Michael Cotty (Wheelbase-Cannondale) won his second Wessex League race in a row when he crossed the line almost a minute and a half ahead of his nearest rival at the end of the North Hampshire Road Club event in War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, on Sunday.
Cotty, the 32-year-old from Rownhams in Hampshire, was 1-22 ahead of rival Dan Lewis (RAF CA) at the end of the event, which was run off over park land and included the wooded copse to the south. For the third race in a row we were greeted with blue skies and warm weather and the course was dry and firm giving us a fast set of races.
Report and photographs by: Graham Robins www.grahamrobins.net
The senior race got underway with five riders altogether for four laps before the gaps started to appear.
The five riders – Michael Cotty, Adrain Lansley (Pedal on), Dan Lewis (RAF CA), Ben Sumner (unattached) and Will Bjergfelt (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) – soon pulled away from the rest of the bunch and set about staying away.
The first to make a mistake was Lewis who, on the off-camber turns, dropped his bike but soon got up to continue. Sumner then started to pull away from Lansley and Bjergfelt.
Lansley was the next to drop away and soon he retired feeling un-well.
Bjergfelt then started to drop off the pace, perhaps beginning to feel the pace of a hard road season.
While all were losing ground behind him Cotty settled into a rhythm and started to build a commanding lead. With a couple of laps to go it was Cotty from Lewis at 43 seconds with Sumner at 53 seconds.
With Bjergfelt now slipping back, Cotty took the bell with a lead of 50 seconds over Lewis with Sumner now a minute and a half back, and Bjergfelt a further 50 seconds behind him.
As Cotty rode into the flat park between the football pitches, both Lewis and Sumner couldn’t be seen and Cotty coasted to a comfortable win.
The combined race for juniors women and veterans saw a very strong entry across all the different groups.
The first to show at the front were Matt Hargroves along with Hargroves team mate Harry Franklin. The vet race leaders were Keith Sheridan (Hargroves Cycles) along with Sean Williams (Wight Mountain) and Mike Groves (Stevens UK/Hargroves).
The women’s race leader was Claire Smith who was clear of Tamina Oliver (Squadra Donne).
The front five men were all together at one point but soon gaps started to appear and Matt Hargroves soon took control of the race.
The veteran men were a bit closer together with Sean Mike and Keith all racing together, Kevin Knox (Vicious Velo) was a little way behind but was unable to close the gap.
A very large entry contested the under 10s and under 12a race, with Ben Tulett (Herne Hill YCC) in complete control and winning his second race in a row with Bethany Lewis second on her first appearance this season, and then came Harry Dridge (SDV) coming in third who now leads the league table.
The under 10s had a fun race with Alexia Hawkins (PPV) winning just ahead of Ryan Hodgkyns (Poole Wheelers) and Anna Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles) third.
1 Michael Cotty (Wheelbase-Cannondale) 1:04:07
2 Dan Lewis (RAF CA) @ 1:22
3 Ben Sumner (unattached) @ 1:46
4 Will Bjergfelt (Motorpoint Pro Cycling) @ 2:08
5 Peter Kench (Team GWR) @ 3:34
1 Claire Smith (Swindon RC)
2 Tamina Oliver (Squadra Donne)
3 Sarah Woods (Wight Mountain)
1 Keith Sheridan (Hargroves Cycles) 49:37
2 Sean Williams (Wight Mountain) @ 9sec
3 Mike Groves (Stevens UK) @ 44sec
4 Kevin Knox (Vicious Velo) @ 56sec
5 Will Girvan (North Hants RC) @ 1:36
1 Matt Hargroves (Hargroves Cycles) 49:16
2 Harry Franklin (Hargroves Cycles) @ 1:01
3 Matt Woods (Hargroves Cycles) @ 1:17
1 Ben Tulett (Herne Hill YCC)
2 Bethany Lewis (PPV)
3 Harry Dridge (SDV)
4 Jay Allen (PPV)
5 Liam Sewell (Swindon RC)
1 Alexia Hawkins (PPV)
2 Ryan Hodgkyns (Poole Wheelers)
3 Anna Wadsworth (Beeline Cycles)
4 Ewan Taylor (Bristol Cycling Development Squad)
5 Tyler Smith (Swindon RC)