Location: Cranfield, Bedfordshire
Event: 4 May 2013
Report: Gordon Wiseman
William Goulbourne (Team V-Sprint Racing) proved without doubt to be the strongest man of the day winning Alpha RC’s 65km Andy Morrison Memorial Road Race on Cranfield’s “tricky triangle” circuit on Saturday in a race that saw a significant number of riders climb off before the finish.
After a solo ride for nearly half of the 18 laps of the approximately 4km circuit, Goulbourne was pulled back with just two laps to the chequered flag by early race leader Peter Cocker (Forme Bikes) and Paramount CRT’s Chris Wilkinson.
The Mercedes FI engine technician then let Cocker and Wilkinson do some of the work as he sat on their wheels to recover for a lap before the jostling for positions started with just the final circuit to race.
As they climbed the long drag to the top of the course, Cocker was the first to accelerate but Goulbourne was able to follow his move. For Wilkinson however it was an effort too far and he drifted off the back of the remaining race leaders.
But riding past the 1km to go board with just the fast finishing straight to go, 17-year-old junior Cocker found that he just ran out of leg speed on his lower gears, leaving Goulbourne to take the win.
What they said:
Race winner William Goulbourne said afterwards: “After the group I was in caught the leaders I attacked with another rider. He then punctured so I decided to keep the power on to try to keep away for as long as I could.
“When I was caught with just two laps to go I sat in for a while to have some recovery time. I know I’ve got a powerful sprint so I thought I’d save some energy for that at the finish.
“The climb to the top of the circuit wasn’t bad at all as there was a tailwind but just after the start when you went downhill that got really tough. When I had about 8 or 9 laps to go, a really strong headwind kicked up.
“When the Forme lad attacked the last time up the climb I put in a last dig effort and managed to stay on his wheel. Then when it came to the finishing straight it was simply a game of chicken as to who sprinted first. It wasn’t me so I was able to win.
“This is my first season back after eight years off the bike. I went to university to study Mechanical Engineering and just to do some other things in life but I’m now working and found that I had more time so started riding my bike and racing again.
“In the engine department at Mercedes F1 we work split shifts so that enables me to get some good training time in and it’s really starting to pay dividends.”
And runner-up Peter Cocker added: “I went off right at the start and was OK for just two laps then my legs went off. I got them back again towards the back end of the race and that’s why I was able to get back to the front.
“It was a tough race with that headwind that really picked up. But up the climb, that was really fun with the tailwind pushing you along. When I attacked there on the last lap the winner got onto my back wheel and just sat on so I really had no choice but to take him to the line.
“I’d probably tried too hard earlier on and being on Junior gears, come the sprint I was always going to struggle.”
1 William Goulbourne (Team V-Sprint Racing)
2 Peter Cocker (Forme Bikes)
3 Chris Wilkinson (Paramount CRT)
4 Matt Neal (Clay Cross RT)
5 Doug Coleman (CC Luton)
6 Rob Willcocks (RAF CC)
7 Dean Parks (Clay Cross RT)
8 Colin Bailey (North Road CC)
9 John Peters (CC Luton)
10 Roger Prior (Zappi’s CC)
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