Draper wins National Junior Road Race Championship

Draper wins National Junior Road Race Championship

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Nathan Draper (RST Racing Team) sprinted to victory in the National Junior Road Race Championships in North Yorkshire on Saturday.

The Isle of Man rider – who won the latest round of the National Junior Series in Devon the week before - edged to victory just a second ahead of Robert Scott (VCUK PH MAS), while Alfie Moses (HMT Academy) completed the podium in third.

The roads around Ampleforth would be tough enough in good weather – but the weather rarely cooperates. As they did last year, the riders faced a battle against gale force winds and unseasonably low temperatures - but at least it stayed dry this year.

At a little over 64 miles, the course came through the grounds of Ampleforth College five times – having been round three laps of the long circuit through Yearsley Moor and Oulston and back round the edge of the Moor to Gilling before returning to the start area – and two of the shorter (but by no means short) circuit that misses out the Oulston loop.

The tough climbs and near gale force winds took their toll on the 100 starters from the first lap and as they re-entered the sports grounds for the gruelling, exposed climb past the college, two riders were clear. Kieran Simcox of Bike Box Alan/Enevelopemaster and team mate Max Williamson had a 40 second advantage over James Ireson of Wolverhampton Wheelers with the bunch a further 18 seconds back.

The second lap saw the decisive move of the race led by HTM Academy trio Stuart Balfour, Alex Braybrooke and Alfie Moses. They were joined by Rob Scott of VCUK PH-MAS, Jack Mattock of Giant Cycling Halo Films, Tom England and 2014 runner-up Nathan Draper of RST Racing Team.

After two laps, the group had a lead of just 20 seconds or so over the bunch which was being animated by the riders from Catford CC - but that would gradually drift out to a maximum of around one minute and forty seconds.

By the end of the third of the long laps it was down to just over a minute but the chase was up – there simply wasn’t enough distance left to reel the lead group back in and they chasers knew it. Edward Giles of RP Racing Team and George Clark of High Wycombe CC led the chasers up past the abbey but by the bell, the gap was back out to a minute and a half and the peloton was completely fragmented.

As they headed back to Ampleforth for the last time Draper, Scott and Moses struck out on their own and it was Draper who weren’t early, leading out the sprint and putting the merest hint of daylight between himself and Scott on the line – the VC UK PH-MAS rider taking silver – a second back – with Moses clinching the Bronze behind him.

The last lap saw the leading trio double their advantage over the peloton while the rest of the group that had been away all afternoon were spread over the road behind them – Braybrooke taking fourth over a minute behind the Manxman with England four seconds behind him. Balfour dropped thirty seconds further back with Mattock just holding off the bunch at just under two minutes behind the winner.

The bunch sprint from the remains of the peloton went to Owen Dudley of Manx Viking Wheelers with Karl Baillie giving HMT Academy four of the top 10 a couple of seconds adrift.

Having had to settle for silver behind Tristan Robins last year, Draper was delighted to take the jersey at the second time of asking. He told British Cycling: “It was a tough race with just being on my own so I sort of did a similar ride to last week – a bit of ducking and diving, you know – making sure I found the right wheels and covered the moves but didn’t put my nose into the wind too much.

“Early on – about 30k in – me and Alfie got to the top of one of the climbs and I thought if we could drive this it could maybe work out. As it did, the gap grew a little bit and we had a couple of riders with us and on this sort of course it’s a little bit ‘out of sight, out of mind’, so when we got the gap I was just trying to get everyone to really commit and we were really working well together.

“Over the top of the last climb I thought ‘I’m going to try something here – try to split the group down’ and I managed to get it down to three of us and I thought ‘there’s a podium here’ – but I wanted to go one better than last year and coming up to the sprint I thought I’d jink from the back – go a little bit earlier than I did last year because that was a mistake and when I looked behind me I had the win – it was a great feeling.”

Results:

1    Nathan    Draper    RST Racing Team    02:48:56
2    Robert    Scott    VCUK PH-MAS Junior Cycling Team    1
3    Alfie    Moses    HMT Academy with JLT Condor    3
4    Alexander    Braybrooke    HMT Academy with JLT Condor    01:06
5    Tom    England    BC Private Member    01:10
6    Stuart    Balfour    HMT Academy with JLT Condor    01:41
7    Jack    Mattock    Giant Cycling Club - Halo Films    01:59
8    Owen    Dudley    Manx Viking Whls CC    02:03
9    Karl    Baillie    HMT Academy with JLT Condor    02:05
10    Tom    Chandler    Sherwood Pines Cycles SRAM RT    same time
11    Jack    Billyard    RP Racing Team    same time
12    Matthew    Walls    Velocity Globalbike    same time
13    George    Clark    High Wycombe Cycling Club    02:09
14    William    Lewis    High Peak Cycles RT    same time
15    Timothy    Home    NRG/Godleys RT    02:11
16    Kieran    Simcox    Bike Box Alan/Envelopemaster    same time
17    James    McKay    Finchley Racing Team    same time
18    Gabriel    Evans    Catford CC Equipe/Banks    02:13
19    Jack    Escritt    HMT Academy with JLT Condor    same time
20    Charlie    Meredith    Giant Cycling Club - Halo Films    02:17
21    Max    Williamson    Bike Box Alan/Envelopemaster    02:18
22    Elliot    Redfern    Giant Cycling Club - Halo Films    same time
23    Murray    Davies    In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT    same time
24    Alexander    Foster    Border City Wheelers CC    02:21
25    Lewis    Bulley    Velocity Globalbike    02:24
26    Harry    Luxton    Rutrainingtoday CC    same time
27    Harrison    Jones    Pedal Heaven RT    02:26
28    Louis    Modell    Catford CC Equipe/Banks    02:27
29    Adam    Hartley    VCUK PH-MAS Junior Cycling Team    02:29
30    Ralf    Hodgson    VCUK PH-MAS Junior Cycling Team    02:33
31    Kieran    Savage    www.Zepnat.com RT - GSG Clothin    02:37
32    Tim    James    Bourne Whls CC    02:39
33    David    Barnes    Corley Cycles - Drops RT    02:47
34    Matthew    Clements    Catford CC Equipe/Banks    03:35
35    Matthias    Barnet    Spokes Racing Team    04:50
36    Charlie    McFadzean    Cycle Sport Dynamo    06:08
37    Fabian    Brennan    North City Velo Cycling Team    07:40
38    George    Evans    Mid Shropshire Wheelers    08:57
1 lap    Oliver    Hedger    Personal Bikefit.com    
1 lap    James    Wilkinson    Audlem Cycling Club    
1 lap    Zeb    Kyffin    Gosforth RC    
1 lap    Peter    Merritt    TBW Bottecchia Wigmore RT    
1 lap    Timothy    Jones    Cycle Sport Pendle    
1 lap    Ewan    Grivell-Mellor    Mid Shropshire Wheelers