Old Dalby rider Tom Chandler underlined his huge potential with victory in the British Cycling Junior Road Series last weekend.
It was Chandler’s first win in the national series and earned it with a gutsy ride in appalling conditions on a rain-lashed Stewkley circuit, near Bath.
Standing water, cross winds, and worsening rain forced many riders to abandon well before the finish of the 115km race, but not the Sherwood Pines SRAM rider.
With the race at just over half-distance, Chandler was part of a 15-strong group which broke away, but the main field chased them down and on the penultimate lap the race was back together.
The final lap again saw a break go with Chandler, Alex Touche (Cwmbran Paragon) Robert Scott (VCUK PH-MAS), Joey Walker and Matt Walls (Velocity GlobalBike), among others, making the break stick.
With just 900m left, Kieran Simcox made a failed attack, and Touche and Chandler went over the top of the Bike Box rider.
The long drag up to the finish played into Chandler’s hands with the Sherwood Pines rider having the legs to claim the win.
He said: “The course wasn’t that hilly but it was the weather that was causing problems for us, I saw a few crashes throughout the race.
“I prefer the hillier courses and although I wouldn’t say I’m a climber, I like to work hard. I like the bunch to wear down a bit and break up.
“Once I knew we had a break that looked that it could stay away I knew I was in a position to go for the win.
“I managed to get in the right end of most of the breaks today, but we couldn’t make the earlier ones stick.
“But the one on the last lap was one that stayed away. There was one guy who got away with about one kilometre to go, but I managed to get across to him and pass him.
“I knew I had someone coming up fast, but I managed to hold him off.”
Chandler lies 17th in the overall standings after eight of the 10-round series, a position obscured by a rough start to the season.
This included a bad crash in round three at the Junior CiCLE Classic which ruled him out of the Isle of Man tour the following week.
But the Melton Times Junior Sports Personality of the Year finalist feels he has improved as the season has gone on and believes there is more to come.
The National Track Championships, in Manchester, are up next for the ??-year-old, starting on Monday, where he is targeting the 3km individual pursuit.
Then follows round nine of the national series in Scarborough and the Junior Tour of Wales at the end of the season.
“I’ve had a few top 10s in the series and got a top 10 last week at the nationals so I knew the form had been coming for a while,” he added.
“I made a few mistakes last week which I worked on today and it obviously worked.”