Paul Oldham produced a superb comeback to take victory in round two of the National Trophy in Southampton.
The Hope Factory rider set the pace early on with Adam Martin (Metaltek) sitting on his wheel. Beeline Bicycles junior Ben Sumner sat in third with Hargroves Cycles duo Steve James and Jodie Crawforth a few seconds behind on home turf.
Endura’s Oli Beckingsale got off to a bad start and had his work cut out if he was to catch the leaders.
Then, at the end of the first lap, there came a turning point in the race as Oldham’s chain slipped and got jammed in the frame of his bike. The problem cost him dear as he lost 42 seconds and dropped back to 15th place.
This left Sumner in first place but Martin, who would later admit that he set off too hard, was chasing him down.
Sumner started to open a gap on the second lap and Beckingsale had clawed his way up to second. But Paul Oldham had started to work his way back through the field and had moved up to seventh by the early stages of the third lap. He was now only 15 seconds down on Sumner.
By the fourth lap, Sumner was still leading but Oldham was flying and the gap was now just seven seconds. He had overtaken Beckingsale and was now second.
At the halfway point, the race settled as Oldham passed Sumner and regained the lead. He continued to push hard and a gap started to grow. With three laps to go, he had 10 seconds on Sumner, who was out on his own.
Further down, Adam Martin had picked up the pace again and managed to move up to third place on the bell lap.
Oldham crossed the line 41 seconds ahead of Sumner to complete a stunning ride and retain the yellow jersey. Martin finished third, eight seconds behind Sumner.
Paul said: “I’m feeling strong, although I think I damaged a bone in my right hand last week, there’s definitely something wrong, I can hear it clicking.
“The chain slipping made me panic, I thought my race was going. All you can do is ride the best race and the only pressure you are under is what you put on yourself. You just have to work your way back up the field, one by one. Adam Martin rode really well too.”
Hope Factory enjoyed another win as Annabel Simpson dominated the women’s race. On the back of her triple win in the Rapha Supercross and with Isla Rowntree out with an injury, Simpson took control of the race and claimed the yellow jersey.
In the opening stages of the race, it was Simpson, along with Delia Beddis and Hannah Payton (Kinesis Morvelo Project) leading the field of 14 riders. Jessie Wilkinson, who was to finish as top junior, was sitting just behind. Beyond that, Tamina Oliver looks to have found some form and was also riding well.
Simpson and Payton started to open a gap 10 minutes in and pulled away from the rest of the field. Ten seconds back, Beddis, Oliver and Spanish rider Merci Pacios Pujado (Blue Motors) were battling for third spot.
Payton started to use her leg strength but and was technically sound when going over the planks but Simpson dug deep to keep her lead and she managed to pull further ahead as the race went on.
As the bell rang, Simpson had a healthy lead and only a catastrophe would see her surrender the lead. Fortunately for her, that didn’t happen and she crossed the line 16 seconds ahead of Payton to top the podium. Pujado finished third.
Speaking after the race, Annabel Simpson said: “I’m really happy to have got the win. It was great to get a victory for Team Hope Factory. I’m also very happy to have the yellow jersey, I didn’t initially think that I had taken it so to find out about that was fantastic.”
Darren Atkins took the race win and the overall jersey in the 40-49 veterans race in brilliant sunshine and a pretty much dry course. The Team Jewson rider took the opening half of the race in his usual style, powering off the start line and opening up a healthy looking gap over a chasing Crispin Doyle and the series leader Ian Taylor.
Nottingham Clarion's Dave Ash and Mike Simpson (GS Henley) made up the chasing group of four. As the race progressed it was Doyle who dug deep and broke from the group and chased down Atkins.
The inform Hargroves rider was looking strong and was to open a small gap on Atkins mid race but the Jewson rider wasn't going to allow his early lead to go and another second place in successive races was not in the brief. Atkins fought back and crossed the line for the final lap in clear daylight. Doyle held on to a fine second spot finishing 20 seconds to Atkins, Ian Taylor took the third spot on the podium.
It was series leader Steve Davies who took the win in the over 50s race, the Hargroves rider finding excellent form for the season and looking favourite for the overall.
It was Team Jewson's Phil Roach who lead the race out from the line with Davies sitting a little way back, caught up in traffic but by the closing metres of the first lap Davies had taken his place at the head of the race and was setting the pace.
Team Pedal Power's Mick Davies, losing time from an early dismount was sitting in second but had work to do to see the Hargrove rider's back wheel in any detail, Roach was looking comfortable in third and was tied to Davies's saddle but the Pedal Power rider had the experience to keep the chaser at bay and crossed the line just a bike length to the good.
Sean Dunlea took his first podium in the National Trophy with a fine win in the junior race. The Ciclos Uno youngster proved to be strongest from a select group of five who went away in the opening lap.
Hargroves Tom Franklin headed the race out of the opening tunnel with Danny Fox (RST), Matthew Worton (Blackhawk Bikes), Jake Poole (S2 Cycles/Raleigh) and Dunlea hitting the woods together leaving a strung out field in their wake.
Zepnat's Chris Barnes, Liam Earl (Corridori) and Robert Rogers (Birkenhead NE) were sitting in a second chase group but the race podium looked as though it would be decided from the first group.
As the race progressed Poole started to slip off the pace a little of the group but the series leader dug deep to keep in contention and keep the jersey safe. Fox worked well to take the race lead, fresh from a good race in Europe the RST youngster looked to have the measure of the others but Dunlea and Worton were not going to allow Fox to gain any kind of lead and the two shared the work to ride away from the group.
With the closing minutes of the race in sight, it was Dunlea who got the better of his breakaway partner taking a fine solo win, Poole and Fox left it till the finishing road to decide the final step of the podium, Fox having the legs to ride Poole into fourth.
Dan Tulett continued his winning ways, again taking the win in the under 16 boys race. The Hargroves rider took the race from the front, setting the pace. Will Gascoyne (Matlock CC), Tom Mein (MTS Cyclesport/ Inkland), Josh Waters(Sherwood Pines/Sram) and Condor's David Barnes were tucked in to the yellow jersey's wheel on the opening lap but Tullet was not letting anyone block his view of the front and rode the race from the front to the chequered flag.
There was a fine second place for Josh Waters and third for David Barnes will see the time gaps get smaller as the series progresses.
Charlotte Broughton (MG Decor) took her second win of the series and the blue jersey, again getting a good start the youngster, fresh from a track training camp put her leg speed to good use to scamper away from the rest of the field. Emily Wadsworth (Beeline Bicycles) took second and Isabelle Boon (Derby Mercury) held off RST's Jessica Roberts to take the final step of the podium
Lucy Horrocks took a solo win in the under 14 girls race which made a trio of Team Hope Factory wins, the youngster held off Poppy Wildman(Nottingham Clarion) and Ellie Russell(Mid Shrops Wheelers) in the second and third respectively. In the Under 14 boys race Birkenhead NE Craig Rogers held Euan Cameron (East Bradford CC) at bay to take the win, Ben Tullet (Hargroves) took third.
Standings after round two
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