Halfords Bikehut ace Ian Wilkinson took victory in the Travelwise Warwick Town Centre Race on Sunday – the penultimate round of the national circuit series – to throw the fate of the series wide open.
Wilkinson sprinted to victory ahead of renowned sprinter, Candi TV rival Malcolm Elliott after remembering the course from the previous year.
“Last time I was second into the final corner, and it’s the long way round so I blew it, but I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again,” he said. “I made sure I was first in and I held it to the line.”
With series leader Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor) taking third, 53 points separates the duo with just the Preston Grand Prix to come in two weeks. But with both down to ride the Tour of Britain which finishes the day before, only time will tell whether the rivals will battle it out on the streets of the Lancashire town.
“I’m gutted the way things have turned out because I can’t be in two different places at the same time,” added Wilkinson. “The Tour of Britain is obviously the big one for me and I’m definitely riding that. I’m down to do the London Skyride afterwards, but I may see if I can cancel that.”
Wilkinson was part of a six-rider break which lapped the field, but after the pace split the break in half, Wilkinson made his winning move with five laps to go.
Travelwise Warwick Town Centre Races (National Circuit Series)
1. Ian Wilkinson (Halfords Bikehut) 1-05-28
2. Malcolm Elliott (Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta)
3. Dean Downing (Rapha-Condor) all same time
4. Graham Briggs (Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta) at 35sec
5. Ed Clancy (Halfords Bikehut)
6. Matt Cronshaw (Rapha-Condor) all same time
7. Russell Downing (Candi TV-Marshalls Pasta) at 1 lap
8. Will Bjergfelt (Sport Beans-Wilier)
9. Rob Partridge (Halfords Bikehut)
10. Tom Barras (unattached) all same time