont Cyclisme) to start sees a chance of catching the chasing pair.
At mid distance with Adrian and Steven clear at the front the chasers Matt and Crispin along with Andrew were now stuck together along with John and the closing stages would see all the changes taking place
With the chasing group now beginning to fragment the leaders applied the pressure and extended their lead and gives the others the slip for good.
With the leaders looking evenly matched Doyle was now doing his best to reel in Whittington which he managed as they swung into the arena section. Sam Allen continued his charge and finally got past Matt MacDonald but it looked like he was running out of time to chase down Crispin and John.
On lap five Crispin put an attack in and eases away from John to hone in on a medal but this effort looked in vain as John soon came back and got past again.
Now with two laps to go Adrian makes his move over the hurdles but in the wooded section Steven comes back to him and is now on his back wheel again. In the battle for third Crispin has got back with John and Sam is now looking laboured as is safe in fifth spot.
At the finish Adrian leads into the arena and Steven is on his wheel but he eased past him to solo to the line. John Whittington took the remaining medal from Crispin with Sam coming in fifth after a hard race.
The combined races for veterans, women and juniors saw some of the most keenly contested racing of the day.
Matt Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles) won the junior boys race and was over a minutes clear of second place Joe Griffiths (Dream CC). A group of four made the initial attack from the off with Matt and Joe were Harvey Lowe and Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles). Matt Hargroves dropped Joe mid race and Matt Woods did the same to Harvey towards the end of the race.
The Women’s race saw Tamina Oliver (Hargroves Cycles) soon pull out a lead which she managed to control over Claire Smith (Cotswold Veldrijden) finishing over 2 minutes clear. Tamina had enough time at the end to allow race leader Matt Hargroves to pass her within sight of the finish line to allow her not too have to complete another full lap.
The vet race was won by Mike Simpson (GS Henley) from William Girvan (North Hants RC) with Robin Wilmott (GA Cycles) third. The only major causality of the race was Sean Williams (Wightlink Offshore) who broke his chain while he was in the leading group. He did manage to run to the pits and swap his bike but by now he was well done and retired.
Steven Davies (Team Jewson) was the winner of the vet 50+ winner from Dave McMullen (Team GWR) with Malcolm Cross (Hargroves Cycles) third.
In the youth race both the winners were convincing winners and well clear of their second place. The youth boy’s race was won by Anthony Anderson (La Fuga-Sigma Sport), and once the race started he pulled out a large gap leaving Christopher Rothwell (Swindon RC) and Edward Gronbech (Oxford City RC) to fight it out with Jack Saunders (Swindon RC).
Anthony’s lead is now over 40secs and despite ‘bumping’ into a senior rider on the course he managed to get back up to race pace and continue on to a clear win.
In the girl’s race Emily Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles RT) very quickly built up a commanding lead over Zoe Sheehan (Swindon RC) who in turn was clear of Emma Pitt (PPV) and this is how it stayed throughout the remainder of the laps
The morning racing got underway with a very large entry from the under 12’s. Angus Hawkins and Jay Allen were once again at the front as they have been all season. Not too far behind was Freddie Birchill (Mid Devon) and Max Hinds (First Chard Wheelers).
These youngsters had a few laps over the fifteen minutes of racing but once Angus got his gap he soon pulled away from Jay and the race was won.
1 Steven James Hargroves Cycle 58:14
2 Adrian Lansley Pedal On @ 1sec
3 John Whittington CNP Orbea @ 19sec
4 Crispin Doyle Hargroves Cycles @ 28sec
5 Sam Allen Hennebont Cyclisme @ 30sec
1 Matt Hargroves Hargroves Cycles 1:01:40
2 Joe Griffiths Dream CC @ 1:05
3 Matthew Woods Hargroves Cycles @ 1:59
1 Tamina Oliver Hargroves Cycles 1:01:42
2 Claire Smith Cotswold Veldrijden @ 41sec
3 Maxine Filby RWD Brakes Factory RT @1:00
1 Mike Simpson GS Henley 1:02:11
2 William Girvan North Hants RC @ 48sec
3 Robin Wilmott GA Cycles @ 1:38
1 Steven Davies Team Jewson 1:03:15
2 Dave McMullen Team GWR @1:37
3 Malcolm Cross Hargroves Cycles @ 3:29
1 Anthony Anderson La Fuga-Sigma Sport 29:13
2 Christopher Rothwell Swindon RC @ 21sec
3 Edward Gronbech Oxford City RC @ 26sec
4 Jack Saunders Swindon RC @ 1:11
5 Daniel Tuley Chapel Tristars @ 1:42
1 Emily Wadsworth Beeline Cycles RT 33:01
2 Zoe Sheehan Swindon RC @ 3:15
3 Emma Pitt PPV @ 3:54
4 Ciara Hutchinson Swindon RC
5 Lauren Murphy Team Milton Keynes
1 Angus Hawkins PPV 15:38
2 Jay Allen PPV @ 36sec
3 Noah Tresham Team MK @ 41sec
Girls: Maddie Wadsworth PPV
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