Fareham Wheelers Spring Road Race

Jon Dibben, a junior riding for Hargroves Cycles, was the winner of the Fareham Wheelers Spring Road Race. We have two reports on the race.


from Patrick Salt …
Jonathan Dibben, 4th last week in junior Paris-Roubaix, stamped his impressive authority on a full field with a controlled and perfectly timed winning ride today. The race opened in warm sunshine which was to stay with the riders all day. A long solo break from Robert Ward (VC St Raphael) never managed to get more than a minute or so clear and he was finally reeled in as the action warmed up in the second half of the 102km. At 55km covered, a new break of three (James Fox – CC Luton, James Astbury – Hargroves Cycles and Nick Abraham, unattached) forged a lead of 40 seconds on the peloton. In just 10km, the peloton was back to 1’30”, with a chasing group of eleven holding at 40″ on the leaders.

This was the decisive move and with less than 30km to go, the front groups merged into a 14 strong break, with the peloton fracturing slowly at 1’10”. With around 18km left to go, Dibben attacked strongly on a short rise and Will Stephenson (Bournemouth Arrow) managed to bridge to him after a brief chase. The pair moved ahead at a pace which suggested that did not intend being seen again by the rest of the break, and so it proved. Riding well together, the final sort out was left to the 2km long climb which led to the finish. A dummy attack by Dibben at 1.5km to go was countered quickly by Stephenson, then in turn Stepehnson tried his luck at 900 metres and that was quickly countered by Dibben. The pair rode hard for the finish with young Dibben easily coming around Stephenson in the last 100 metres for a solid win.

Unlucky rider of the day was Nick Abraham and a late puncture saw him having to chase back after service for almost 8km, but still managing to finish 6th. One of those “what if” days for a strong rider. It’s encouraging to note how well the juniors fared, placing 1st and 2nd, ahead of a field with nearly half second category seniors. A strong solo attack ensured third place for Mike Rudling (Wightlink RT), and it’s good to see the return to form of Phil Gough (Red Kite, Portswood Cycles RT) in 4th place.

Photo: Grahm Robins: More photos on http://www.grahamrobins.net/

From Graham Robins  – Successful Week For Jonathon
Today’s race saw a full field of sixty five riders tackle  the 64 mile (103km) Hundred Acre wood course near to Fareham. The riders would have to complete the course and climb the hill 11 times as they completed 10 full laps. The morning started warm and the sun was bright as the assembled group rode away from the headquarters for a short neutralised section before turning right to start the race. With just over half a lap gone and the first big attack saw Robert Ward (VC St Raphael) ride off the front as the chasing bunch tried to organise themselves into some sort of order. While the bunch was sorting it out Stuart Thompson (Banjo Cycles) also managed to slip of the front but he soon found himself slipping back into the grips of the bunch. Robert managed to stay away for a couple of laps increasing his lead on each pass of the finish line until he had a sizeable lead of about 45secs.

On lap three with the bunch now organised with two teams Cannondale and Dulwich Paragon on the front they soon increased the speed and soon had Robert in their sights. They caught him on the climb of Lodge Hill just before the finish line and now the bunch was all together. They continued as a bunch until the start of the next lap. Lap five saw three riders, James Astbury (Hargroves Cycles), James Fox (CC Luton) and Nick Abraham (Private Member) who now had a small gap and these three were soon to stretch out a lead over the bunch. It was going to be a very eventful day for Nick as the race unfolded. At the tight turn at Newton crossroads it was the three leaders clear of Thomas Knowlton (VC St Raphael) who was in no man’s land between the leaders and the chasers and on the remainder of the lap he was caught.

Soon after the finish line at the start of lap six the bunch started to fragment as the speed increase as they tried to pull the leaders back who now had a lead of 1min 25secs. On this lap the three leaders managed to keep their lead but now there was a group of three at 40secs with the rest of the bunch back at 1min 10secs.

