2012 Clayton Velo Spring Classic

Against the odds, Richard Hepworth (Cycle Premier) has won the Clayton Velo Spring Classic handicap race in Lancashire in an eight man sprint. David McGowan (UK Youth) was second and Robbie Hassan (Herbalife Leisurelakes) third.

With the five Node 4 riders not riding due to being in a training camp in Benidorm, the numbers in the scratch group were reduced and so then was the lead given to the junior group off first. Just as well, as no sooner had the last group left the start (Scratch), the juniors came around looking purposeful. While the second and third groups appeared to be riding within themselves, it was the Juniors who were looking the best bet to stay away as they raced through the finish with 12 of the 13 laps to go.

Related Link: Preview of the race | Feature on the Race

Then, after four or five laps, Chris Lawless (Maxgear) broke clear of the juniors to try and go even quicker and was quickly joined by two Mountivation riders, Tom Armstrong and Matt Flynn. These three led the way while the scratch group started to pick off the riders in front. Lawless meanwhile, a first year junior, wasn’t happy with the two Mountivation riders with him and so he went solo and with four laps to go, led the race with the rest of the race in one big group.

With three to go, his lead was only 30 seconds and the group behind was starting to split. Dean Downing lead a small group though but that was short lived and soon an nine man group came though ahead of the race and it was this group that was to stay away. For Rapha, expected to win due to their firepower in the team and their number of riders, the break was not ideal with two climbers in it and Kristian House did force a chase group away which Richard Lang joined but even the former British Road Race Champion wasn’t able to bring the leaders back.

The group comprised of Richard Hepworth (Cyclepremier), David McGowan (Uk Youth), Robbie Hassan (Herbalife), Andrew Hawden (Herbalife), Simon Wilson (Metaltek Scott), Robert Smail (Team Wallis), Mike Cumming, Sam Jackson and Richard Handley. The winner was going to come from one of the nine and Sam Jackson opened up the finale trying to go clear before the final corner. Richard Hepworth was quick to react though and he hit the front as they came out of the final corner and was left in a quandary, do I sprint or hold back.

There was still 300 metres to go and the Yorkshire rider decided to go for it and he was a clear winner ahead of McGowan and Hassan. Well done to the officials and marshals for yet another great edition of this long running race.


1 Richard Hepworth
2 David Mcgowan
3 Robbie Hassan
4 Andrew Howden
5 Simon Wilson
6 Robert Smail
7 Mike Cumming
8 Sam Jackson
9 Richard Hadley
10 Declan Byrne
11 Ben Greenwood
12 Richard Lang
13 Alistair Rutherford
14 Chris Sherriffs
15 Kristian House
16 James King
17 Dean Downing
18 Oliver Rossi
19 Andy Coupe
20 Hugh Carthy
21 Sam Boast
22 Ben Dean
23 Conan Mayman
24 Chris Jennings
25 Luke Grivell – Mellor
26 Steve Gibson
27 Hamish Graham
28 Harry Grey
29 Chris Laythom
30 Matt Pilkington
31 Francis Pilkington
32 Jacob Ragan
33 Ben Kellett
34 Andrew Leigh
35 Chris Lawless
36 Nathan Harrison
37 William Thomas
38 Stuart Mccluskey
39 Josh Knights
40 Shane O’neil
41 Richard Bott
42 Ady Lawrence
43 Jody Warrington
44 Graham Payne
45 John Crellin
46 Ash Finn
47 Cal Nicholson
48 Jack Waller
49 Tom Barras


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