CC Luton’s Douglas Coleman secured a convincing solo victory in the Last Chance Points Grabber Road Race in Hertfordshire on Sunday, crossing the line more than a minute clear of the chasing pack in the Hertfordshire Wheelers event on the Whitwell circuit.
A cool start to the day with a south-westerly breeze promised well for the race, but a disappointing 16 riders on the printed programme failed to show, including most of the named reserves. However, seven of the 15 late enquirers entered on the line and all were accepted. So the possible field of 60 started with 55.
Early attacks were made by Paul Fielding (St Ives CC) and Ashley Ford (private member). A first lap lead of 40 seconds was soon stretched to 1:25 by the end of lap two.
Fielding extended his lead to 1:43 while a group of six riders with Ford chased and eventually caught him on lap four. With two laps to go a clear group of seven, mostly working together, extended their lead to almost three minutes over the peloton.
This group consisted of Lubomir Belak (Welwyn Wheelers), Douglas Coleman and John Peters (CC Luton), Tim Carter (Virgin Active), Phil Holloway (Southend Wheelers) and Paul Fielding and Malcolm Smith (St Ives CC).
Fielding continued to stir things up in this group, easily justifying the Commissaire’s decision to award him the most aggressive rider award.
The final lap saw a major split in the leading group with Coleman making an early break to finish a clear minute up on the remaining 6 chasers. Of these it was Fielding who outsprinted Belak on the last hill to make the second and third places.
1 Douglas Coleman (CC Luton) 2:48:28
2 Paul Fielding (St Ives CC) at 1:09
3 Lubomir Belak (Welwyn Wheelers)
4 Malcolm Smith (St Ives CC)
5 Tim Carter (Team Virgin Active)
6 John Peters (CC Luton)
7 Phil Holloway (Southend Wheelers) all @ same time
8 Richard Prebble (Node 4-Giordana) @ 1:50
9 Paul Holdsworth (Hounslow & Dist Wh) @ 1:56
10 Mark Westrupp (Strada Sport) @ 3:00
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