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Bowers Claims Sotonia Heath Glory
Sotonia Heath Race 2
Event: 21st June 2011
Report and Images: Graham Robbins - www.grahamrobins.net
On the longest day we were once again greeted with a warm sunny evening for the second of this year's heath races across the New Forest. The course was dry considering the rain we had had but it was very windy most of the way around the course.
The full field of fifty riders rolled onto the forest for the short de-neutralised section before passing through the finish line on the first of five full laps. The first lap passed without too much incident with the bunch all together.
Soon after the start of the second lap saw a touch of wheels and two riders were brought down and although the race had a following medic a county ambulance was required and it remained in place for the whole race.
The first two riders to show at the front were Justin Calloway (Cannondale Racing) and Ollie Hitchings (Sotonia) who had a small gap over a second pair of riders in Dan Stephens (Sotonia) and James Astbury (Hargroves Cycles) who were about 15 secs behind the leaders and the same in front of the bunch.
Lap three saw an attack from Michael Cotty (Cannondale Racing) soon after the race all came back together. Seeing Michael go of the front Stuart Bowers (Hargroves Cycles) decided to jump across and soon the pair had a small lead which the bunch let go. Soon after woods the remaining riders from Cannondale racing came to the front to marshal the race.
The leaders soon opened up a very healthy lead of over one minute and then managed to extend it further on the last lap. With the bunch now all back together the lead was around one minute again and when the two came into sight at the bottom of the rise towards the finish there was nothing between them. Both sprinted for the line but Stuart was the stronger rider and crossed the line a few bike lengths ahead.
We had to wait a while for the remainder of the bunch, and there were five riders clear of the bunch, as the closed in on the finish line it was Phil Perters (Cannondale Racing) who just edged out round one winner Rob Edgell (Somer Valley CC).
1. Stuart Bowers (Hargroves Cycles) 1hr 36mins 16secs
2. Michael Cotty (Cannondale Racing) @st
3. Phil Peters (Cannondale Racing) @38secs
4. Rob Edgell (Somer Valley CC) @st
5. Carl Hine (Adeo Cadence) @st
6. Paul Whitfield (Private member) @st
The final round of the series is 5th July and entries should be sent to Simon Knowlton on 07554444983 - firstname.lastname@example.org.