Sotonia Heath Race 2
Event: 17 July 2012
Report and Images: Graham Robins
Jason Duckworth (VC St Raphael) won the race across the New Forest in Hampshire out-sprinting Tim Dunford (Cannondale Racing) up the climb to the finish line with Stuart Thompson (Andover Wheelers) third. These three riders had lead the race throughout the five laps and Jason was in the initial break that went away after half a lap.
This was the first of three races planned across the heath as the first race was cancelled due to very poor conditions on the course two weeks ago. There was no such trouble tonight as the rain had stopped and there was a blue sky at the start of the race. The riders did have to contend with a strong head wind across the heath but the wind turned around at the finish area.
Once the race got underway five riders including Jason, Michael Cotty (Cannondale Racing), Oscar Hutching (University of Exeter), James Ebdon (Wightlink RT) and one other pulled out a ten second lead within the first half lap but their lead was short lived and they were pulled back. A second attack saw Oliver Hitchings (Peter Hansford Racing) attack with a couple but this came to nothing.
The lasting attack came when Jason, Stuart and Tim broke the grip from the bunch and soon these three had a gap of 45 seconds. The three riders held this gap for the next couple of laps until the bell lap when their advantage went out to over ninety seconds.
With the bunch now all back together, the leaders had a clean run uphill to the finish line. With Stuart unable to contest the sprint it was down to Jason and Tim. It was Jason who had the legs and pulled away for the win with a few metres to spare.
1 Jason Duckworth VC St Raphael
2 Tim Dunford Cannondale Racing
3 Stuart Thompson Andover Wheelers
4 James Ebdon Wightlink RT
5 Max Holloway VC St Raphael
6 Tim Wiggins Wightlink RT