Report: James Atherton RR


William Haynes (Reading CC) breaks free to win the James Atherton Road Race promoted by the Southampton University Racing Team

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Report: James Atherton RR

Sunday 20th March | Graham Robins 

With just over two laps to go eventual winner William Haynes (Reading CC) broke free from a small group of riders building a lead of 45secs which he maintained almost to the finish line where upon his lead was reduced to 10secs by a hard charging Paul Double (VC Venta) and George Wise (VC Equip-Flix).


This was the third running of this race promoted by the Southampton University RT on the challenging Owslebury course just North of Southampton. The riders had to tackle 7½ laps with a total race distance of 60miles. Despite the dry conditions a cold Northerly wind made it for a very cold race for both those on bikes and the marshals alike.

After a short run through the village the race turned right onto the course proper and the flag was drawn in and we were underway. As soon as the race got underway Will Ranoe (HR Owen Maserati RT) made the first attack of the day and managed to build a lead of 20secs with most of the first lap completed. He was soon joined by three others as they climbed up and away from Owslebury for the first time. Once the three chasers Adam Thompson (Eden Veranda RT), Rob Sharland (Paceline RT) and the eventual winner Haynes had caught Ranoe they began to build a lead all working well together.

This attack did not last for too long as the active peloton brought them back. As soon as there was a regroup another attack went away with several riders getting a gap including James Donovan (Portsmouth North End CC), Tom Sefton (RP Vision RT),Brook Elgie (RockNRoad), Matthew Downie (Eden Veranda RT) and Paul Double. Also trying to bridge across and finally making it was William Haynes whilst the peloton was now over a minute down.


At the three quarter distance of the race the leading group has swelled to nine riders and the peloton was just hanging in at a minute down but they seemed to be losing distance. Two of the leaders found the pace to hard and they slipped away back to the bunch while Haynes started to pull clear the other way. Haynes gap over the peloton was nearly two minutes with a lap to go but he had a group of three riders Double, Wise and Buckley just 30secs back now.

The last half lap saw Haynes in a comfortable lead and he managed to hold this until the last few hundred meters as the three chaser began to sprint it out for the other two podium positions. Once Haynes cleared the finish line up next was Paul Double just keeping Wise at bay and Buckley was a very creditable fourth.

1st William Haynes reading CC 2hrs 32mins 07secs
2nd Paul Double VC Venta @10secs
3rd George Wise VC Equip-Flix @14secs
4th Matthew Buckley Andover Wheelers
5th Rob Sharland Paceline RT
6th Pat Wright Paceline RT
7th Matthew Downie Eden Veranda RT
8th Will Ranoe HR Owen Maserati RT
9th Ken Buckley Eden Veranda RT
10th Harry Veale



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