The penultimate round of the season-long Cotswold League took place last Sunday (31st August) on the rolling circuit around Minety-Charlton-Malmesbury-Brinkworth in perfect weather conditions.
Within the first lap Tony Kiss (Performance Cycles) and David Billings (VC St Raphael) were able to get away, building a lead of 2 minutes over the main field by the end of the first lap. However as the race progressed this lead was slowly brought back with the catch being made with less than a lap to go.
With the peloton nearing the finish William Harper (Dulwich Paragon CC) broke away to take the win by a couple of seconds whilst Joe Barry (Ride 24/7) took the sprint for 2nd ahead of Simon Coles (Norwood Paragon CC).
Comments from winner William Harper (Dulwich Paragon CC)
“The race started quite gently, but by half way round lap 2, things started to get quite lively. An impressive 2 man break was finally brought back, and a series of attacks then went off the front. I was involved in a break on the final lap with about 10 strong riders, which I thought would stay away, however we were reeled back in with about half a lap left. I knew that the last section of the course was a gradual climb with some steeper ramps, and that there was no wind, making it easier to stay away alone. I kicked hard off the front with about 2 miles to go, and really tried to power up each ramp as hard as I could. As I looked back after the initial effort, I saw there was a decent gap between myself and the chasers, so I put my head down and drilled it to the finish, managing a short sprint up the final rise. Thankfully I timed the move right, another few hundred meters and I may have been swallowed up by the group”.