Tom Pidcock took victory at Stewkley in round seven of the British Cycling National Junior Road Race Series.
The VCUK PH-MAS rider outsprinted Charlie Quarterman (Zappi’s RT) and Joe Nally (Hardie-Bikes.Com) and they were left to take second and third respectively on the uphill finish at Cublington after a tough 115 kilometres around the Buckinghamshire countryside.
As soon as the race got underway a group of nine jumped away from the main field and worked to get a gap that would stick for a while but the racing would arguably prove negative almost throughout the day with probably the strongest field so far in the series.
Crossing the line for the first time, the break were in view of the main field and the race soon came back together as it entered the second of five main laps through Cublington.
A second break of the day formed on the second lap as seven riders worked off the head of the field. This included the Pro Vision pair of Tomos Owens and Ryan Coulton, James Tillett (Wales National Team) and Chris Fallon (Kuota Spinergy-GSG). When Michael Parry (BC Eastern) and Catford CC’s Buauna Ball joined the break, the race settled down with the peloton not looking interested in chasing.
The break was now holding a lead of some 30 seconds. A second group formed on the long drag into Stewkley. Pidcock, along with Will Roberts (Wales National Team), Mark Donovan (Beste Alde La Tostadora), Dan Coombe (Plant X-Northside Cycling) and Spokes’ Mathias Barnet closed the gap to the leaders.
The three groups were now in sight of each other but the race was back together a little while later as it rolled through Littlecote.
Small groups tried to make their mark on the race but with three laps to go it would be Owens and James Tillett who got their attack to stick.
Joined by the VCUK pair of Pidcock and Rob Scott, the new break stayed away until they were caught at Stewkley. Another attack of four jumped but again the nature of the race saw it brought back after a few miles.
It would be the penultimate lap that saw a big attack by Charlie Meredith (Giant CC-Halo Films), Cameron Orr (SRAM Youth Dev) and Joe Nally, the three suffering in order to make a gap.
Some 15 riders that included the race winner organised themselves to chase the leaders down but as the bell rang for the final lap, the leaders still had 42 seconds over them. The chasing group soon disintegrated to a trio of Pidcock, Quarterman and Dan Coombe.
As the miles counted down, the chase caught the three leaders and the pace increased proving too much for Orr. The lead five would be left to contest the win and coming up the rise to the line, it was Pidcock who popped out the back of the group to take the win.
Thomas Pidcock said after the race: “The race was proper negative as in there were too many moves early on and I was in the move that went.
“But when it got brought back, me and Rob sat up but the rest of the bunch sat up with us and they just went again and I thought that might be it. But then I kept going and eventually got across and won the sprint.
“It’s a tough finish here, going down a hill and just coasting then having to go flat out. It’s been a long time coming so I’m happy.
"I’ve been racing in Belgium, France and Spain in the last few weeks and the standard there is a lot better so it’s helped me.”
1. Tom Pidcock (VCUK PHMAS)
2. Charlie Quarterman (Zappi’s RT)
3. Joe Nally (Hardiebikes.com)
4.Charlie Meredith (Giant CC-Halo Films)
5.Dan Coombe (Planet X-Northside Cycling)
6. Anthony Anderson (Team Corley Cycles)
7. Carl Jolly (Team Corley Cycles)
8. Louis Rose-Davies (Team Corley Cycles)
9. Joe Swinnerton (Swinnerton Cycles)
10. Jamie Ridenhalgh (Speedflex RT)