Report – Stockbridge Down Road Race


Rhys Howells (Richardson-Trek RT) soloed the last two miles to win the Stockbridge Down Road Race on Sunday (June 22)

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Report – Stockbridge Down Road Race
(from Graham Robins

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Rhys Howells (Richardson-Trek RT) soloed the last two miles of the 80 miles race to claim the spoils at the top of Winton Hill after a very tough and hot day in the saddle. Along with fourteen other riders Rhys built up a lead of over two minutes by mid way and this group stayed away until the bottom of the climb when it all split apart.

On a hot sunny day the bunch rolled away from the Test Valley School in the market town of Stockbridge on the edge of the Hampshire border with Wiltshire. A couple of mile run out in the neutralised section gave the peloton a good look at the climb up Winton hill and through the finish line on the first of six laps.

The course was a rolling one with very little respite for the riders as climb followed climb as the course continued through Crawley and past the duck pond, through the feed station and back onto the main road before again turning left through the downs and back to Stockbridge.

The opening lap saw a few attacks as the bunch settled into the race but small gaps were soon closed down. It took nearly two full laps for the break to go away when fifteen riders eased of the front and was gone, by time they passed the ducks again their lead was 1min 30secs.

This leading group maintained this lead for most of the remainder of the race although one rider did slip back and was picked up by a small group of four who in turn had slipped of the front of the bunch, but they were going to be no challenge to the leaders.

At the bell the fourteen had a lead close to two minutes over the chasers with the remainder of the bunch at over four minutes. As the leaders headed back towards the finish in Stockbridge it was Rhys who attacked first about two miles out when he jumped the leaders and went away. As the course rolled back he soon managed to build a lead and was able to solo his way up Winton Hill to take the applause from the waiting spectators on the finish line.

Provisional Result
1. Rhys Howells Richardsons-Trek RT 3hrs 06mins 46secs
2. James Walsby Catford CC Equip/Banks @28secs
3. Alexander Royle Army Cycling Union @33secs
4. Joshua Lawless L’Union Cyclist Heennebont
5. Lawrence Carpenter Catford CC Equip/Banks
6. Mitchell Webber Pedal Heaven Colbornes RT
7. Andrew Feather Bikeshed-UEX
8. James Davey Mid Devon CC
9. Richard Cartland Southdowns Bikes Cycling Club
10. Alex Higham Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves RT



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