Marcin Bialoblocki

2007 winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Sports Beans-Wilier) successfully defended the South West Regional Road Race title when he sprinted to victory at the end of the 82-mile event near Exeter, Devon, on Sunday.

Originally from Poland, 25-year-old Bialoblocki now lives in Taunton and proved too strong for a top-class field which lined up for the eight lap event based at West Hill.

Two riders had gone clear early in the race, but with just two laps covered Bialoblocki attacked along with Tom Southam (Halfords Bikehut) and James Williams (unattached), and caught the leaders shortly after.

After five laps of the main circuit the leaders moved on to three laps of a smaller finishing circuit, and as they headed up a steep climb the original two found the pace too high and dropped back.

With more than one minute?s lead, the front trio prepared for the finish, and it was Bialoblocki who went first.

?With about 1km to go I went to the front with James,? explained Bialoblocki. ?I found the big ring and pulled away quickly, and they could not catch me. Now I will try to make it three wins in a row next year.?

Elsewhere, Dean Downing (Rapha Condor-Recycling) also successfully defended his regional title in Yorkshire, while in the Central Region a last-lap attack from Tony Gibb (Plowman Craven) proved to be just enough as he crossed the line with his rivals five seconds behind.

Downing?s Rapha team-mate Simon Holt took victory in the West Midlands, while Newcastle?s Colin Humphrey (Activ Cycles) won the North East Championship at Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

Dave Clarke (Team Lacuna) took a narrow victory in the East Midlands Championship, winning by one second from Matt Jennings (Webster Cycles) in the event at Barrow on Soar, Leicestershire.

See this week?s Cycling Weekly for more on the Regional Road Race Championships.

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