Junior Tour of the Mendips
Event: 14-15 April 2012
Report & Images: Guy Swarbrick
The 2-day Junior Tour of the Mendips was settled on the hilly second stage when an attack by Jon Dibben split the field and Alex Peters and Tao Geohegan-Hart first went with him and then pulled clear to build up enough of a gap to claim first and second overall, respectively. First stage winner Sebastian Bayliss was third overall and Dibben claimed fourth.
Stage 2 Images
Stage 2 Report
The second stage of the Junior Tour of the Mendips was by far the tougher of the two, with three categorised climbs – the long haul up Burrington Combe, Blagdon and the short, sharp shock of Harptree Hill, which the riders had the pleasure of riding twice within half an hour.
Up the first climb there was a familiar name at the front as a small group led by the previous day’s early lone break away rider Jack Plummer of Cadence Cannondale – whose reward for his efforts on Stage 1 had been the Sprints jersey - took the first King of the Mountains points. Sportscover Altura RT duo Ashley Proctor and Jo Moses were separated by another of Saturday’s break away riders James Newey of Cadence Sport. The last of the points went to Craig Wallace of Granite City RT, who was also in the thick of it on Stage 1.
Then came the move of the race as Jon Dibben of Hargroves cycles – ‘fresh’ from his Junior Paris-Roubaix the previous weekend – took to the head of the race. He was first over Blagdon, followed by yellow jersey holder Seb Baylis of Mid-Devon Wheelers, Scott Davies of M&D Cycles/Kinetica RT, Moses and Chris Latham of Champion System/Maxgear/Kyklos.
Plummer, Moses and Baylis were all in the lead group on Stage 1 and held a slender 23 second advantage over Dibben. By the time they crested Harptree Hill for the first time, that didn’t look as though it was going to be enough with Dibben in a commanding 40 second lead over the chasing group. That pack included Baylis, who was again second over the top but he was in a group that included Will Stephenson of Primera Specialized, reigning National Champion Dan Pearson of Wilier/Live2Ride and Round 1 winner Tao Geohegan-Hart of CC Hackney.
The rest of the field was now strung out down the hill – in fact, the last of them made it to the top just as the leaders approached for the second and final time. Dibben was nowehere to be seen. Geoghegan-Hart had attacked on the final loop and only Alex Peters off Mosquito Bikes had had the legs to go with him and, as they come round the final bend in sight of the finish Peters kicked one more time and eased away from his rival.
Dibben was the first of the chasers to cross the line – 28 seconds back - outsprinting Tom Armstrong of Mountivation Development Academy to clinch the King of the Mountains Classification. Stephenson and a brave Baylis 10 seconds further back.
The time gap was enough to give the overall win to Peters, with Geoghegan-Hart moving into second and Baylis hanging on to a well deserved third, ahead of Dibben. Pearson and Stephenson rounded out the top six.
Peters said afterwards “It was a very tactical race. People were riding off the front and then people would panic in the peloton and shoot off after them in ones and twos - and that was happening all day. The hills separated people, obviously – it’s tough. Steep hills… But the last lap panned out pretty well because Tao shot off the front with about a lap to go and behind him we weren’t working together. We’d just got Jon – who’d been off the front all day – but no one wanted to work and then, I thought I’d try to bridge the gap to Tao.
“I left it pretty late – there was about 3km to go to the hill – and I caught him on the hill and then took the sprint…’
1 Alex Peters Mosquito Bikes 02:34:44
2 Tao Geohegan-Hart Cycling Club Hackney same time
3 Jonathan Dibben Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's @ 28 seconds
4 Dan Pearson Wilier/Live 2 Ride @ 29
5 Sebastian Bayliss Mid Devon CC @ 38
6 Will Stephenson Primera Specialized @ 38
7 Sam Lowe Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's @ 2:24
8 Dale McCallum Team Scotland @ 2:36
9 Craig Wallace Granite City RT @ 2:47
10 Hugh Carthy Champion system / maxgear / kyklos @ 2:49
Final General Classification
1 Alex Peters Mosquito Bikes 05:14:17
2 Tao Geohegan-Hart Cycling Club Hackney 05:14:17 same time
3 Sebastian Bayliss Mid Devon CC @15 seconds
4 Jonathan Dibben Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's @28
5 Dan Pearson Wilier/Live 2 Ride @29
6 Will Stephenson Primera Specialized @38
7 Sam Lowe Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's @2:24
8 Joe Kirkham Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's @2:30
9 Owen James M&D Cycles/Kinetica RT @2:30
10 Dale McCallum Team Scotland @2:36
1 Jack Plummer Cadence Cannondale 10 1 5 16
2 James Newey Cadence Sport 7 7 14
3 Craig Wallace Granite City RT 3 10 13
4 Jacob Scott Planet X 7 5 12
5 Jacob Ragan Champion system / maxgear / kyklos 10 10
6 Cameron Balfour Team Scotland 5 5
King of the Mountains
1 Jonathan Dibben Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's 25
2 Sebastian Bayliss Mid Devon CC 15
3 Jack Plummer Cadence Cannondale 10
4 Alex Peters Mosquito Bikes 10
5 Tao Geohegan-Hart Cycling Club Hackney 8
6 Ashley Proctor Sportscover Altura RT 7
1 Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's 15:46:10
2 Sportscover Altura RT @ 5:47
3 M&D Cycles/Kinetica RT @ 7:08
4 Champion system / maxgear / kyklos @ 7:13
5 Mountivation Development Academy @ 13:08
6 Team Scotland @ 20:16
7 Eastern Region @ 39:00
8 Cardif JIF @ 43:08
9 AW Cycles @ 2:21:00
Stage 1 Report
Sebastian Baylis of Mid-Devon Wheelers was targeting the tougher, hillier Stage Two of the Junior Tour of the Mendips but was part of a group that broke away on the bell lap but, with the bunch on their heels, he was the strongest sprinter in a frantic end to a frantic first stage.
