Steve James (Hargroves Cycles) continued his fine run of form with a solo win at a very wet and muddy sports centre in Southampton.
After a couple of laps James broke away from team mates Andy Hargroves, Stuart Bowers and Matt Hargroves and he soon had a large gap which he maintained to the end.
Soon after the start the four team mates had opened a good gap and were soon clear of a couple of chasing riders. Sam Allen (Hennebont) managed to have a tussle with a thorn bush in the wooded section and found himself slipping backwards despite a good start. Once Sam had stopped twice to remove the foliage he soon set of picking back the places he had lost.
On the first lap James and Andy Hargroves were together and Bowers was just five seconds adrift, Matt Hargroves was close by along with James Cotty (Wheelbase Cannondale) and Chris Atkinson (Specialized). Once the front order had been established the only movement came from Allen.
The next couple of laps sees James and Andy Hargroves pull away along with Bowers but the pace at the front sees the younger Hargroves rider Matt slip back to 28seconds with Allen now only 16secs behind him a catching fast.
The next rider to slip away is Andy, which allows Bowers past but he is now 25secs down Andy is at 35secs, Allen is 1min back but more importantly ahead of Matt who is now 1min 30 down on the leader.
At the bell James has a lead of 54sec over Bowers, Allen was 1:21 adrift and Andy Hargroves is now 1:52 back with Matt Hargroves 3:14 further behind. The heavy conditions and the rain only managed to help Steve James and he managed to extend his lead by a few more seconds.
The combined race for veterans, juniors and women was held it heavy rain throughout and as this was the final race of the day the course was very cut up on the corners and riders were having to carefully pick the race line in order to remain upright.
From the start Sean Williams (Wightlink/Offshore) and Mike Simpson (GS Henley) resumed where they have been all season at the front and soon the two riders had pulled away from the rest. Will Girvan (North Hants RC) and Keith Sheridan (Cotswold Veldrijden) soon eased away from David Hobbs and David Phillips both from the Cotswold Veldrijden team?
At half way the leader board saw Simpson from Williams by 15sec followed by Girvan 47sec, then Sheridan 1:12. Hobbs and Phillips were having a good dice together and they were 1:45 down. The next rider was Robin Wilmott (GA Cycles) at 2:22. The leading lady was Melissa Brand (Pretorius) from London just down to race on Boxing Day.
The youth race saw a good fight at the front on the first lap with four riders quite close together.
The race order was Anthony Anderson (Sigma Sport) Chris Rothwell (Swindon RC) Edward Gronbech (Oxford City RC) and Harry Sowden (Clayton Cars BMW).
But on the second lap Anderson dropped away and Gronbech as Rothwell started to pull away. His lead went to 12secs over Edward and Anderson was now 40secs adrift. Anderson continued to have trouble and he tumbled away and at the bell he was fifth. Dan Tuley (Chapel Tri Stars) capitalised on the drop in form and he moved up to fourth.
The under 12s race was the race with it all to play for in the Wessex League as Angus Hawkins and Jay Allen (PPV) had both the same amount of wins and second places and with the dropped scores taken into account they were neck and neck going into the last race, winner takes all.
The two young riders were very evenly matched at the start and neither wanted to give an inch as they rode away from the front. But with just over a lap to go Angus slipped away and Jay was unable to go with him. So Angus took the win and along with it the Under 12’s League win.
1 Steve James Hargroves Cycles 48:20
2 Stuart Bowers Hargroves Cycles @ 1:03
3 Sam Allen Hennebont @ 1:31
4 Andrew Hargroves Hargroves Cycles @ 2:22
5 Matt Hargroves Hargroves Cycles
1 Mike Simpson GS Henley 38:27
2 Sean Williams Wightlink Offshore @ 8sec
3 Will Girvan North Hants RC @ 1:11
4 Keith Sheridan Cotswold Veldrijden @ 1:13
5 David Phillips Cotswold Veldrijden @ 2:21
Women: Melissa Brand Pretorius
1 Christopher Rothwell Swindon RC 22:21
2 Edward Gronbech Oxford City RC @ 29sec
3 Harry Sowden Clayton Cars BMW @ 1:14
4 Dan Tuley Chapel Tri Stars @ 1:48
5 Anthony Anderson Sigma Sport @ 2:45
1 Angus Hawkins PPV
2 Jay Allen PPV @ 50sec
3 Rowan Turner Poole Wheelers
4 Anna Wadsworth PPV and 1st Girl
5 Maddie Wadsworth PPV and 2nd Girl
6 Madeline Cooper Chapel Tri Stars and 3rd Girl
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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.