Words by Frazer Snowdon, photos by Andy Jones
PETER Williams made it two wins out of two races so far this season when he won the 54th Eddie Soens Memorial Handicap at Aintree Racecourse, Merseyside, on Saturday.
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The 28-year-old One Pro Cycling rider, who also won the Clayton Velo Spring Classic in Lancashire a fortnight earlier, showed a clean pair of wheels to his team-mate Sam Williams, who helped continue the domination of One Pro Cycling so far in 2015.
The team has taken victory in all of the big early season races, including the Perfs Pedal Race, the Clayton Spring Classic, the Severn Bridge Road Race, the Primavera Road Race and now the Eddie Soens Memorial.
The two Williams – unrelated – secured a one-two with Raleigh GAC rider and 2014 race winner Ian Wilkinson claiming third spot at the end of the 81-kilometre race, which took in 30 laps of the racecourse circuit.
Once the separate handicap groups had come together, a group of around ten riders split off the front. It was whittled down to five with ten laps to go, with One Pro Cycling and Raleigh having two riders each, and Tom Moses from JLT Condor.
With Moses under team orders not to work with the break, he soon dropped off the back with Peter Williams forcing the pace, and it became a One Pro versus Raleigh battle for the win.
“Sam [Williams] is quite a good finisher,” said eventual winner Peter Williams. “I was riding for him and I trying to put Moses and Wilkinson under pressure and tire them out so Sam could have a go at the finish.
“I attacked with a lap and a half to go which dropped Moses, then held on for the win. Wilko is a renowned sprinter and we had to do what we could to get the win. We couldn’t take any chances with him on our wheel.
“It’s never easy when you set up a new team but it has come together really well. The hard work of everyone – riders and staff – has paid off with early season wins. But once the season gets going it’ll get harder.”
One Pro Cycling will aim to continue their domination of the domestic cycling scene at the Jock Wadley memorial Road Race tomorrow, albeit with a different line-up from the Eddie Soens Memorial.
54th Eddie Soens Memorial (Aintree Racecourse, Merseyside, 81km)
1. Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling) 1-39-57
2. Sam Williams (One Pro Cycling) at 10sec
3. Ian Wilkinson (Raleigh GAC) at 16sec
4. Tom Moses (JLT Condor) same time
5. Morgan Kneisky (Raleigh GAC)
6. Jon Mould (One Pro Cycling)
7. David McGowan (Pedal Heaven RT)
8. Adam Duggleby (Sportgrub KUOTA)
9. Tony Gibb (Full Gas RT)
10. Sam Lowe (Raleigh GAC)