Scott Davies of Liverpool Mercury took an impressive solo win in the latest round of the British Cycling Junior Road Race Series - Devon’s Hatherleigh Road Race.
July 14 2013 will be remembered as the day Sky’s Chris Froome took a sensational solo victory in the scorching heat of Southern France, but a couple of hours earlier another sensational solo win in the heat of the Devon countryside.
The sixth round of the British Cycling Junior Road Race Series set off from Hatherleigh and rolled through the mid-Devon hills north of Dartmoor in 30 degree heat. The race was set up to give the South West Region Juniors an opportunity to develop themselves (and their families, who are the core of the marshalling team) as well as helping with develop the Commissaires and NEG motos.
As the race climbed towards Thorndon Cross things were still largely together – at the front. At the back riders were already being shelled out of the back.
There were a number of probing attacks on the run down towards the reservoir but none of them stuck. As the race crossed the dam at end of Roadford Lake after just over 20km Scott Davies of Liverpool Mercury-Dolan, Joe Evans of Hargroves Cycles, Jake Kelly of Team Microgaming and Jacob Scott of Team Sportscover had a slender 20 second lead over what remained of the peloton, marshalled by National Champion Chris Lawless of Kuota-Spinergy.
By the time they passed the start of the finishing circuit just Davies and Evans remained – a minute and a half up on the first chasing group. The peloton had disintegrated with a group of consisting of Lawless, Scott, Kelly, Matthew Gibson of Velocity WD40, Tao Geoghegan Hart of CC Hackney and Callum Ferguson of Halesowen A&CC in the first of the chase groups.
By the time they entered the finishing circuit proper, Davies was away on his own – 25 seconds clear of Evans. The gap just kept going out and Davies – whose only points scoring finish so far had been a second place at Loughborough - took the win by a clear two minutes. Gabriel Cullaigh of RST Racing Team pipped Jake Womersley of Team Sportscover and team mate Levi Moody in the bunch sprint with Evans fading on the last lap and coming home 15th.
Davies spoke to British Cycling after the race and confided “I went into it a bit apprehensive because we’ve just come off an eight day camp with the Olympic Development Programme, so I didn’t really know how it would go - in terms of how I was feeling and stuff.
“At the start a few of us from the ODP started to go – I think it was about 10 miles in – up this drag. That was the first break and I think we got about 45 seconds and then we came back.
“And then as soon as we came back, another one went – with me, Jake Scott, Joe Evans and Jake Kelly – and that went up to a minute at one point. And me and Jo Evans went from there. And about 20k from the finish I went on my own, so I was pretty happy.
“When we went the roundabout we pass them as they went up to it and I thought ‘Oh no, they’re a bit close here’ but the gap just seemed to get bigger and bigger. On the first time round the finish circuit one of the motos said to me ‘Keep going. You’ve got this’ so that was a nice little confidence booster.
“I was still a bit wary coming in to the finish. I thought ‘Anybody could come across here’ but in the end I was surprised how big the gap was.”
The series continues next weekend with the Bath Road Race.
1. Scott DAVIES Liverpool Mercury (Dolan)
2. Gabriel CULLAIGH RST Racing Team
3. Jake WOMERSLEY Team Sportscover
4. Levi MOODY RST Racing Team
5. Mark STEWART Scotland
6. Dan GARDNER Team ASL 360
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