Dan Lewis (RAF CC) won the final round of the Wessex League at the Thruxton Motor Racing Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday – his second win in as many weeks after a win last weekend bringing his season to a successful conclusion.
The race held at Thruxton was the second trip to the venue this season and although it remained dry it was extremely windy causing problems for the course builders trying to keep the tape on the poles all race.
The senior race got off to a bang when the chain snapped on Crispin Doyle’s bike leaving him standing on the start line while all the others climbed up the course on the first lap. With no other choice the Swindon RC rider was forced to shoulder his bike and run half a lap to the pits to collect another bike.
While Crispin was running at the front Dan Lewis and Mike Simpson (GS Henley) were already pulling out a small gap. Next up was this season’s over-40s league winner Sean Williams (Wight Mountain) choosing to race the senior race instead of the vet’s race. Also close to the front was Peter Kench (Team GWR), Nick Onslow (Pedal On) and James Cotty (Wheelbase/Cannondale).
On the second lap Dan and Mike were together and 13secs clear of Sean and Peter with Nick at 46secs and James at 52secs. Crispin was already on a charge and was already up to eighth and closing in on riders in front of him.
The race stayed like this for a couple of laps with Crispin picking of riders one by one until he was now up to sixth place just behind Nick. Dan and Mike were locked together with Sean now slipping back to 33secs and Peter at 49secs. On lap five Dan decided to put in an attack and managed to distance himself from Mike by eight seconds, and on that lap he increased it to over 20secs.
With now over half the race distance completed and Dan away on his own Sean started to close in a tiring Mike. Peter was a minute back and Crispin was up to fifth but over a minute behind him and over two minutes behind Dan.
With just a couple of laps to go Mike, Sean and Peter all came back together and rode together for a lap until Mike and Sean attacked together and dropped Peter but Crispin was not close enough to take advantage as he had used a lot of energy in the early part of the race getting back on the tail.
At the bell Dan was 54 seconds up on Mike and Sean and it stayed like this until the finish. Dan won the race and Sean and Mike contested the sprint for second with Mike the victor on this occasion, both were 42secs down on Dan. Peter came in fourth at 1min 50secs and Crispin was fifth at 2mins 12 secs.
The combined Vet/Junior/Women race was won by Matt Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles) ahead of team mate Matt Woods.
The two junior riders soon pulled out a lead over newly crowned vet over-60s champion Dave McMullen (Team GWR) by 7secs with Mike Groves (Stevens UK) AT 9secs and Robin Wilmott (GA Cycles) at 10secs. Other riders up the sharp end of the race were Malcolm Cross (Hargroves Cycles) David Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) and junior rider Jason Pitt (AW Cycles).
By half distance the two Matt’s were well clear of the chasing group by 30secs ahead of Dave and Mike and Robin now at 1min 8secs. The race within the race was between Malcolm, David and now Andy Roberts (Team GWR) joining in on the fun.
At the bell Matt Hargroves was now in the lead and beginning to pull away for Matt Woods, Dave McMullen was now 35secs back with Mike Groves at 40secs. Robin was now over two minutes down with Malcolm Cross leading the train of chasers just ahead of Andy Roberts and David Wadsworth now dropping back.
Matt Hargroves takes the win 1sec ahead of his team mate with Dave McMullen the first of the vets at 40secs. The women’s race was won by Tamina Oliver (Squada Donna) ahead of Sarah Woods (Wight Mountain) and Jenny Taylor (BCDS).
1 Matt Hargroves Hargroves Cycles 47:20
2 Matt Woods Hargroves Cycles @ 1sec
3 Dave McMullen Team GWR @ 40sec
4 Mike Groves Stevens UK @ 57sec
5 Robin Wilmott GA Cycles @ 1:01
6 Andy Roberts Team GWR @ 2:10
The youth race was won convincingly by Robbie Bolwell (Wight Mountain) who led from the start and increased his lead lap on lap until at the finish he was clear by more than 2mins. The race for the second place was hard fought between Jack Saunders (Swindon RC), Jake Thomas (BCDS) and Tom Sewell (Swindon RC). The first girl was Emily Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) who had been as high as third at one point but dropped back towards the end.
While Jack Saunders, Charles Page (HSS) and Edward Gronbech (Oxford City RC) were trading places it was Tom Sewell who found the extra energy and the end of the race to pass them and take an excellent third place. While Emily was at the front there was a good tussle in the race between Megan Lewis (PPV) and Bethany Taylor (BCDS) with Megan winning the sprint to her good friend on the line.
1 Robbie Bolwell Wight Mountain 23:27
2 Jack Saunders Swindon RC @ 2:23
3 Tom Sewell Swindon RC 2:47
4 Charles Page HSS @ 3:38
5 Edward Gronbech Oxford City RC @ 3:39
6 Jake Thomas BCDS @ 3:50
1 Emily Wadsworth Beeline Cycles
2 Megan Lewis PPV
3 Bethany Taylor BCDS
The morning got underway with the under 12’s race which turned out to be a good race between four riders Ieuan Woods (Charlotteville CC),Jay Allen (PPV) Erin Baker (Southdown Velo) and Bethany Lewis (PPV).
As the race got underway Bethany took a lead and seemed to have the race under control, with Ieuan and Jay a little way back. By half distance the four riders all came back together and it was this coming together that sorted the final result.
As Bethany tried to dive down the inside of Ieuan she clipped his back wheel falling off in the process, Erin just managed to avoid the stricken Bethany and this allowed Ieuan the gap he needed to win by a bike lengths from Erin. Jay was third and Bethany picked herself up from the ground to finish fourth.
1 Ieuan Woods Charlotteville CC
2 Erin Baker Southdown Velo
3 Jay Allen PPV
4 Bethany Lewis PPV
5 Liam Sewell Swindon RC
6 Connor Hutchinson Swindon RC