AFTER Russell Hampton?s victory in the Los Angeles round of the track World Cup, Alex Dowsett gained another significant win for the 100% ME team when he claimed first blood of the 2007 domestic road season in the Perfs Pedal Race near Portsmouth today.
Despite being dropped on the final climb, 18-year-old Dowsett (pictured) clawed back to his more senior breakaway companions and won a three-rider sprint to claim this traditional season opener.
Dan Lloyd (DFL-Cyclingnews) and New Zealander Gordon McCauley (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles RT) also showed well for their new teams by finishing in second and third places respectively.
Coming in 25 seconds behind the winner, David Clarke (unattached) took fourth place with Robin Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles-Sunday Bikes) in fifth.
All five riders had been members of an eight-man break break that escaped on the first of four laps that made up the 60km race. Heavy attacking on the penultimate climb of Portsdown Hill broke the group up, but national time trial champion Dowsett was still able to make the most of the sprint that he?s been working on with Olympic Academy coaches.
?That came in quite handy,? he said after the finish. ?I?ve come on a lot since joining the Academy and it?s now starting to pay off.?
Currently studying for his A-Levels, Essex based Dowsett is the first rider to have joined the British Cycling?s esteemed Academy while still at school. After taking his exams in the summer he expects to turn full-time and join the rest of his team mates at their continental road base in Italy.
On Saturday, McCauley had beaten Dowsett to win the latest round of the Imperial RT Winter Series on the Hillingdon circuit in West London.
RESULT.- Alex Dowsett (100% ME) 60km in 1-35-25; 2, Dan Lloyd (DFL-Cyclingnews) at 1 sec; 3, Gordon McCauley (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles RT) at 2sec; 4, David Clarke (unattached) at 25sec; 5, Robin Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles-Sunday bikes) at same time; 6, Marco Bialoblocki (unattached) at 1-30.
* SAM Barker (De Rosa RT), who has had to settle for second place for the last three seasons, turned the clock back four years to win the Ely and District CC hardriders' 25-mile TT in Cambridgeshire today with a course record 56min 35sec.
Barker finished with virtually two minutes to spare over runner-up Tristan Barnes (Will?s Wheels CC).
* AFTER missing last year?s event because of flu, Ben Instone (A3 CRG-BikeDoc) made a winning return in the Gil Jessop Memorial TT staged by Kingston Wheelers over a 14-mile course based on Ripley, Surrey, today.
Instone clocked 31-02 to finish with 38 seconds in hand over Pete Tadros (In Gear-Quickvit RT), overall winner of the GS Stella sporting courses weekend and fastest again in Crawley CC?s event at Faygate, West Sussex, on Saturday.