SIMON Gaywood (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles RT) pulled off the biggest win of his career today when he led home five escapees in an unexpected outcome to round four of the Premier Calendar series, the Archer Grand Prix road race over its classic Chilterns course.
Gaywood, best known for his overall victory in the inaugural National Elite Circuit Race series in 2003, proved that distance is no object when he survived 115 hot and arduous miles to outsprint breakaway rivals Matt Talbot (Rapha Condor RT) and Manxman Andy Roche (Pinarello RT).
Richard Wilkinson (Rapha Condor RT) crossed the line 14 seconds down, with Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley) coming in at 55 seconds.
These five were the survivors of an early break of 13 riders which went clear after just 14 miles on the infamous Whiteleaf climb, leaving all the expected contenders behind in the main field.
Despite the joint efforts of one of the strongest fields seen this year, the five survivors stayed away and left Premier Calendar leader Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk) to salvage sixth place, 1-31 behind the leading trio.
Newton took the sprint ahead of American-based Russell Downing (Team Health Net-Maxxis) and last year?s Archer runner-up Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello RT).
The result meant little change in the Premier Calendar standings.
Gaywood, previously in 21st place, made only a slight dent in Newton?s lead. Girvan three-day winner Ian Wilkinson ? in second place overall – failed to score, and third placed Dean Downing (Rapha Condor RT) held on to his third place despite managing only a lowly 18th place today.
Robin Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles), currently fourth in the Premier series, came in just one place ahead of Downing as only 30 riders finished from the 100 starters.
Archer Grand Prix.- Simon Gaywood (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles RT) 115 miles in 4-46-08; 2, Matt Talbot (Rapha Condor RT); 3, Andy Roche (Pinarello RT) all same time; 4, R. Wilkinson (Rapha Condor RT) at 14sec; 5, R. Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles) at 55sec; 6, C. Newton (Recycling.co.uk) at 1-31. Premier Calendar overall (provisional): Chris Newton 354 pts; 2, I. Wilkinson (Science in Sport-Trek) 295; 3, D. Downing (Rapha Condor RT) 283; 4, R. Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles) 279; 5, G. McCauley (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles RT) 257; 6, M. Elliott (Pinarello RT) 229.