Kiwi Mike Northey confirmed his liking for Abergavenny by leading a one-two for Node 4 Giordana Racing in Sunday’s fifth round of the Premier Calendar, the 105-mile Grand Prix of Wales road race.
Two days after winning the Abergavenny round of the Elite Circuit Race Series, the 26-year-old New Zealander outsprinted team-mate Steve Lampier to secure his first Premier Calendar victory with a gap of 25 seconds to Mark Christian (Team Raleigh) in third place.
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The leading trio dominated the closing stages of the race in a four-man break with Mike Cuming (Rapha Condor JLT), who was dropped with less than a lap of the lumpy town centre finishing circuit to go.
A ten-man break formed soon after the field had rolled out of Abergavenny on a tour of the Monmouthshire countryside, but they were reeled in before the testing climb of the Tumble strung out the field with mountain bike champion Oli Beckingsale (Endura Racing) going over the top in first place to take the Iron Mountain prime.
A 30-plus leading group formed on the run back to the three-mile finishing circuit where Lampier, Niklas Gustavsson (Team UK Youth) and Lachlan Norris (Team Raleigh) broke clear on the first of ten laps.
They were joined by a group of around 15 riders, including Northey, on the next lap before a series of attacks and counters eventually saw the ever-active Lampier – racing days after a medical procedure to remove a metal plate from a broken elbow – go clear with Cuming and Christian.
Their advantage reached 28 seconds before Northey bridged the gap alone to make it four at the front with two laps to go.
Cuming dropped back before the bell and Christian also gave best in the stifling heat, leaving Northey and Lampier to contest the finish where the Kiwi sprinted clear by three seconds.
“I was concerned about the Tumble and decided to go up it at my own pace and ride within myself,” said Northey. “Once we were over the top I was able to get in the moves and the finishing circuit was perfect for me.
“The team were active all day, and when we got in the final move, Steve and I knew we were the strongest in the group.”
* Before the start of the Grand Prix of Wales, riders observed a minute’s silence for Ben Carroll, the Cardiff Ajax rider who died following an incident at the Abergavenny Handicap Road Race last Tuesday.
Break on the Tumble
Hot work: Dean Downing and Chris Opie
Mike Northey leads final lap
Mike Northey takes the win
Podium l-r: Mark Christian, Mike Northey and Steve Lampier