Performance Cycles rider Jacob Pilkington stormed to victory on Sunday at the Performance Cycles South Cerney road race. The event, which was the fourth round of the season long Steele Davis Cotswold League, formed part of the weekend long events taking place in South Cerney that climaxed with the annual Duck Race on the Bank Holiday Monday.
Under blue skies, but with the threat of rain, the race rolled infront of a large crowd outside Atkyns Manor for twelve fast and furious laps of the 4.5 mile circuit at 3.30pm. It didn’t take long for the attacks to start, and it was the Ride 24/7 pairing of Grant Bayton and Ben Luckwell making the early running. After the first few attacks were shut down, Jacob Pilkington (Performance Cycles) put in an attack, initially going clear alone before six other riders came across to him to form what would eventually be then race winning move. The seven riders worked well to start to distance themselves from the peloton, before disaster struck for Ride 24/7 rider Ben Luckwell when he punched. The seven were now six, and it wasn’t long before the gap started to increase to close to a minute as they continued to work well together. The pace in the break was relentless, and with no riders in the move first Radeon-Bike Science and then Ride 24/7 sent their entire teams to then front of the peloton to pull the break back. But for all the work the two teams did, the closest they could get was 25 seconds to the riders in the lead. Heading into the latter stages of the race, the break was down to four riders – and with Jimmy Jones (Velo Vitesse) starting to feel the pace he moved to the back of the group. The other three continued to work hard, and increased their lead back out to 50 seconds as the bunch gave up the chase. With less than half a lap to go, Jimmy moved to the front of the break and gave it his all to keep the break clear and repay the other three for their early efforts – whilst sacrificing his own podium chances.
Ross Phelps (Bristol South) was the first to attack, giving Jacob the wheel he needed to chase on the run in to the finish – coming round him in the last 25 meters to go to claim a stunning victory infront of the large crowds that had amassed, with David Janes (Veloton – ProCycling Magazine) rounding off the podium in third. To cap off a great race, Jacob also won the Performance Cycles ‘King of the Sprints’ crown having won the intermediate sprint points during the race.
The race had been run off at record speed, with the riders covering then 55 miles in just two hours – an average speed of over 27 mph!!
The day had also seen an earlier race with the best female riders from across the South West competing in a 10 lap, 45 mile race over the same course – again open to 2nd, 3rd and 4th category riders. After a flurry of early attacks, the race stayed together for the duration with super sprinter Jennifer Holden (Fusion RT Fierlan) taking all four intermediate sprints to claim the Performance Cycles Queen of the Sprints prize, with Charlotte Berry (Performance Cycles) in second place.
As the race headed towards its conclusion the high pace at the front of the field meant no one was able to come clear – and after the perfect lead-out from her teammate (Jennifer Hudson – Fusion RT Fierlan), Jennifer Holden made it five straight sprint wins to win the overall honours on the day from Beth Taylor (Vertex-Biemme) in second place, with her teammate and leadout rider Jennifer Hudson in 3rd.
|Position||Name||Club name||CCRL Points|
|1.||Jennifer Holden||Fusion RT Fierlan||30|
|2.||Bethany Taylor||Vertex-Biemme RT||27|
|3.||Jennifer Hudson||Fusion RT Fierlan||25|
|4.||Lucy Davies||Arctic Tacx RT||24|
|5.||Poppy Thompson||VC Equipe – Flix||23|
|6.||Charlotte Berry||Performance Cycles||22|
|9.||Miriam Whitehurst||Radeon-Bike Science RT||19|
|10.||Stephanie Foster||Mickey Cranks CC||18|
|12.||Georgina Panchaud||Bianchi Dama UK||16|
|13.||Lucy Monk||Exeter Wheelers||15|
|14.||Leah Ball||Wyre Forest CRC||14|
|15.||Sophie-Jo Wylie-Morris||Team Backstedt/Hotchillee||13|
|17.||Claire Guthrie||Exeter Wheelers||11|
|18.||Bethan Stubbs||Bianchi Dama UK||10|
Organisers Performance Cycles of Poulton would like to send a HUGE message of thanks to all the volunteers who came out to marshal and help run the race, as well as the organising committee of the South Cerney Duck Race & Street Fair, without who the race would not be the success it is – and finally to the new Co-Op store in South Cerney (that only opened three days before the race) who made sure the army of helpers were fed and watered during the long day working on the race.