"It was a war of attrition," said Tour of the Reservoir winner Simon Richardson. The opening round of the Premier Calendar round a blustery Derwent Water invariably produces a worthy winner. Richardson's solo effort was just that.
Not that a solo effort was the first thing on the Bristolian's mind when he edged away with a lap and half remaining. "That circuit is so grippy and I think the others were very tired," he said. "I didn't want to go on my own but they let me drift off the front. I was in two minds."
Calling back to the team car for advice is now history thanks to the race radio ban. Richardson plumped for pressing on. It turned out to be the correct decision as the Sigma Sport man crossed the line with nearly a minute in hand over second placed Ian Wilkinson.
New Zealand road champion Jack Bauer tried to get across, but there was no stopping Richardson, as Bauer's Endura team-mate Wilkinson conceded. "When Simon went Jack tried to go after him, but the wind coming over the reservoir was so strong that he just couldn't bridge it. After he came back to us I decided to go and took a couple with me, but Simon was too far up the road for us to get across by then. Fair play to him, that was a great ride today, but I'm pleased with second."
It was Richardson's first Premier Calendar win, surprisingly. The 2009 RAS winner looks in good shape to bag some more before the season is out.
Keep your eyes peeled for Scott Thwaites this year. The 20 year old former mountain biker has impressed the Endura management since joining the squad. He rode a fine race in support of Wilkinson and Bauer and still finished sixth. One to watch.
Jack Bauer: couldn't bridge the gap
You got to hand it to the Surrey-based squad. They outfoxed the big guns when the going got tough.
Who? This is the second season for Maggy Backstedt's boys and they have come on leaps and bounds, placing two riders in the top five. They may not be back in the UK until the Lincoln GP in May but expect the Sprockets to feature again there.
Where were you?
Three riders in the break and still Richardson gave them the slip.
Sorely missing Russ Downing if this performance is anything to go by.
First man home for the new outfit was over 15 minutes adrift of Richardson. Ouch.
Tour of the Reservoir 2010
1. Simon Richardson (Sigma Sport-Specialized)
2. Ian Wilkinson (Endura) at 54secs
3. Nicolas Gustavsson (Team Sprocket ProCycling)
4. Marcin Bialoblocki (Wilier-Bigmaggys.com-Prendas Ciclismo) at same time
5. Tobyn Horton (Team Sprocket ProCycling) at 2-10
6. Scott Thwaites (Endura)
7. Jack Bauer (Endura)
8. Pete Williams (Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)
9. Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport-Specialized) all same time
10. Evan Oliphant (Endura) at 9-15
SUPER TEAM CHALLENGE
Sigma head the opening table thanks to Richardson's win and Sybrandy's Man of the Race - bagging an extra five points to go with Richardson's 14.
It will be all change next week, with bags of points on offer at the Tour Doon Hame three-day. Expect Rapha-Condor to gatecrash the table.
Sigma Sport-Specialized 19pts
Team Sprocket 12pts
Wilier-Bigmaggys.com-Prendas Ciclismo 6pts
The panel of Bruces were in agreement with this one. Man of the Race and five STC points go to Sigma's Wouter Sybrandy. The Dutchman worked his socks off for race winner Richardson and hung in there for a top-ten finish. The winner of last year's East Yorkshire Classic and several time trials already this season gives Sigma options in attack. A team to watch in 2010.
NEXT PREMIER CALENDAR
The Tour Doon Hame Three-Day,
The Big Preview: Tour of the Reservoir
British team profiles
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