After losing the lead to a rival a week earlier, Jamie Pine hit back in the latest event, taking the win to go top of the series following the latest race at the Hillingdon circuit in London.
Pine beat Andy Betts (Felt Colbornes) into second spot, while Jerone Walters (VC St Raphael) was third.
Former leader Steve Golla (High Wycombe CC) finished in the bunch, and therefore the 200 points that Pine secured with his win in Saturday’s race will be enough to put him back at the top of the series.
Pine and Golla have shared the lead throughout the series so far, and new series leader Pine said: “It has been a real ding-dong battle between us so far. One week I’m ahead and the next it’s him. Today he didn’t make it into the break, while in the same way I didn’t make the break last week when he won.
“There had been multiple attacks, but nothing stuck until about half distance, but once we got away we were flying and by the end of the race we were almost catching up with the tail end of the pack.
“It’s a great series this, you’ve got to put everything into every race, and you can’t rest on your laurels as there are a lot of quality riders in the field.
“Last year we lost a few races because of the weather, but every race has been a really good day and there’s been no let up.
“I only started cycling last season as a fourth cat, and I achieved my objective of getting to first cat – who knows where I’m going to end up, but it’s really exciting.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
In the E/1/2 race Conall Yates (InGear Quickvit RT) and Adam Brittain (High Wycombe CC) kicked off the action soon after the start; a big chase developed lead by ever consistent Andy Betts (Felt Colbornes RT) and Rory Townsend (Prestige VC). Jamie Pine (London Dynamo) attacked, but it all came back together.
Bill Butterworth (Twickenham CC) also tried his luck with a lone effort. The fierce pace began to tell with the overall contenders watching each other allowing a select group of five to slip away with Betts leading accompanied by Jerone Walters (VC St Raphael), Yates, Pine with Chris Moores (Norwood Paragon).
Steve Golla (High Wycombe CC) missed out and realising the danger, did make attempts to cross the gap, without success. With 5 km Betts remaining attacked uphill towards the finish but was countered by Walters and Pine. With 100 metres to go, it could have been one of three with Moores then Yates slipping back.
On the line there were fractions between them with Pine just getting the verdict from Betts and Walters. Andy Brittain meanwhile, presented with an opportunity of a slowing group, broke away in the last few laps and just held onto sixth place. Pete Wager and team mate Tom Smith (Felt-Colbornes RT) led the main group in very closely followed by Townsend and Vince Halpern (Handsling Racing).
Jez McCann (VC Elan) and Werner van der Merwe (Marathon MTB) animated the start of the third cat race followed by Peter Hitt (Mountain Trax RT) and Adam Buckland (Banjo Cycles).
A crash disrupted the last lap but Ashley Dennis (Prestige VC) held off Daniel Stevens (Neon-Digital) and Ajelo Ghristides for a worthy win. The Maxifuel random prize is awarded to Noah Banner (Kingston Wheelers cc) who receives a Maxifuel rucksack comprising of Viperactive energy fuel, gels and bottles.
After attempts from riders to detach themselves from the front it came down to a fierce sprint with Marc Townsend (Neon-Digital) just holding off Charles Batho (Dulwich Paragon CC) for a fine win with teammate Simon Lewington in third. The WyndyMilla fourth cat random prize is awarded to Andrew Macey (Ashford Wheelers) who can look forward to a WyndyMilla ‘go faster’ cycle fitting at their Manor Farm Cycle Centre in Seale.
1 Jamie Pine (London Dynamo) 1:10:14
2 Andy Betts (Felt Colbornes) @ same time
3 Jerone Walters (VC St Raphael) @ same time
4 Conall Yates (In Gear-Quickvit RT)
5 Chris Moores (Norwood Paragon)
6 Adam Brittain (High Wycombe CC)
1 Ashley Dennis (Prestige VC) 1:03:50
2 Daniel Stevens (Neon Digital)
3 Ajelo Ghristides (unattached)
4 Nicholas Baker (Zappis)
5 Richard Moss (GS Henley)
1 Marc Townsend (Neon Digital) 52:07
2 Charles Batho (Dulwich Paragon)
3 Simon Lewington (Dulwich Paragon)
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.