BACK in action after a season out through injury, Vince Divine (Finchley RT) enjoyed an early birthday present with victory in atrocious conditions for the 115 kilometre Crest Spring Road Race on the Wendens Ambo circuit in Essex.
The Enfield veteran, 42 next Saturday, missed the whole of last year with a ruptured disc in his back but showed that he has wintered well by riding the last three-quarters of a lap on his own and holding off a group of six chasers, who were led in by Adam French (East London Velo).
Racing in persistent drizzle and chilly temperatures, a break of five riders went away on the opening lap of eight and were joined by four more – including Divine – on the next lap. It proved to be the winning move as the rest of the field slipped away, trailing by eight minutes at one point.
Two riders punctured, including Toby Parnell (Cambridge University CC), to cut the leaders to seven who attacked each other over the last two laps until Divine made the deciding move on the final climb.
“It went really well,” said Divine. “I’ve done the race a few times and finished fourth once, but I couldn’t ride last year because of my back.
“I started getting fit towards the autumn and I trained reasonable well through the winter. I’ll definitely keep it going now!”
1 Vince Divine (Finchley RT) 2-54-35
2 Adam French (East London Velo)
3 Malcolm Smith (St Ives CC)
4 Ian Franklin (PCH UK RT)
5 Richard Whitehorn (Glade CC)
6 James Fairbank (CC Hackney)
7 Matthew Barlow (Essex RCC)
8 Josh Green (Glendene CC)
9 Daniel Young (Glendene CC)
10 Richard Price (London Phoenix CC)
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.