Day 1 report

The 2018 edition of the Screentek International Junior Tour of the Mendips got going on wet and cold roads south of Bristol today.

The 3 stage, 2 day race started with a shorter version of last years’ Time Trial route based along the shores of Chew Valley Lake.

Early starters were treated to rain soaked roads with first man off & former BCDS member George Bazley (Bristol RC) posting the initial fastest time of 5:57 that stood until toppled by last years Winner Oscar Mingay from PH-Mas/ Paul Milnes cycles pipping Bazley’s time by a single second.

Oscar remained in the lead until the final 20 riders and the drying roads may have helped play their part as Sam Culverwell from Jersey edged out a second to better Mingays time, But it was Leicester Road clubs Alex Hains Who raised the bar considerably to post the new benchmark time of 5:49. A time that looked like it may not be beaten that was until Zappi’s Ben Healy set a new time of 5:43 to take the leaders Jersey into stage 2.

Link to Stage 1 Results

Stage 2 took place on drier roads on the top of the Mendip Hills.

The bunch rolled out on the same route as used by the time trial passing the finish line to take on the day’s only climb the tough slopes of West Harptree hill.

Attacks came in thick and fast on the lower slopes as riders looked to attack off the front of the group, it was Lee Valley Youth’s Marco Passfield who took the sprint to take the KOM Cranepart.comeaders jersey into Sundays stage.

The race then passed 7 lap’s of a triangular circuit near Cheddar. The rolling nature of the roads allowed the attacks to come in thick and fast with Louis Priddle (Mid Devon CC) and Brecon Burnett (Welsh Cycling Team) forcing the pace with a number of attacks in a number of opening laps.

The attacks continued until a group of 5 continued to edge out a gap over 30 secs through the intermediate sprints. The bunch kept tabs on the leaders allowing them up to 50 secs advantage before pulling them back with 4 laps to go.

It was 4 laps to go that the attacks restarted with Matthew Ellis ( Soenes Boom) jumping clear, panic set in behind with others looking to jump clear and form a group as the race entered the closing laps. Matthew was joined up front by Thomas Gloag ( VC Londres) chasing hard to get across.

The penultimate sprint saw Matthew Ellis race to the line ahead of Louis Priddle and Sam Allen (Lee Valley Youth) in a chasing group of 3 containing George Mills-Keeling (Pro Vision) and Spokes RT’s Ben Barlow 20 secs back but closing fast.

The make-up of the group was strained and reformed with a new make-up of Sam Allen, David Middleton (Sunset Cycles RT), Owain Roberts (Wales) Theo Modell (Wheelbase Cabtech JRT) and Coey Bale (Cycle team on Form) building a gap that grew quickly to close to 2 mins with little reaction from the bunch. Into the closing half lap of the 8 mile circuit the bunch began to chase but the gap was holding at 1min, it was unclear if the gap could hold on or if we would be treated to a bunch sprint.

Race Radio was frantic as the gaps continue to drop and vehicles were pulled out of the space to avoid hampering the chase, the leading riders rounded the final bend fully across the road initiating the sprint with the bunch now tantalisingly close to the catch. But it was Matthew Ellis who took the sprint ahead of Spokes Dylan Hughes and Toby Perry (Thanet RC). Louie Priddle took 4th after a long day on the attack just ahead of Alexander Dent (Spokes RT) and Corey Bale (Cycle Team On Form) taking the bunch sprint 17sec’s back from the winner.

Stage Result