SIMON Gaywood extended his lead at the top of the National Elite Circuit Series table with victory at Abergavenny on Friday night.

Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles rider Gaywood, who has now won three rounds of the circuit series following victories at Crawley in Essex and Colne in Lancashire, now leads the competition by 27 points with three rounds left. A rider?s best eight performances from 12 events count towards their final score.

Gaywood?s team-mate Gordon McCauley, who was lying second to his colleague before Friday?s race, could only manage 11th in a bunch sprint and so drops to third with Russell Downing (Health Net-Maxxis) taking third place on the night and moving ahead of his rival.

With just a few laps left of the hour-long race Gaywood escaped with Warrick Spence (Cyclefit), and they stayed away to the line with Gaywood taking the win by one length.

Downing crossed the line alone, around 40 seconds further back, while the bunch was led in by Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello RT), another five seconds back.

A large crowd was treated to some exciting racing, and although many riders will have been keeping their powder dry for the National Championships on Sunday, the racing was still fast and furious.

See next week?s Cycling Weekly for extensive coverage of the whole weekend of cycling in and around Abergavenny, including Sunday?s National Road Race Championships.

National Elite Circuit Series (Abergavenny).-

1 Simon Gaywood (Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles)
2 Warrick Spence (Cyclefit) same time
3 Russell Downing (Health Net-Maxxis) at 40sec
4 Malcolm Elliott (Pinarello RT) at 45sec
5 Tom Barras (Merlin Racing Team)
6 Dean Downing (Rapha Condor RT) all st