Alex Peters (Mosquito Bikes) took victory in the Tom Simpson Memorial Road Race, Round 4 of the National Junior Road Race Series, which started from the Harworth Social Club on the South Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire border.
Harworth was 1965 World Champion Tom Simpson’s home town and the Social Club has a memorial stone outside and a mini-museum – including Simpson’s Paris-Nice Peugeot – and the 60 Juniors that took the start were racing for the Memorial trophy that bears Simpson’s name.
The race consisted of 11 laps of a circuit that finished on the deceptively long drag of Wright’s Hill and first time up the bunch was led by 18-year-old Peters.
Peters was lying seventh overall in the series having won the Tour of the Mendips, and he was obviously out to impress.
By the second lap, Peters was away – with Joe Moses of Sportscover Altura RT for company – albeit only 10 seconds ahead of the bunch. The following lap the gap was the same, but now it was Hugh Carthy of Maxgear that was keeping Peters company – with James Knox of Mountivation Development Academy attempting to bridge the gap.
The gap stayed frustratingly small, though, until just before half distance when the breakaway group grew to six riders with Germain Burton of De Ver Cycles, Chris Lawless of Maxgear and Dan Pearson of Wilier Live2Ride adding to Peters, Carthy and Knox’s efforts.
The group worked well together with Pearson taking the second and third Primes – Peters having taking the first and started to ease out a gap. As they pushed the advantage out to a minute and thirty seconds with three laps to go the pace was too much for Carthy who lost contact with the break and went straight out the back of the bunch.
Jon Dibben of Hargroves Cycles was on the front of the bunch driving them on and they did start to take time out of the leaders in the closing laps – taking 30 seconds out of them on the final lap.
It was too little, too late, though and it was Lawless, Peters and Burton who crested the hill side by side for the final time. Lawless had gone first with 350 metres to go - but had given himself too much to do.
Peters and Burton passed him in the last 150 metres with Peters easing ahead to take a well-deserved win, ahead of Burton and Lawless with Knox heading Pearson home a couple of seconds adrift of the winners. Dibben won the hotly contested sprint for sixth, overhauling Chris Latham of Maxgear on the run-in with Dibben’s team mate and recently crowned National Junior Champion Sam Lowe just behind.
After the race Peters told British Cycling: “It was an extremely quick course – according to my speedo I averaged 41.5km/h. I wanted to be extremely aggressive from the off and see what happened. I didn’t really mind if I had to go on my own. Whatever it took – I just wanted a very hard race.”
“When the others came across we worked really well – we had one guy sitting on, but basically we worked well and stayed away to the finish. I’d been out front for a long time, so I was dying, but I was pulling my weight still.
“I was a bit worried about Chris Lawless who’d been sprint pretty well internationally. I was in a bad position coming up the line and he got the jump on me and I had to work really hard to get back to him. I think he just went too early.”
1 Alex Peters Mosquito Bikes 2 hrs 25 mins
2 Germain Burton Team De Ver Cycles
3 Chris Lawless Champion Systems Maxgear kyklos
4 James Knox Mountivation Development Academy
5 Dan Pearson Wilier live2Ride all @ same time
6 Jonathon Dibben Hargroves Cycles @ 1:00
7 Chris Latham Champion Systems Maxgear kyklos
8 Sam Lowe Hargroves Cycles
9 James Kings Mountivation Development Academy
10 Tom Arnstein Equipe Velo all @ same time
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.