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Watson powers past Stockwell in Melton Mowbray

Watson powers past Stockwell in Melton Mowbray

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Samuel Watson used his power to outsprint breakaway companion Oliver Stockwell to clinch the 6th Junior CiCLE Classic in Melton Mowbray.

The Fensham Howes - MAS Design rider, from Leeds, was at the head of proceedings for the majority of the 60-mile race, which formed round five of the British Cycling Junior Men's Road Series.

But it was a late move with Team Ribble’s Stockwell which decided proceedings.

Watson and Stockwell made their move for glory on the decisive Somerberg sector before Watson attacked his breakaway rival on the final of six dirt sectors to take his first win of the series in the two-up sprint.

Last year’s Junior CiCLE Classic winner and Discovery Junior Cycling Club member Alfred George led the charge home from the group behind to take third.

No regrets for Watson

“It feels good and I would say it’s the closest British race to Paris Roubaix,” said Watson.

“At Roubaix I truly thought that if I was in the mix then I could win but I crashed. I wasn’t desperate to win today but I really wanted to win today.

“I made sure I was right at the front during all the sectors and I made it hard during the race, I made the race really.

“I haven’t been able to do many National Series rounds due to races abroad but it feels good to get a series win under the belt.

“I know Oliver (Stockwell) really well and I know he’s a strong rider. I thought that if I didn’t attack then I would regret it if he beats me in the sprint so I had a go.

“I was feeling good but I was pretty active all day. My legs were just feeling pretty sore when I was away and I saw he was slowly pulling me back so I just sat on when he caught me.”

Onley steals early march

A big field of 121 starters left Melton Mowbray but before the race was de-neutralised it was briefly stopped after a crash held several riders up.

Once underway, small attacks started forming with series leader Leo Hayter of VC Londres going on the attack.

He was chased by several other riders including his team-mate Oscar Nilsson-Julien and Oscar Onley of Spokes Racing Team.

Crossing the first King of the Mountains points up the Burrough Berg first was Onley followed by Nilsson-Julien and then Hayter.

Four riders pull clear

At the start of the final lap four riders went clear including Stockwell, Watson, Rushby and Oliver Rees of HMT before being joined by Solihull rider Jack Rootkin-Gray as they pulled out a 15 second gap.

As they snaked around the Leicestershire lanes three more riders got across including Thomas Gloag of VC Londres, IOM rider Will Corkill and Robert Donaldson of Fensham Homes.

Over the rough sector Stockwell and Watson broke off the front once again, building up a gap which grew out to 30 seconds.

Watson holds off Stockwell

By the third and final King of the Mountains climb Stockwell led from Watson with Hayter leading the chasers over 30 seconds behind but, as they approached the final three kilometres, the gap started to drop.

Watson made a lone bid for glory as he passed the final rough sector and turned back into Melton Mowbray and, despite being joined back by Stockwell, he had enough left in the tank to sprint to victory.

Provisional results

1. Samuel Watson (Fensham Howes-MAS Design)
2. Oliver Stockwell (Team Ribble)
3. Alfred George (Discovery Junior Cycling Club)

KOM: Oliver Stockwell

Gallery

HSBC UK 2019 | Junior Road Race Series CICLE Classic 9th June