First race hailed a success as Hedley-Smith bombs to another Verulam win

PUBLISHED: 12:34 01 June 2017

Andy Whale leads Luke Houghton and Paul McGrath at Verulam ReallyMoving's own road race. Picture: STRAFFORD WATSON

Andy Whale leads Luke Houghton and Paul McGrath at Verulam ReallyMoving's own road race. Picture: STRAFFORD WATSON

2017 Strafford Watson

Verulam ReallyMoving Racing Team held their very own road race for the first time - with Clay Davies the first Verulam rider home in fifth at Cranfield.

Sigma Sport’s Rupert Graham took the victory in the men’s race while Karla Boddy of Team Corley Cycles claimed the women’s win.

Team manager Six said the weather and the toughness of the circuit dictated the team’s tactics prior to the flag dropping.

He said: “We knew from the off that we needed our strong men in the break if we were to succeed, particularly James Hedley-Smith and Clay.

“After many attacks, James managed to get a four-man break going and once they had 20 seconds advantage, we tried everything to calm the peloton down, chasing every attack and hoping James could stay away.”

They got caught with four laps to go and a group of three jumped straight over them to contest the win.

Davies jumped clear late on for fifth while Luke Houghton was 15th in the main field.

Team spokesman Strafford Watson was equally delighted with the event.

He said: “This was another huge milestone for the racing team. The racing team and the whole of Verulam Cycling Club are hugely grateful for the effort that club chairman Doug Driscoll and his crew of organisers, marshals, drivers, and judges put into making our race in Cranfield such a success.

“Feedback from the men and women competitors and their racing teams has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly as to how well organised and marshalled the event was.”

The week had started on a high for the team with Hedley-Smith taking first place in round five of the Hemel Hempstead CC Bovingdon Bomber Criterium.

He took advantage when his opponent in the final sprint celebrated too early.

He was followed across the line by Davies in fourth and Six in sixth.

Gavin Bench proved his reputation as one of the team’s toughest competitors when he took a well-deserved second in the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists race at the MK Bowl.

In other Verulam CC news Oliver Mytton set a new club record for a 25-mile time trial, clocking 51 minutes three seconds at Hounslow.

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