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Report: 2011 Junior Tour of Bristol
9-10 April 2011
Promoted By: Bristol Cycling Development Squad
Race HQ: Chew Valley School, Somerset
Report & Images: Guy Swarbrick
Oliver Rossi wins the opening stage
More Images: Guy Swarbrick's Flickr Gallery from Day 1
The Junior Road Race Series moved from Wales to Bristol for the second round and with half a dozen of the top Junior riders heading off to the Junior Paris-Roubaix - including the winner of the opening round Jon Dibben - the front end of the race was likely to look a little different. A fast course around Chew Valley Lake was polished off at an average speed not far short of 30mph - with the pace and the heat leaving a few riders suffering off the back and not looking forward to the second stage.
It was another race of inconclusive, testing breaks. At the end of lap 1 it was Sam Connelly of Glendene CC who came through first in what would prove to be the longest break of the day. Connelly was still away at the end of the second lap but, by this point the bunch was breathing down his neck. He took the Sprint points before finally being reeled in.
Glendene were involved again as Josh Hannan broke away with Jack Barrett of Team Scotland and Matthew Holmes of Team Wallis pulled out 30 seconds. They couldn't make it stick, either and were joined by another half a dozen riders - a group that stayed together for the second sprint at the halfway point.
David Swan of Asfra Racing Team had a try to get away on his own and powered across the dam well clear of the main bunch. He was still at the sharp end a lap later, but now in the second rank of a hard charging group - taking third in the sprint behind Tom Neale of Spalding CC, Sebastian Baylis of 1st Chard Wheelers and just ahead of Luke Grivell-Mellor of Mid Shropshire Wheelers.
Glendene - in the form of Jim Lewis and Sam Connelly - took the front again in the closing stages, but as they came on to the dam for the last time there was a group of four well away. Oli Rossi of PCA Ciclos Uno took the final sprint from Dante Carpenter of the Asfra racing team with Luke Grivell-Mellor of Mid Shropshire Wheelers third and Daniel Young of Glendene CC the last of the lead group. Alex Peters of Cycling Club Hackney came across 15 seconds later, just ahead of Ali Slater of Hargroves Cycles. The bunch sprint for 7th was won comfortably by Matt Haase of Cardiff Jif.
Sunday's stage is a little lumpier - with five fairly serious climbs in the Mendips - so the slender lead Rossi starts with is unlikely to be decisive.
Stage 1 Results
1 Oliver ROSSI PCA Ciclos Uno
2 Dante CARPENTER Asfra Racing Team
3 Luke GRIVELL-MELLOR Mid Shropshire Wheelers
4 Daniel YOUNG Glendene CC
5 Alex PETERS Cycling Club Hackney
6 Alistair SLATER Hargroves Cycles
7 Matt HAASE Cardiff Jif
8 Richard WALKERDINE Wolverhampton Wheelers
9 Robert LAMBTON Brooks Cycles
10 Jack BARRETT Team Scotland
Rupert Denny takes stage two and the race overall (Picture by Steve Strudley)
The good weather from Day One was carried over to the hilly second stage. Temporary traffic lights on part of the planned route led to a last minute change, which resulted in a less complex, but arguably slightly tougher route.
The opening loop took the riders west from Bishop Sutton towards the 3.8km long Rhodyate Hill at Blagdon. A break away group pulled out the best part of a minute, but while they were away the peloton managed to go off course, forcing the race officials to detain the break while the main group were directed back on to the race route.
The break was allowed to resume with their lead intact but they were quickly reeled back in as the race progressed across the top of the Mendip Hills and down through the village of Chewton Mendip then turn left at East Harptree to tackle the climb of Smitham Hill for the first time.
Sam Boast of Cycle Sport Pendle, Brennan Townshend Mid-Devon CC and Dan Pearson of Port Talbot Wheelers were at the head of a group of five just ahead of the bunch over the top and, after looping through Chewton Mendip and back up again it was Townshend, Pearson and Boast at the front again, with the rest of the head of the race starting to break up.
Townshend was still ahead on the penultimate ascent, now in company with yesterday's second placed rider Dante Carpenter of Asfra Racing Team and Luke Grivell-Mellor of Mid Shropshire Wheelers. With Stage One winner Rossi not enjoying the terrain, Carpenter looked as though he was in pole position for the overall win.
The decisive move came shortly afterwards, with Rupert Denny of Nemesis GB breaking away from the lead group while the leading riders from Day 1 tried to figure out whether he was a threat. By the time he crossed the line he had opened a 40 second gap on second placed Matthew Holmes of Team Wallis Cycles who was 13 seconds ahead of a group consisting of Alex Peters of CC Hackney, Alistair Slater of Hargroves Cycles, Grant Ferguson of Team Scotland - and Carpenter.
The result took a while to sort out, with second to sixth places separated by just nine seconds. There was no doubt about the winner, though, with Denny's brave solo effort securing the win. Yesterday's runner-up Carpenter took 2nd overall - 28 seconds behind Denny - with Grivell-Mellor just 4 seconds behind, Peters a further 5 seconds off at 37 seconds, Slater at 39 and Holmes at 40 seconds. Stage 1 winner Oliver Rossi finished 20th overall.
1 Rupert DENNY Team Nemesis GB
2 Matthew HOLMES Team Wallis Cycles @ 40 seconds
3 Alex PETERS Cycling Club Hackney @ 53
4 Alistair SLATER HARGROVES CYCLES
5 Grant FERGUSON Team Scotland
6 Dante CARPENTER Asfra racing team
7 Luke GRIVELL-MELLOR Mid Shropshire Wheelers @1 minute 2 second
8 Taylor JOHNSTONE Team Scotland
9 Brennan TOWNSHEND Mid Devon CC
10 James BAILLIE Sheffield Sports
1 Rupert DENNY Team Nemesis GB
2 Dante CARPENTER Asfra racing team @ 28 seconds
3 Luke GRIVELL-MELLOR Mid Shropshire Wheelers @ 32
4 Alex PETERS Cycling Club Hackney @ 37
5 Alistair SLATER Hargroves Cycles @ 39
6 Matthew HOLMES Team Wallis Cycles @ 40
7 Grant FERGUSON Team Scotland @ 58
8 Taylor JOHNSTONE Team Scotland @ 1 minute 2 seconds
9 Brennan TOWNSHEND Mid Devon CC same time
10 James BAILLIE Sheffield Sports st
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.