Location: Botolph Claydon, Buckinghamshire
Event: 10 March 2012
Report: Snowdon Sports/Andy Whitehouse
Talented 20-year-old Irish rider Philip Lavery secured victory in the Roy Thame Cup in Buckinghamshire on Saturday, sprinting clear of his breakaway rivals after a strong performance in the 69-mile race.
Lavery, who has been cutting his teeth on the tough Belgian racing circuit for the last couple of years – most recently with Sean Kelly’s AN Post team, crossed the line ahead of Rapha Condor-Sharp’s 23-year-old Aussie import Richard Lang, while Keighley’s Tom Moses took third for the 100 Per Cent ME team.
A fast pace failed to cause much splitting on the bunch for the first few miles, but towards the end of lap two a trio of riders attacked off the front in search of glory – James Moss (Node 4), Gruff Lewis (UK Youth) and Simon Yates (100 Per Cent ME).
They were soon pulled back, but no sooner had they been sucked back into the bunch than another Node 4 rider had a go with Keiran Friend attacking and causing the pace to increase so much that the bunch strung out.
He was pulled back in too, but on lap three came the decisive move of the race with four riders – Lavery, Lang, Moses and Ben Stockdale (Metaltek) getting clear. By the next time around they had blasted their way to a lead of around a minute, enough to cause UK Youth to mount a concerted chase back in the bunch.
A lap later their lead had shrunk to 50 seconds with Node 4 also joining in the chase, but instead of the bunch closing in, the strong men popped off the front and created another four-rider group who managed to get around 55 seconds clear of the bunch – Tom Smith (Felt Colbornes), Colin Parry (Wilier-Live 2 Ride), Matthew Jones (Team Corley Cycles) and George Atkins (100 Per Cent ME).
However, they didn’t catch the leaders, who remained around a minute clear while the bunch trailed in about the same margin down.
Cheltenham rider Stockdale found the pace too much at the front and dropped back to the chasing group, but he managed to hold on and took fifth place, just behind Leicester 20-year-old George Atkins in fourth.
What they said
“It’s always nice to win a bike race, it’s been 18 months since I won so it was really good to win today,” said Philip Lavery. “It means a lot to win no matter how big or small the race is and I'm thrilled today because it’s been a really difficult 18 months.
“I punctured on the second lap and I chased back and as I got back on Ben Stockdale went and it just seemed like the right time to go. All the big teams apart from UK Youth were represented in the break and we got a decent gap.
“UK Youth started pushing the pace with two laps to go to try and chase us down so we had to push the gas pedal again, the break worked really well together and we managed to keep away.”
1 Philip Lavery (Node 4-Giordana)
2 Richard Lang (Rapha Condor-Sharp)
3 Tom Moses (100 Per Cent ME)
4 George Atkins (100 Per Cent ME)
5 Ben Stockdale (Metaltek)
6 Simon Yates (100 Per Cent ME)
7 Yanto Barker (UK Youth)
8 Dave Clarke (Node 4)
9 Steve Golla (High Wycombe CC)
10 Colin Parry (Wilier-Live to Ride)
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.