Ride 24/7 Team
Cotswold League – Round Three
GRANT BAYTON of Cirencester's Ride 24/7 team has retained the leader's green jersey after his victory in round three of the Cotswold League series.
This time the event took in 10 laps of a six-mile circuit around the picturesque town of Winchcombe.
Bayton walked away with two trophies kindly donated by Winchcombe Cycling Club in memory of Pat Smith.
The first serious move of the race came at the 10-mile mark when Ben Luckwell (Ride 24/7), Mike Ward (Ride 24/7) and Dan Guest (Performance Cycles) pushed a minute clear with no reaction from the main bunch.
However, Ben was feeling the effects of being off the bike for a week and was unable to fully contribute – unlike on his opening-race victory at South Cerney.
With the pace of the leading group slowing, the main bunch reeled them in.
It was then the turn of powerhouse Charles Rees (Ride 24/7) and Richard Cleaver (Leisure Lakes) to make a break.
The two worked extremely hard to build and maintain a gap of more than a minute for almost half the race. Unfortunately the elements proved too much for the leading duo and they came back to the pack.
With a lap to go, and after the final climb, Bayton decided to attack forcing the bunch to chase. The tactic was designed to allow his team-mates to gather themselves for a sprint finish.
However, the gap grew to 20 seconds and Bayton decided to get his head down and go for it alone.
With 1km to go the lead was still at 20 seconds and Bayton was able to relax and enjoy the luxury of a raised arms salute as he crossed the line.
Ben Carty (Felt Colbornes) came in a well-deserved runner-up with Luckwell again making the podium. Joe Barry (Ride 24/7) finished strongly in 10th and Mike Ward was 12th.
Ride 24/7 are now the second highest ranked team in cycling's southern region with nine wins in total to date.
The team would not be able to achieve this without the support of their sponsors: Oomph Technology Powered Marketing, Steele Davis Building and Maintenance Contractors and Cirencester Friendly Income Protection.