First cat rider George Harper secured the biggest victory of his career so far when he won the 54th Wally Gimber Trophy in Kent on Sunday.
The 20-year-old from near Andover, who rides for the Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves team, took victory by five seconds from the remains of a break which had been clear for much of the race around the Tenterden circuit, which was shortened to 74 miles because of the freezing conditions.
Harper had missed the original break, but jumped across to help form a 12-strong group which stayed out in front for most of the race.
But again two riders broke away, leaving Harper and the rest to chase. But with team-mate Andy Betts for company, Harper managed to chase down the leading duo in the closing stages, and stayed strong right to the finish, while second spot went to Colin Parry (Spin Rotor Primal C Originals) with Joe Perrett (IG Sigma Sport) third.
“This is easily my biggest win so far,” said Harper, who heads to Ireland for the Ras Mumhan this week. “Last season was my first, but I broke my collar bone in May and had complications so didn’t really race again for the rest of that year.”
Elsewhere, another youngster was making his mark in the Omega Circuit Races in Portsmouth. Mitch Webber (Primera Sport.com) took the win after lapping the field twice alongside Rowan Horner (VC St Raphael).
In Yorkshire, Ashley Proctor (Bike Box Alan) won the BBM Revolution Road Race at Pollington.
The Sheffield rider took the win ahead of team-mate Connor Smith, while Matthew Bulmer (Dirtwheels Cycles) was third at the end of the 54-mile race.
Velocity WD40 had two riders on the podium of the Merseyside Wheelers Road Race at Skelmersdale in Lancashire. Matt Gibson took the win at the end of the 65-mile race, while team-mate Andy Leigh was third, 26 seconds back. Second spot went to Sam Jackson (unattached), 19 seconds behind Gibson.
Several of the weekend’s big races were cancelled because of the snow and freezing conditions.
The Sam Walton Memorial Border Trophy was called off, leaving many riders – including the bulk of the UK Youth team – without a race, while the Cadence Junior Road Race – the first round of the National Junior Road Race Series in Wales – was also called off.
The CDNW League’s race in Cumbria fell victim to the weather, as did the Bill Jinks Memorial in Warwickshire and the Ipswich BC Spring Scramble in Suffolk.