Joe Giggins (Pro Cycle Hire UK RT) took victory in the Shaftesbury Road Race, staged over a 66-mile course near Roxwell in Essex on Sunday.
The 22-year-old from Hornchurch outsprinted two breakaway rivals to edge the win ahead of East London Velo’s Wayne Crombie.
The weather held out for a hotly-contested event from the start. The neutralised flag dropped and four riders were straight off the front and attacking into strong crosswinds as the race approached Leaden Roding for the first of five times on the 24km circuit.
This valiant effort was chased down by the peloton only for another break to form consisting of two riders; Gunther Zechmann (London Phoenix) and Jack Stephen (East London Velo). The conditions and pace of the racing saw two riders retire before the end of the second lap.
The two-man break continued to push on and at one point had a 41 second lead over the peloton. Pro Cycle Hire had other ideas though and got on the front of the man field to assist with the chasing down of the two lone riders.
The strong crosswinds continued to challenge all the riders fitness levels as they battled to stay in touch.
By the third lap the leading two riders had been caught and a group of 10 had formed but this was quickly reduced to four main challengers - Wayne Crombie (East London Velo), Joe Giggins (Pro Cycle Hire), Joshua Green (Glendene) and Andy Edwards (Kingston Wheelers).
With two laps remaining the convoy narrowly avoided a venison lunch when five deer had to be persuaded gently but quickly to find alternative pastures. The leading group, which was working well, had now been reduced to three (Green, Giggins and Crombie). The time gap back to the main field was fluctuating between 30 and 50 seconds.
With one and a half laps remaining the attempts from the main group to bridge the gap to the leading three were numerous and unsuccessful. Stephen Nunn from Finchley RT came the closest and hung on in no man’s land for fourth place.
One other unknown rider in black also tried valiantly but eventually retired after he over shot a tight left hand bend at Boyton Cross and found himself getting friendly with the foliage; thankfully unhurt.
Crombie initiated the sprint for the line with Green unable to respond. Giggins tracked Crombie briefly before emptying the tank to gain a convincing victory.
The Shaftesbury Cycling Club would like to thank all the marshals, commissaires, helpers, residents of Roxwell Village and Nettaprise Catering for helping to make this a successful event.
1st Joe Giggins Pro Cycle Hire UK Racing Team
2nd Wayne Crombie East London Velo
3rd Joshua Green Glendene CC
4th Stephen Nunn Finchley Racing Team
5th James Jobber Neon-Velo.com
6th Lubomir Belak St Ives CC
7th George Wood Maldon & District CC
8th Peter Hargreaves Strada-Sport
9th Andy Edwards Kingston Wheelers
10th Gunther Zechmann London Phoenix CC
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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.