A race-hardened men’s peloton from last weekend's stage race on the Isle of Man headed to Colne last night for the penultimate round of the National Circuit Series, and were greeted by a large and appreciative crowd.
The national circuit champion, Matt Bostock, was notably absent from the start-list as he begins his preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Instead, a depleted WiV SunGod team topped the list of riders to watch.
Series leader, Jake Scott, and his teammate, Rob Scott (WiV SunGod), were the in-form men. However, a strong line-up from Team Inspired was ready to throw a spanner in the works, including newly-crowned European under-23 omnium champion Oscar Nilsson-Julien.
The flag was pulled in and the riders launched away from the start line, and the short laps and fast corners meant the first few laps were a cagey affair - no one rider wanted to work too hard for fear of wasting their energy.
After 10 minutes of racing, WiV SunGod had started alternating attacks in an attempt to wear down the bunch. Jake Scott was the first rider to attack, signalling WiV SunGod’s intentions early on, but he was closely marked.
Rob Scott tried next, then Reece Wood, and finally Jake Scott and Jack Rootkin-Gray (Team Inspired) forced themselves clear. However, Saint Piran and Wheelbase CabTech Castelli were wise to the danger; each move was a tactical battle as much as a physical one, with teams disrupting the chase on the front of the bunch to try and give their riders the advantage.
Rootkin-Gray and Jake Scott soon began to look at each other and, with their cooperation breaking down, they were brought back by the bunch.
Three riders saw their chance and a counterattack quickly formed. Rob Scott, Ben Chilton (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus), and Josh Giddings (Team Inspired) combined to pull away and gain a small lead on the fast circuit.
The trio were working well together, but it wasn’t enough for Rob Scott. Four laps later he accelerated, putting Chilton in difficulty and forcing a response from Giddings. Chilton couldn’t follow the move and he began to lose contact with his one-time breakaway companions.
With the gap hovering between 10 and 20 seconds, Scott and Giddings couldn’t let off the gas. Behind, WiV SunGod and Team Inspired were controlling the front of the race, each trying to get another rider up the road.
The elastic finally snapped with three laps to go. Jake Scott seized his opportunity and leapt clear of the bunch. Spurred on by the roaring crowd, he crossed the dwindling gap, making contact with the leaders as they took the bell for the final lap.
It was then that Rob Scott saw his chance and he accelerated away from the now outnumbered Giddings.
Jake Scott marked Giddings and Rob Scott powered away to take a well-deserved solo victory. Behind, Jake Scott came around Giddings in a sprint for the line to secure the top two steps of the podium for WiV SunGod.
Giddings took a well-deserved third place, while Callum Thornley (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli) led the bunch home in fourth.
The result means that WiV SunGod retain their dominant position at the top of the National Circuit Series and Jake Scott’s second place keeps him in the series lead in the individual standings.
Rob Scott (WiV SunGod)
Jacob Scott (WiV SunGod)
Josh Giddings (Team Inspired)