Edmund Bishop sealed a comfortable win to take the Bath Road Club Junior Road Race title on Sunday – crossing the line more than five seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.
With just three rounds remaining in the 2017 British Cycling Junior Road Race Series – the Dave Rayner Junior Men’s Race in Scarborough and the Junior Tour of Wales – the Bath Road Club Junior Road Race left the Cottesloe School in Wing, near Leighton Buzzard, under threatening skies and on to the traditional Cublington circuit.
In a race dominated by short-lived breakaways, Mason Hollyman of Bike Box Alan and Michael Parry of Verulam reallymoving.com were among the first to animate the race on the opening lap – pulling out 30 seconds on the main bunch.
A lap later it was Theo Modell of Team Corley Cycles, Matthew Lewis (Wolverhampton Wheelers), Daniel Coombe (Team Backstedt/Hotchillee) and Matthew Ellis of Steve Poole Plant Hire/Raleigh with a similar gap.
Liam Davies of Catford CC Equipe/Banks headed a group of five with a handful of seconds on the field as the race headed out of Cublington with four laps to go, but they all came back together again.
With two laps to go it was Joshua Sandman of Herefordshire Cycling Club with a ten second advantage over Josh Copley of Catford CC, who headed the chasing bunch by the same margin, with Coombe leading the chase behind.
Sandman was still ahead at the bell but Copley had long since been swallowed up and the Herefordshire rider had only managed to extend his lead by another five seconds.
Once his bid was over, a small group jumped away and then as the race moved into the last 5km, VC Meudon rider Bishop made his move.
With 3km to go he had 24 seconds and a chasing group of three which included newly crowned Junior National Champion Louis Rose-Davies of Canyon UK.
With the bunch strung out as it reeled in the leaders, it looked as though Bishop might get caught by the three riders bridging across in the last 500m – but as he hit the bottom of the final climb, it looked like he might just hold on – and it was the chasers who were under pressure from the peloton.
Bishop took the win five seconds ahead of Charles Page of Cycle Team OnForm, with Rose-Davies holding on for third and Jim Brown of PH-MAS leading home the charging bunch.
“I wasn’t expecting that! Everyone was playing around – we’d just caught the break – and then I just went over the top over a couple of moves and then just went for it,” Bishop said.
“I saw I had about 20 seconds on the main downhill and then I just had to hold it. I saw everyone coming, but then I knew I had it coming up the final climb”
“I saw that it had split up, so I thought ‘Oh good – I’ve got fourth, at least’ – and then I managed to hold it.”