Location: Middleton, Northamptonshire
Event: 30 March 2013
Report: Snowdon Sports
Scoring his maiden road race victory, Simon Hopkins led a show of strength by host club Welland Valley CC who placed four riders in the top six in the opening round of the Northants CRA’s second series of handicap road races over three laps of the 10-mile Valley Circuit at Middleton.
Hopkins, who started with the longmarkers, held off Stephen Hebblethwaite (Peterborough CC) and his own clubmate Rob Moore in the final sprint with Martin Atkinson (Kings Cliffe Flyers) claiming fourth place in his first ever road race.
Going off 6-30 in front of the scratch riders, the seven-strong longmarker group had been reduced to four by the time they were caught by seven chasers from the three-minute second group and, coming through a snowstorm, they had a lead of 45 seconds on the rest of the race at the bell.
The gap barely changed over the next eight miles, and with the rest too slow to get their chase working properly, the leaders were left to contest the leading positions with James Boardley (Peterborough CC) heading the belated charge from behind to snatch tenth place on the line.
1 Simon Hopkins (Welland Valley CC)
2 Stephen Hebblethwaite (Peterborough CC)
3 Rob Moore (Welland Valley CC)
4 Martin Atkinson (Kings Cliffe Flyers)
5 Vic Barnett (Welland Valley CC)
6 Neil Doherty (Welland Valley CC)
7 Blair Adams (Kettering CC)
8 Richard Morson (Kettering CC)
9 Oliver Greville-Hager (VC Rutland)
10 James Boardley (Peterborough CC)
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