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Road: Fortune favours brave attacker Purnell

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Location: Cople, Bedfordshire
Event: 21 April 2013
Report: Snowdon Sports
Photos: Martin Dossett

Proving that age is no barrier, 54-year-old veteran Anthony Purnell (Cambridge CC) showed his younger rivals the way to do it as he rode to a solo victory – the first of his career - in Welwyn Wheelers’ 56-mile Fleche Welwyn road race.

After earlier attempts had been neutralised, Purnell finally made a break stick with a lap and a half of the Cople circuit to go and, with a lead approaching a minute just after the bell, held on to his advantage by just six seconds on the finish hill against a rapidly-closing bunch led in by Henry Farrell (Welwyn Wheelers).

“It’s my best result in a road race by a mile,” said the delighted Cambridge fourth category. “I’m completely thrilled by it. It’s amazing what a trip to Majorca two weeks ago could do.

“I did a great time trial last weekend, but even a scientist couldn’t find my sprint and I knew I had to get in a break today to have a chance. I just tried and tried, and eventually I found myself alone off the front.

“I raced as a schoolboy up to the age of 15 and then gave up for more than 30 years before starting again about six years ago. I just seem to keep getting better – it’s meant to go the other way!”


1 Anthony Purnell (Cambridge CC)
2 Henry Farrell (Welwyn Wheelers)
3 Mike Broadwith (Arctic-SRAM RT)
4 Simon Fox (CC Luton)
5 Chris Smith (Python RT)
6 Samuel Morgan (London Phoenix)
7 Edward Palfreeman (Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT)
8 Michael Cowland (St Ives CC)
9 James Archibald (GS Henley)
10 Tim Davies (Icknield RC)

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