Kent rider Josh Lawless took victory in the Surrey League event at Barcombe on Saturday, sprinting clear of his two breakaway rivals to take a confident victory in the Bayeaux CT promotion in East Sussex.
The 21-year-old Bexley-based rider was part of a group which got clear at around half distance, and after the pace had whittled the numbers down he managed to stave off the attacks from the bunch and take the win in a three-up sprint at the end of a wet 60-mile race.
After two laps a break of five riders got clear of the bunch, and as more came across so the pace increased, which led to the weaker riders dropping back.
Lawless helped drive the leading trio clear, and even when a chase group mounted an attack on the final lap it was not enough to reel them in.
Lawless led out the sprint, but Nick Wilkinson (Dulwich Paragon CC) came round him as they powered up the finish. However, Lawless held his wheel and hit the front once again in the final 100 metres, while Wilkinson took second and Prestige VC junior Rory Townsend was third.
What they said
“I really enjoyed it – it was a good hard race,” said winner Josh Lawless. “I got away about half way through. There were a couple of guys up ahead, and me and a Kingston Wheelers rider broke away from the bunch and caught on to them.
“We were going well enough, and the numbers were dropping. With a couple of laps still to go we were down to three, but we still managed to hold the gap. With two laps to go, another five or six guys broke away and tried to bridge the gap, and we didn’t see them until half way round the final lap with five miles to go. But they didn’t get any closer so we were in for a three-up sprint.
“There was a bit of a dip just before the climb to the finish about 800 metres away, and I had a go from there. I led it out but it was a long finish, and the Dulwich guy [Nick Wilkinson] went past me at a fair rate. But I sat on his wheel and came round him with about 100 metres to go.
“I’ve just started racing really, I did a couple last year and got my third cat license. I’ve just joined VC Elan this week so I will be racing for them in the future. I hope to do well in South East and Surrey League events, and get as close as I can to my first cat license.
“I’ll be riding the Surrey League event at the Cyclopark in Gravesend tomorrow, and I want to peak for the Toachim House Grand Prix, where there will be some big names riding.”
1 Josh Lawless Private Member 3 02:31:00
2 Nick Wilkinson Dulwich Paragon CC 2
3 Rory Townsend Prestige Velo Club 2J
4 Elliott Porter Team Corridori 2 @ 0:10
5 Warren Jesse Private Member 3
6 Alan Strang Dulwich Paragon CC 2
7 Marcus Brueton Norwood Paragon CC 2V
8 Scott Webb Team PM Racing 3
9 Keith Lea Addiscombe CC 3V
10 Andy Edwards Kingston Wheelers 2V @ 1:38
11 Rhys Keepence Dulwich Paragon CC 2
12 Paul Drake Cycleworks.co.uk 2
13 Paul Sewell Bigfoot CC 2
14 Ed Francis Kingston Wheelers 3V
15 John Hyde VC St Raphael 2V
16 Luke Farren Brighton Mitre 3
17 Oli Pepper The Kinesis Morvelo Project 3
18 Brock Duncumb Rogers GWR Team 2
19 Andy Lack Kingston Wheelers 3V
20 Andrew Mazewski Kingston Wheelers 2
21 Mark Smith Crawley Wheelers 3
22 Dean Corney VC Meudon 3
23 George Gori La Fuga - Sigma Sport 2
24 Robin Kirk Kingston Wheelers 3
25 James Humphries Norwood Paragon CC 3
26 Gavin Starling Brighton Mitre 3V
27 James Local London Dynamo 3
28 Peter Morris Lewes Wanderers 3
29 Mark Mergler Brighton Mitre 3V
30 Matthew Butt Team ASL360 3V
31 Philip Peters Cannondale Racing 2
32 Doug Baldock In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp 3
33 Arjan Planting Dulwich Paragon CC 2
34 Ian Leeding Norwood Paragon CC 3V
35 Nigel Langridge Crawley Wheelers 3V
36 Colin Gunn Kingston Wheelers 3
37 Russell Short London Dynamo 3
38 Craig Wilson VC Meudon 3V
39 Greg Woodhouse Brighton Mitre 3
40 Stuart Fahey Brighton Mitre 3V @ 2:10
41 Mike Hawkins Norwood Paragon CC 3 @ 2:15
42 Matt Townsend Lewes Wanderers 3V
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.