Beaten into second place a week earlier in the national championship, Nathan Draper (RST Racing Team) made no mistake this time as he sprinted home at the head of a 17-strong group to win the ninth round of the British Cycling Junior Road Series, the 72-mile Bath Road Club Junior Road Race, in Buckinghamshire.
The 17-year-old Isle of Man rider (pictured above, lunging for the line) finished half a wheel clear of Lewis Stevens (Strada Sport) after five and three-quarter laps of the rolling Stewkley circuit with third place going to another Manxman, Leon Mazzone (Team Isle of Man).
Draper was among the animators from the off, but all attempts to form a break came to nothing until the penultimate lap when the bunch finally split and, with a good spread of teams across the escapees, the leaders worked well together to stretch their advantage.
A number of attacks on the final lap failed to break up the group, Joe Fry (RST Racing Team) – winner of the previous round two weeks earlier – working hard to keep things together for his team-mate Draper, who duly delivered the goods in the final sprint.
“It worked out really well,” said Draper. “I felt good coming up to the finish and I took it up in the last 200 metres, it was a close sprint, but I just managed to get it.
“I was trying to be aggressive in the first 50 kilometres, there were quite a lot of us having a go, but it was very difficult to get away on the course. In the end the break did get away and everyone seemed to be really strong.
“There was a lot of attacking, but all credit to Joe who chased everything down.
“With getting second last week I knew I had a good bit of form, so to go one better today is great.
“I had a reasonable start to the season, then I faded off, but I tried to find my focus and coming up to the National I was training really well and could see it coming. Now I’ll try to carry my form in to the final round, the Junior Tour of Wales next month.”
1 Nathan Draper (RST Racing Team) 2-57-53
2 Lewis Stevens (Strada Sport)
3 Leon Mazzone (Team Isle of Man)
4 Ben Chapman (Team Corley Cycles)
5 Stephen Williams (NFTO)
6 Alexander Foster (Border City Wheelers)
7 Samuel Rees (Cardiff JIF)
8 Gwyn Lovibond (Teamwallis CHH RT)
9 Hamish Carrick (Speg-Project 51) all same time
10 Thomas Baylis (HARIBO-Beacon CT) at 1 sec