Lap seven and eight saw the leaders caught, and a large group from the bunch get across making a group of 17 riders who had a gap of 1min 30secs over the now static bunch.
There was some confusion on lap nine that saw Jonathon Dibben (Hargroves Cycles) and Will Stephenson (Bournemouth Arrow CC) who are both juniors managing to ride off the front. The gap to the chasing group was now 15secs and the bunch were now hovering around the 3min mark. These two riders stayed away, working well together an opening up a lead of over 1min. On the last lap Nick Abraham punctured, got a spare and rode back to the chasing bunch and he was rewarded with a top six finish. He had already been in the first break of the day and was now playing catch up at the end of the race.

Our two leaders now at the bottom of Lodge Hill and comfortably clear now only had to get over the climb once more before the flat run in to the line. It was Will Stephenson first up the hill getting a small lead of ten bike lengths over Jonathon, but Jon was soon across this and soon found himself in the lead as Will “had gone a little too early” he said after the race. So this was to be Jonathon’s race completing a very successful week after finishing 4th in the Junior Paris-Roubaix on Sunday and winning the race at the Mountbatten Centre on Wednesday evening.

Sunday 17th APRIL 2011
1st  Jon DIBBEN J2nd Hargroves Cycles / Trant / Next / specialized
2nd  Will STEPHENSON 3rd Bournemouth Arrow CC-Hotel Colingwood
3rd  Mike RUDLING 2nd Wightlink RT
4th  Philip GOUGH 2nd Red Kite Cycles
5th  James WILSON 2nd Banjo Cycles
6th  Nick ABRAHAM 2nd BC PM
7th  Phil PETERS 2nd Cannondale Racing Team
8th  Mike GARTH 4th Lichfield City CC
9th  Max WEBBER 2nd VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
10th James FOX 2nd CC Luton
11th Paul DRAKE 2nd London Dynamo
12th Wayne Van FY 3rd Dulwich Paragon
13th James ASTBURY 3rd Hargroves Cycles / Trant / Next / specialized
14th Eamon WATSON 3rd Velocity Bikes CC
15th Tom KNOWLTON 2nd VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
16th Simon HEALEY 3rd Andover Wheelers
17th John HYDE 2nd VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
18th James HOLLAND-LEADER 3rd Agiskoviner Cycling Team
19th Robert WARD 2nd VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
20th Keith JARRETT 2nd Southdown Velo / Hunters Springs
21st Stuart McCOMBIE 3rd Swindon Road Club
22nd Max HOLLOWAY 3rd Fareham Wheelers CC
23rd Michael WARNER 2nd Cannondale Racing Team
24th Jonathan MARCHINI 2nd Beeline Cycles RT
25th Daniel STEPHENS 3rd Sotonia CC
26th Charles MITCHELL 3rd Velocity Bikes CC
27th Howard RADCLIFFE 3rd i-team Cyclist’s Club
28th James COTTY 2nd Cannondale Racing Team
29th Stephen CAMPBELL 2nd Twickenham CC
30th Stuart THOMPSON 2nd Banjo Cycles
31st Tom BOWERING 3rd Asfra Racing
32nd Kevin DENNET 4th Fareham Wheelers CC
33rd Gawain YOUNG 4th Sotonia CC
34th Ashley MORRIS 3rd Fareham Wheelers CC
35th Andy SYKES 3rd Thames Velo
36th Peter BOLKE 3rd BC PM – South
37th James COOPER 3rd Sotonia CC
38th Mark WILLIAMS 3rd BC PM – South
39th Andrew CARTER 4th Portsmouth North End CC
40th Richard WALKER 4th Portsmouth North End CC
41st Richard BURCH 3rd Sotonia CC
42nd Adrian COLYER 4th Sotonia CC
43rd George FRYER J3rd Fareham Wheelers CC
44th Peter HAILWOOD 4th Lancaster University CC

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