After an hour in the saddle, Ben Sumner (Beeline Cycles) outsprinted James Wilson (Supernova Cycles) on the line to win the VC Venta Summer Criterium at Winchester Park and Ride.
The event was staged just south of Winchester and adjacent to the M3, and was promoted by the local VC Venta club. The course is about 700 metres long with two long straights and some fast left turns at each end. It did rain towards the end of the main race but it soon dried out.
After 20 minutes of racing a small group of six got a gap and they soon extended it. As the pace increased two riders slipped back into the bunch leaving the four to work together and as they did their lead increased to nearly a minute and they could soon see the back of the bunch.
Once they made the junction they rode through but they collected a ‘tail’ which they could shake off until they decided to sit up and allow the passengers to break clear along the leaders to race their own race.
The four leaders, a lap up and heading towards the bell, were caught by back markers and spent a couple of laps trying to shake them off which they did with five laps to go.
They remained together until the final corner and the race all came down to a sprint which was between Ben and James. Stuart Williams (Beeline Cycles) was the winner of the sprint for fifth although he was nearly a lap down.
The third cat race was 40mins and 5laps in distance but the race all came down the final corner sprint.
The pace was high throughout the race and there were soon gaps appearing but the bulk of the bunch stayed together. The major issue in the race was when Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles) made a big attack but he was shipped by his bike and spent a couple of laps getting back to the leaders which he managed. But the effort he made to get back across along with his injuries forced him to retire.
The result saw Clive Nicholls (Zappi’s) was a clear winner by a few seconds over Kieran Ali (VC Meudon) and James Champken (VC Venta).
The women’s race was won in a sprint by Adel Tyson-Bloor (VC St Raphael) after the local rider had tried to win the race from the front after a couple of laps.
Adel set off at a fast pace and soon had a good lead but she was eventually caught by three others and the four split the race in half. These four women caught the other four and although the race looked like they were all together they were actually a lap up.
The leaders were Adel, Lili McLean (Andover Wheelers) Lydia Brookes (GS Henley) and Ashia Fenwick (Poole Wheelers) and these four along with Adama Newlove took the top five places.
The earlier fourth cat race was all over as far as the result was concerned as Andrew Vain (Private Member) and Will Fleming (VC Venta) split off the front leaving the rest to fight for lower places.
The chasing group of two riders were clear of fifth place rider Jack Elton-Walters and this is how the race stayed until the sprint at the front as Andrew had just enough to beat Will on the line by a bike length.
E/1/2 Race 60mins+5laps
1st Ben Sumner Beeline Cycles
2nd James Wilson Supernova Cycles
3rd Tim Elverson Pedal Heaven
4th Mitchell Webber Primerasport.com
5th Stuart Williams Beeline Cycles
Women’s Race 35mins +5laps
1st Adel Tyson-Bloor VC St Raphael
2nd Lydia Brooks GS Henley
3rd Ashia Fenwick Poole Wheelers
4th Lili McLean Andover Wheelers
5th Adama Newlove Fareham Wheelers
3rd Cat Race 40mins +5laps
1st Clive Nicholls Team Zappi’s
2nd Kieran Ali VC Meudon
3rd James Champken VC Venta
4th Chris Hutchings VC Venta
5th Cameron Thompson Andover Wheelers
4th Cat Race
1st Andrew Vain Private Member
2nd Will Fleming VC Venta
3rd Jonathan Wren Sotonia
4th James Packham VC Venta
5th Jack Elton-Walters Wightlink-LCM Systems
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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.