The field rolled out of Cranfield University on a blustery, overcast day for the Central Road Race Championships.
They started with three laps of the longer northern circuit which includes the climb to Ashwood. As they crested the climb for the final time they were all together but as the passed the University to begin 21 laps of the two-mile southern circuit, a split was starting to form with Richard Mardle of Felt, Roy Chamberlain and Matthew Jones of Corley Cycles, William Fox of Team Zappi’s and Mark Baines of Spirit Racing at the head.
Two laps into the 21 a break of seven riders – Sam Parker and William Fox of Team Zappi’s, Paul Robertson and Paul Robertson of Spin Rotor Racing, Roy Chamberlain and Matthew Jones of Corley Cycles, Richard Wood of Team Milton Keynes –was established and was beginning to pull out a lead.
That lead would go out to nearly two minutes as the bunch struggled to get organised. There were attempts to bridge across – notably from Sandy King of Loughborough and Ed Clemens of VC10 whose attempt lasted for six or seven laps.
With 11 to go the gap came down to a minute, but then held for four laps – and then the break came apart with Parker, Chamberlain, Jones riding away as the gaps rose.
With five to go they were arguing among themselves and with three to go Fox and Dexter Gardias of Zappi’s and Baines had rejoined Chamberlain and Jones in a reformed lead group.
With a lap to go it looked as though the break was, finally, over with the bunch bearing down on the five leaders as they crossed the line for the penultimate time.
But somehow they managed to hold off the charge with Gardias riding away from Chamberlain on the run-in to take the win by two seconds with Fox just two seconds behind him – at the head of a bunch sprint. Stones, Steven Bradbury and James Wilson of Supernova rounded out the top six.
1 Dexter Gardias (Zappi’s CC)
2 Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles/Blue)
3 William Fox (Zappi’s CC)
4 Liam Stones (Team Corley Cycles/Blue)
5 Steve Bradbury (AW Cycles)6 James Wilson (Supernova)
7 Jamie Pine (London Dynamo)
8 Simon Gaywood (IG-Sigma Sport)
9 Matthew Jones (Team Corley Cycles/Blue)
10 Flavio Zappi (Zappi’s 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.