Stage 1 Images
The first attack on a cold, damp day at Chew Valley Lake near Bristol came from Jack Plummer of Cadence Cannondale and the first time the race hit Stoke Hill at pace he had a 45 second gap over two chasing riders – Jacob Ragan of Champion System-Maxgear-Kyklos and Jacob Scott of Planet X who, in turn, were just 10 seconds ahead of the bunch. Jonathan Dibben of Hargroves Cycles – 3rd at last weekend’s Junior Paris-Roubaix – was to the fore in the bunch, making sure that nobody got too far away.
Plummer held his lead on the next lap, squeezing out another two or three seconds, but the chase was getting organised. A group of eight were in pursuit – Ragan and Scott still among them, along with Cameron Balfour of Scotland, Jack Reed of Performance Cycles-CMI, Craig Wallace of Granite City RT, Josh Knights of Mountivation Development Academy, Dan Young of Glendene CC and Plummer’s team mate Ashley Martin.
Another group of seven riders – including eventual race winner Baylis – were 40 seconds back with the main bunch 10 secconds behind them. By this point, although Plummer had a minute and a half on the bunch, he’d also been out on his own for 25km and, sure enough, next time round he’d been swallowed up.
The lead group of nine riders now had a minute on the main bunch but, ominously, Dibben was closing the gap having slipped away with James Newey of Cadence Sport – and he was just 20 seconds from the breakaway.
They made the junction on the next lap to form what should have been a very strong 11 man group. As they crossed the dam at around the halfway stage they had a one minute 25 minute lead over the main group with Will Stephenson of Primera Specialized making a brave effort to to bridge the gap,
The pace was relentless and riders were being shelled out of the back at regular intervals. The lead group was intact, but their lead was down to a minute and the bunch was chasing hard and the pressure was starting to show.
With two laps to go the lead group was down to five riders with several of the early pace setters effectively finished for the day. Not Plummer, though, who was still hanging in there with Dibben, Wallace, Newey and Yound. It was academic, though. The bunch was now only 15 seconds behind and the break was over.
At the bell we had a new break, with Bayliss, Plummer – again, Stuart McCluskey of Scotland and Scott Davies of M&D Cycles/Kinetica RT thirteen seconds ahead of a chase group of 5 riders – Ed Laverack of Team Tredz, Ben Lamb of Wilier/Live2Ride, Jo Moses of Sportscover Altura RT, Owen James of M&D and Joe Kirkham of Hargroves. George Pym of Exeter Wheelers was 30 seconds back, ten seconds ahead of the pursuing bunch.
The two lead groups came together on the final lap, with Baylis comfortably winning the charge to the line.
The young Devon rider said afterwards. "On the run-in we thought for sure we were going to get caught. They started playing cat and mouse but we held on and at the Finish I thought I may as well give it everything and see what happened.”
And his thoughts on starting Stage 2 in Yellow? “My biggest strength is my climbing, so [tomorrow’s stage] was the stage I was aiming for, really – so fingers crossed.”
Results (Provisional with notes from organiser
1 Sebastian Bayliss Mid Devon CC 02:39:10
2 Ed Laverack Team Tredz same time
3 Scott Davies M&D Cycles/Kinetica RT
4 Jo Moses Sportscover Altura RT
5 Ben Lamb Wilier/Live 2 Ride
6 Owen James M&D Cycles/Kinetica RT
7 Joe Kirkham Hargroves Cycles-Specialised-Trant-Next-Elliott's
8 Stuart McCluskey Team Scotland
9 Jack Plummer Cadence Cannondale
10 William Worrall M&D Cycles/Kinetica RT @ 11