Vickers regains yellow with solo attack in SSSCCRRL R3

Kirk Vickers (Rhino Velo RT) fended of the bunch for the second time in three weeks to clinch another solo victory in the South Shropshire and Shropshire Road Race League.

Kirk Vickers celebrates victory. Picture: David Perry

After winning the opening round at Knighton with a late solo effort the 24-year-old, from Whitchurch, attacked with four miles to go in the latest round at Bridgnorth and kept clear up the finishing climb to take victory.

Organised by Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club the third round was on the lumpy course including two assents up to the finish on Bromley Bank.

With seven minutes to catch the front group due to the handicap format the fastest group of the four worked well together and caught group three during the opening lap.

On the first time up Bromley Bank, Vickers attacked and took with him Jamie Crump (Successcycling.co.uk), overall leader Matthew Garthwaite (Rhino Velo RT) and Pro Vision Racing trio Jonathan Bourne, Ben Joughin and George Mills-Keeling.

The six escapees worked well together and caught the two slower groups in the closing stages.

With four miles remaining on the undulating roads into the finishing climb Vickers made his move building up a substantial gap.

However, the chasers closed the gap in a frantic finish with Vickers just holding on for victory.

“The last section towards the finish had a tailwind so I waited for the leading group to slow and then attacked with four miles to go and pulled out a good gap,” said Vickers.

“I hit the final climb up Bromley Bank pretty hard and then pushed on over the top as the chasing group were coming pretty quickly but I timed it right.

“I celebrated a bit early and almost underestimated how quick the chasers were coming but hung on. I’ve got the yellow jersey back and should have a good margin now.”

Crump climbed well to take second while last season’s overall winner Joughin continued his consistent form to pick up third.

Yellow jersey wearer Garthwaite finished sixth and lost his overall lead to team-mate Vickers while Joughin moved into second overall.

“Charlton didn’t suit me very well last week and the scratch group wasn’t working very together and I missed the split,” Vickers added.

“We tried to mix things up this week as Ben Joughin is a good sprinter so we tried to make it a bit harder for Pro Vision.

“It was good to get a third win for Rhino Velo of the series.”

Leading junior rider Jamieson Blain (Halesowen A&CC) finished in 30th but kept onto the white jersey by a single point from fourth place Mills-Keeling.

Leah Dixon (Cycle Team On Form) was the leading woman in 17th while Annie Stanford (Paramount CRT) kept the pink jersey.

Results
1 Kirk Vickers (Rhino Velo RT)
2 Jamie Crump (Successcycling.co.uk)
3 Ben Joughin (Pro Vision Racing)
4 George Mills-Keeling (Pro Vision Racing)
5 Phil Rushton (Stourbridge CC)
6 Matthew Garthwaite (Rhino Velo RT)
7 Jonathan Bourne (Pro Vision Racing)
8 Charlie Fisher (Newport Shropshire CC)
9 James Gibney (West Midlands Police CC)
10 Matt Lovelady (Royal Air Force CA)