Steve James (Hargroves Cycles) sprinted away on the last lap to win round four of the Wessex League at Wareham in Dorset on Sunday.
He took the win from Michael Cotty (Wheelbase Cannondale) by 10 seconds, sprinting away late in the race after the two riders could not be split from lap one.
In the Poole Wheelers event in Wareham the course was a mixture of woodland, grass and tarmac to keep the riders on their toes. The course stayed dry throughout the races.
The senior race had a quality field as they were gridded, and a fast race soon ensued. From the start Steve James, Michael Cotty and Luke Gray (Trek Cross Collective) were slightly ahead of Andy Hargroves (Felt Colbornes Hargroves RT) and younger brother Matt Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles).
After lap one Cotty and Gray were together with James at 14 seconds, Andy Hargroves at 16 seconds and Matt Hargroves 21 seconds back.
The lead stayed the same until lap three when Gray slipped back, leaving James and Cotty together at the front clear of the local rider by 17 seconds.
There was a battle behind when both Andy and Matt Hargroves retired, leaving a large gap to fourth place between Jamie Norfolk and Chris Minter (Pedal On), Richard Lewis (CC Basingstoke) around a minute and a half back.
At the bell Cotty and James could not be separated, Gray was now 1-23 back, and Minter 1-49 behind.
As the leaders came into view James attacked and managed to get some daylight between him and Cotty, and he rode to the line a full 10 seconds clear. The other places did not change on the last lap.
Crispin Doyle (Hargroves Cycles) continued his great start to the season by winning the combined vet, women’s, junior race for the fourth race in succession.
He raced away on the opening lap, opening up an 11 second lead over Keith Sheridan (Cotswold Veldrijden). There was a scramble for the next places as Robin Wilmott (Cotswold Veldrijden) Mike Simpson (GS Henley), Sean Williams (Wightlink Offshore) and Steve Davies were all locked together. Also riding high was Pete Scott (Cotswold Veldrijden).
The first rider to have trouble was Simpson who punctured, while conversely Steve Davies was enjoying all the technical sections and soon started to pick off places, and by mid race Doyle was leading Davies by 40secs.
Williams was now down by 50 seconds. Sheridan was 1-39 back, Wilmott 2-50 down and Scott about three minutes off. At the finish Doyle won by 28 seconds from Davies.
Claire Smith (Cotswold Veldrijden) was first women making it four from four and Joseph Andrews won the junior section also for the fourth race of the season.
The earlier race for youths was won by a big margin by Chris Rothwell (SCRA) from Elliott Lassiter (Cotswold Veldrijden) by 40 seconds.
Chris made a very quick start and Ed Gronbech (Oxford City RC) was second but he faded away on the second lap leaving Elliott to take up the chase. Angus Hawkins (PPV) was next up followed by Charlie Cooper (Chapel Tri Stars).
Rothwell continued his charge at the front with Lassiter now 30 seconds back. Gronbech was a further minute down and Angus Hawkins was nearly five minutes down on the leader.
1 Steve James Hargroves Cycles 49mins 40secs
2 Michael Cotty Wheelbase Cannondale @10secs
3 Luke Gray Trek Cross Collective @1min 54secs
4 Chris Minter PedalOn @2mins 10secs
5 Jamie Norfolk PedalOn @3mins 16secs
6 Richard Lewis CC Basingstoke @4mins 2secs
1 Crispin Doyle Hargroves Cycles 36mins 30secs
2 Steve Davies Hargroves Cycles @28secs
3 Sean Williams Wightlink Offshore @56secs
4 Keith Sheridan Cotswold Veldrijden @ 1min 39secs
5 Robin Wilmott Cotswold Veldrijden @2mins 50secs
6 Pete Scott Cotswold Veldrijden @3mins 02secs
Women: Claire Smith Cotswold Veldrijden
Junior: Joseph Andrews Fareham Wheelers
1 Chris Rothwell SCRA
2 Elliott Lassiter Cotswold Veldrijden @40secs
3 Edward Gronbech Oxford City RC @1mins 40secs
4 Angus Hawkins PPV @4mins 50secs
5 Charlie Cooper Chapel Tri Stars @5mins 45secs
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