Location: Little Milton, Oxfordshire
Event: 19 May 2013
Report: Snowdon Sports
Avoiding a crash in the last 200 metres, Michael Smith (Team Corley Cycles) sprinted to victory in the Thames Velo-promoted Central Region championship over six laps of the 15-mile Great Milton circuit, near Thame.
The Newport Pagnell 24-year-old crossed the line ahead of Henry Latimer (AW Cycles) and Mark Baines (Spirit Bikes RT) with all three coming from a 12-man break which formed on the opening lap and stayed away to the finish.
On a dry day with little wind the race speed touched 30 mph as the road narrowed for the first climb of Claire Hill, and as the field came past the finish at the end the first lap the 12 leaders – also including Rob Yeatman (Dream Cycling), Mike Wragg and Richard Wood (Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT), Will Goulbourne (Team V-Sprint), Pete Wager (Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves RT), Ken Buckley (AW Cycles), Phil Starr (Python RT), Josef Metelka (Zappi’s CC) and Ben Homa (Beeline Bikes) – had an advantage of 20 seconds over the rest.
The break worked well together, and at the end of lap two they had a lead of 2-30 on a bunch that was finding it hard to get a chase going.
The gap continued to grow and reached five minutes before, with 20 miles to go, Team IG-Sigma Sport riders Matt Jones and Jake Hales started to drive a chase group.
It was too little, too late and the lead group stayed clear to contest the finish with three riders going down on the left hand side of the road and forced to cross the line on foot.
“Corley Cycles is one of the bigger teams in the region and this is always a big objective,” said Smith. “I got in the break and took on the responsibility for the team today.
“I wouldn’t consider myself a sprinter, but at the end I just followed all the moves up the last climb until the flat with 300 metres to go. Luckily I was on the right and missed the crash.
“I’ve finished third in the national hill climb championship, but I’ve never won a National B so I suppose this is my best road race result – it’s definitely up there.
“I’ve not had consistency for a long time because of work, but I had a week riding in Majorca two weeks ago which probably did me a favour and that’s coming through now.”
1 Michael Smith (Team Corley Cycles)
2 Henry Latimer (AW Cycles)
3 Mark Baines (Spirit Bikes RT)
4 Rob Yeatman (Dream Cycling)
5 Mike Wragg (Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT)
6 William Goulbourne (Team V-Sprint Racing)
7 Richard Wood (Arbis-Colbert Cycles RT)
8 Peter Wager (Felt Colborne Hargroves RT)
9 Ken Buckley (AW Cycles)
10 Jake Hales (Team IG-Sigma Sport)
11 Ian Knight (Team Corley Cycles)
12 Simon Henley (Team Corley Cycles)
13 Ben Homa (Beeline Bicycles RT)
14 Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles)
15 Matt Jones (Team IG-Sigma sport)
16 Doug Coleman (CC Luton)
17 Jerzy Kuzminski (High Wycombe CC)
18 Ed Clemens (Spirit Bikes RT)
19 Philip Starr (Python RT)
20 Justin Belcher (Banbury Star CC)
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