Otley Cycle Races 2011 photo gallery by Andy Jones>>

Scott Thwaites (Endura) has continued his storming 2011 form, taking the Otley Criterium in front of large crowds yesterday evening.

Thwaites out-kicked his six breakaway companions having bridged to the group late on. Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) took second and Steven Burke (UK Youth) third.

He was helped out, though, by a bit of local knowledge:

“I’m from Burley-in-Wharfedale, which is about two miles from Otley,” he told Cycling Weekly. “I know the circuit well and I knew that if whoever got into the final corner first would win it. I managed to time my effort right, and got into the corner just ahead of Downing and Burke. From there I knew I just had to keep it up to hold on.”

Four riders, including Downing and team-mate Dean Windsor, Jack Bauer (Endura) and Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh) went away early on, and were later joined by Thwaites, Tobyn Horton (Motorpoint) and Burke.

“I was worried about the fact that there were two Raphas in the break,” Thwaites said. “So I tried to jump across with Adam Blythe (Omega-Pharma-Lotto) and another rider. They dropped back after a bit, but I knew the gap was bridgeable cause it’s such a fast circuit.”

Bauer launched an attack in the final laps of the race, but was held by the rest of the group, leaving Thwaites the perfect chance to round them on the final corner.

Thwaites was full of praise for team-mate Bauer. “Jack’s such a good rider, he’s always telling me leave a bit behind, leave a bit behind,” said Thwaites.

“I knew he’d be totally committed and Jack led me out. There were not many attacks really and we rode all the way to the back straight until someone had a bit of a dig. Then Jack went really hard to try and put people under a bit of pressure.”

With his victory at the Lincoln GP and the Stoke-on-Trent Tour Series round, 2011 has been a big year for Thwaites. Next stop: the National Championships this weekend.

Armitstead fastest woman in support race

Otley born and bred rider Lizzie Armitstead (Garmin-Cervelo), as well as a number of Motorpoint women’s team representatives, raced in the evening’s support race against second and third category men. That race was won by Gary Adamson (Science in Sport), with Armitstead the first woman across the line.

Maxgear’s Chris Lawless soloed to victory in the Youth race held earlier in the evening.  

Gary Adamson, support race winner, Otley crit 2011

Gary Adamson wins the support race

Chris Lawless wins youth race, Otley crit 2011



Youth race winner Chris Lawless

Adam Blythe on the front, Otley crit 2011



Adam Blythe on the front

Lizzie Armitstead, Otley crit 2011



Lizzie Armitstead in action

Scott Thwaites wins, Otley crit 2011



Scott Thwaites takes another win

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Otley Cycle Races 2011 photo gallery by Andy Jones