Sunday 20 August 2017

Matt Downie Wins South Region Title!

Matt Downie (Primera-Teamjobs) added to his growing reputation, winning the South Region Road Championships ahead of a strong field on Sunday afternoon in Hampshire. Downie joined a group of seven that went away in the first few miles of the 84 mile race on the unrelenting Owlesbury circuit, a move that showcased the brimming confidence in the 21 year old from Eastleigh. It was another 21 year old, Matt Langworthy (St Piran) that started the move along Salt Lane and with teammate Ben Lockett, Lee Frost, George Smith (VC Equip-Flix), Will Bjergfelt (Neon Velo RT), Andy Shackel (Team Wiggle) and Downie they formed a formidable break, pulling out a lead of nearly 2 minutes on a cautious bunch that was thinking about the distance, a bit too much as it turned out.
A reaction did come, along with the realisation that the break was threatening to stay away, Mitch Webber (Bike Channel Canyon), Alex Cross (Team Vision Innovative Leisure), Mike Ford (VC ST Raphael), Matt Franklin (Bristol RC), Tom Lane, Pete Hodson-Thomas (Latchem Sunwise RT), Oscar Hutchings (VC Equipe-Flix),Daniel Mcquillan, (Tri Uk), Trevor Smith (Cotswold Veldrijen) & Harry Veale (, were looking organised as the time gap to the break dropped to 1 min 30 secs. Lockett lost contact after 40 miles, unable to live with the pace set by Downie & Langworthy as the 10 chasers were absorbed back into a splitting peloton, now thinking of nothing but chasing.
With 4, 8 mile laps remaining the break held a lead of just under a minute as Downie relentlesy drove the 6 up Longwood Down . Etiene Georgi (Team Wiggins) & Graham Collins (Team Tor 2000 Kalas) had them in sight as they looked too move across with rain starting to fall. Bjergfelt was next to go, having contributed much,the pace and the distance leaving him with nothing.
The Georgi & Collins move achieved nothing more than get rid of Collins but the Team Wiggins man was joined by Webber, Ford, Cross, Hodson-Thomas, Ben Marks (Morvelo Basso), Jack Freeman (VC Meudon) & Liam Walsh (VC ST Raphael), as the gap dropped to under 30 seconds.
Behind these, the remains of the bunch, including Will Harper (One ProCycling), Tristan Robbins (Raleigh GAC) never gave up as the race entered a tense finale.With just under 8 miles to race the unfortunate Langworthy punctured and fell back, at the mercy of neutral service his chance had gone and so it seemed the chances of the break but if they were tired up front they were also tired behind and the gap was holding. Downie attacked along Belmore Lane, opening a small gap but Frost and Smith closed it down, a move that did for the courageous Shackel. Frost and Smith tried to gang up on Downie along Salt Lane to the finish but he had the measure of them, coming around Smith, who had been left to lead out and holding off Frost for a "sit up and take notice" victory. Frost won the South West Region title with impressive Junior Alexander Cross finishing strongly, taking the South Region bronze medal. Langworthy got a wheel and salvaged 10th and Silver in the South West race.

Brief Result
1. Matthew Downie – Primera-Team Jobs
2. Lee Frost – VC Equipe Flix
3. George Smith – VC Equipe Flix
4. Alexander Cross – Team Vision Innovative Leisure
5. Benjamin Marks – Morvelo Basso RT
6. Mitchell Webber – BIKE Channel Canyon
7. Liam Walsh – VC St Raphael
8. Andy Shackel – Team Wiggle
9. Etienne Georgi – Team Wiggins
10. Matt Langworthy – Saint Piran
11. Jack Freeman – VC Meudon
12. Michael Ford – VC St Raphael
13. William Bjergfelt – Neon-Velo Cycling Team
14. William Harper – One Pro Cycling
15. Tristan Robbins – Raleigh GAC
16. Ben Davis – Bristol RC
17. Daniel Halksworth – Team Bottrill – HSS Hire
18. Oscar Hutchings – VC Equipe Flix
19. Graham Collins – Team Tor 2000 KALAS
20. Jamie Caldwell – Portsmouth North End CC

Best U23 £50 Sponsored by Pedal Potential Matt Downie
Combativity Award £50 Sponsored by www.localriders,

Lots more Photos on our Facebook page

Rider Reaction

Matt Downie
"I saw Matt Langworthy go and went as hard as i could and straight away we had a good gap, as soon as i saw who was in the break i was quite confident it would stick. We were all working well, it was really fast for the first couple of laps, we did not let up, it was 30mph along Salt Lane, everyone taking a turn. I saw the cars drop back behind the group, i thought we might have been caught but i was saving myself a bit. There is always a little bit of concern, there were some good riders chasing, the gap dropped down but we managed to pick up the pace. George (Smith) led it out, he kept looking back, i was not sure about Lee's (Frost) sprint, i opened up, Lee got to within half a wheel and then started going back, i knew then i had got it. It was a tough race. I am very pleased, this is a good result"

Lee Frost
"I thought the break would go later but it looked a good move, it was a strong group, the first couple of laps were hard but it did settle down. We knew the gap was coming down, we knew it was going to be close. Matt Downie was strong but we were all talking, keeping each other rolling through. We all had an attack in the final, George was stuck on the front, it was a drag race to the line"

George Smith
" It was hard, it was good to get off straight away, we got into a good rhythm. The course was taking its toll, everybody was starting to feel it. We could see them coming, we all panicked a bit i think, we started to push it harder, Matt had a few digs, we tried to work a one/two but i did not have the legs in the end"

Matt Langworthy
" I wanted to go from the gun, i drove it before the race, its a bit draggy, you can get away. I started at the front and went early on, i was surprised the group was not bigger but we got a minute pretty quickly. I punctured coming onto the climb, i got a wheel from neutral service and got back onto the second group. Its a hard race, my kind of race"

Andy Shackell
"I followed Matt Langworthy, he rode well at the Kalas Cup the other week, i knew he was strong, Matt Downie came across so we committed to it. Eighty five miles is long for me, i faded a bit towards the end, the Equipe lads were going strong, i was out of gas, i am looking forward to a roast dinner courtesy of Mrs Lovett" (Vicky Lovett (I-Team) rode the womens race, mum was cooking dinner!)

Mitch Webber
"I was not sure who was in the break, the gap was coming down but we were starting to suffer as well. Everyone was starting to get tired, we had a god group of riders but so was it up front, we got close but we should not have let them get away so far"

Will Harper,2016 Champion
"It was very hard for me to get away. I tried repeatedly, but I was followed by a group of guys who didn't want to work.
Still had fun and went off the front of my group on the last lap. It was a really hard race."

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