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Report: Fareham Wheelers Spring Road Race
Event: Sunday 17th April 2011 | Report: Graham Robins
Successful Week For Hargroves' Dibben
Sunday's race saw a full field of sixty five riders tackle the 64 mile (103km) Hundred Acre wood course near to Fareham. The riders would have to complete the course and climb the hill 11 times as they completed 10 full laps. The morning started warm and the sun was bright as the assembled group rode away from the headquarters for a short neutralised section before turning right to start the race.
With just over half a lap gone and the first big attack saw Robert Ward (VC St Raphael) ride off the front as the chasing bunch tried to organise themselves into some sort of order. While the bunch was sorting it out Stuart Thompson (Banjo Cycles) also managed to slip of the front but he soon found himself slipping back into the grips of the bunch. Robert managed to stay away for a couple of laps increasing his lead on each pass of the finish line until he had a sizeable lead of about 45secs.
On lap three with the bunch now organised with two teams Cannondale and Dulwich Paragon on the front they soon increased the speed and soon had Robert in their sights. They caught him on the climb of Lodge Hill just before the finish line and now the bunch was all together. They continued as a bunch until the start of the next lap.
Lap five saw three riders, James Astbury (Hargroves Cycles), James Fox (CC Luton) and Nick Abraham (Private Member) who now had a small gap and these three were soon to stretch out a lead over the bunch. It was going to be a very eventful day for Nick as the race unfolded. At the tight turn at Newton crossroads it was the three leaders clear of Thomas Knowlton (VC St Raphael) who was in no man's land between the leaders and the chasers and on the remainder of the lap he was caught.
Soon after the finish line at the start of lap six the bunch started to fragment as the speed increase as they tried to pull the leaders back who now had a lead of 1min 25secs. On this lap the three leaders managed to keep their lead but now there was a group of three at 40secs with the rest of the bunch back at 1min 10secs.
Lap seven and eight saw the leaders caught, and a large group from the bunch get across making a group of 17 riders who had a gap of 1min 30secs over the now static bunch.
There was some confusion on lap nine that saw Jonathon Dibben (Hargroves Cycles) and Will Stephenson (Bournemouth Arrow CC) who are both juniors managing to ride off the front. The gap to the chasing group was now 15secs and the bunch were now hovering around the 3min mark. These two riders stayed away, working well together an opening up a lead of over 1min. On the last lap Nick Abraham punctured, got a spare and rode back to the chasing bunch and he was rewarded with a top six finish. He had already been in the first break of the day and was now playing catch up at the end of the race.
Our two leaders now at the bottom of Lodge Hill and comfortably clear now only had to get over the climb once more before the flat run in to the line. It was Will Stephenson first up the hill getting a small lead of ten bike lengths over Jonathon, but Jon was soon across this and soon found himself in the lead as Will "had gone a little too early" he said after the race. So this was to be Jonathon's race completing a very successful week after finishing 4th in the Junior Paris-Roubaix on Sunday and winning the race at the Mountbatten Centre on Wednesday evening.
Top Ten | Full Results
1st Jonathon Dibben Hargroves Cycles
2nd Will Stephenson Bournemouth arrow CC @st
3rd Mike Rudling Wightlink RT @1min 10secs
4th Phillip Cough Red kite Cycles ‘1min 30secs
5th James Wilson Banjo Cycles
6th Nick Abrahams Private Member
7th Phil Peters Cannondale Racing
8th Mike Garth Lichfield City CC
9th Max Webber VC St Raphael
10th James Fox CC Luton