Danny Axford (Arctic SRAM RT) went one step better than last year by winning the Tour of the Milburys in Fareham, Hampshire, on Saturday.
With a fifth place in the morning time trial and a third place in the road race, Axford took the winners yellow jersey by eleven seconds.
The TOM is based around the Hampshire village of Meonstoke and uses the roads around Corehampton. The morning time trial is a four mile test which is virtually all uphill from the start, and the afternoon sees the riders taking on the Milburys circuit a total of nine times with two climbs on each lap. The day was bright, a little chilly in the morning but sunny with a slight breeze.
The winner of the time trial was a rider in good form, Alex Baskaya (Dream CC). He rode up old Winchester hill in a time of 10mins 39secs; with Mike Simpson (GS Henley) second 24secs down along with Henry Latimer (Dream CC) on the same time in third.
After a couple of hours the riders assembled outside the HQ for the neutralised run out of Meonstoke up towards Corehampton Down before turning right onto the course proper to start the first of eight complete laps. There were to time bonus primes on each lap apart from the first passage through the finish line.
On the first lap Edward Clemens (VC10) was the first rider to come into view and he was well clear of the bunch by over 2 minutes. The bunch was all together and didn’t seem too bothered by the large time gap. Edward held his lead on the second lap but his gap was reduced to 41secs by Michael Thelwell (Loughborough STU), with the bunch now closing in on 55secs. Shortly after catching Edward, Michael punctured and had to receive a wheel for the service car and then brought back to the race.
On the back of the circuit it all changed and on the next lap Thomas Crouch (High Wycombe CC RT) took the lead from Stuart Thompson (Andover Wheelers) by a handful of seconds. The bunch was closing in and now the gap was down to 38secs. On the next passage Thomas was still on the front but this time he was joined by Thomas Hayward (Andover Wheelers).
At half race distance the leaders now had a lead of 38secs over the bunch, but the they had re organised themselves. As the race is out of sight the two leaders are joined by two more riders, Stuart Thompson and Adam Brittain (High Wycombe CC RT) and the bunch is now closing the gap at 28secs and beginning to see the leaders on the climb towards Corehampton Down.
The race then takes a complete overhaul with Michael Cripps (Army Cycling Union), Thomas Hayward, Adam Brittain and Danny Axford are now the leaders with Mike Simpson riding across the gap to make a very strong group of five. The gap to the bunch has now increased to 45secs as this group now start to work and slowly ease away.
With two laps to go the five riders are now all together and the gap back to the bunch is 1min. At the bell the rider from Andover Wheelers Thomas Hayward has been dropped and the bunch has now slipped back to 1min 45secs and at this point riders start to drop out and return to HQ with their race done.
On the last lap the first to break is Mike Simpson who finally looses contact with the leaders and drops back. Danny is the first to attack and Michael Cripps covers this attack. Adam follows the wheel and these three come back together again. With about 1km to go Michael kicks and eases a gap away from Danny and carries this advantage to the line to secure his first ever road race win.
The three leaders cross the line with a handful of second between them; Mike is a few seconds down and falls from his bike as he crosses the line exhausted by his efforts to keep in touch with the leaders. The remainder of the bunch lead home by Simon Ernest (AW Cycles) 1min 7secs adrift.
The stage winner Michael Cripps is a serving member of the Army and works in Barracks in Newbury as a Geographic Technician making maps. He is 25 and is originally from North Wales.
So once everyone was back at the HQ it was all down to the time bonuses to be calculated into the results to see who the overall winner was.
Time Trial Result:
1 Alex Baskaya Dream CC 10min 39secs
2 Mike Simpson GS Henley @24secs
3 Henry Latimer Dream CC @24secs
4 Martin Williamson London Dynamo @30secs
5 Danny Axford Arctic SRAM RT @31secs
Road Race Result:
1 Michael Cripps Army Cycling Union 2hr 53mins 49secs
2 Adam Brittain High Wycombe CC RT @1sec
3 Danny Axford Arctic SRAM RT @2secs
4 Mike Simpson GS Henley @4secs
5 Simon Ernest AW Cycles/ Giant @1min 07secs
Overall Race Result:
1 Danny Axford 3hrs 04mins 52secs
2 Michael Cripps @11secs
3 Adam Brittain @47secs
4 Mike Simpson @1min
5 Mark Perry @1min 14secs
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.