Hill climbing the ranks
FIRST LEG winner Matt Hill (Mid-Devon CC/Colin Lewis Cycles) produced an even better effort, although he was 'only' fourth, in the second Springtime Pursuit Race near Exeter.
The Torquay teenager had been the strongest of the Junior group which had dictated the first race seven days earlier, recording a solo victory.
This time Hill was given a handicap of his own to claw back.
But the Westlands School student was determined to put in another big effort.
He chased down breakaway rival Scott Tomkinson of Cornwall's Camel Valley CC, who had won the second-lap 'prime'.
Not content with reeling in Tomkinson, Hill then tried to stage a repeat of his win seven days before.
But this time the fastest senior riders, boosted by the presence of 'pro' men from Bristol's Wilier/Big Maggys.com team, were in hot pursuit and were able to close the gap.
Hill bravely managed to stay clear for a lap before he was caught.
But he was not finished yet.
Former Pursuit winner Marcin Bialoblocki and Ben Luckwell, of the Wilier/Big Maggys team, and Gary Chambers (South Fork Racing) attacked before the final prime.
But Hill, with help from Mid-Devon teammate Jake Durant, managed to get across to the leaders, making a four-man break.
Hill also won the final 'prime' after bridging the gap.
In the final uphill drag to the finish line Chambers won the sprint from Bialoblocki and veteran ex-pro champion Luckwell, with Hill coming in six seconds down in fourth place.
Chambers covered the 51 kilometres in one hour two minutes 25 seconds, 12 minutes faster than the first race.
Babbacombe youngster Hill was 20 seconds clear of a four-man group consisting of Mark Perry (Wilier/Big Maggys), Mid-Devon stalwart Andy Hitchens, Robert Willcocks (ProbikeKit.com) and Sam Deakin (Somerset RC).
At 37 seconds Durant (9th) led in a group including Mid-Devon's Andrew Parker (11th) and Ashley Watts (12th).
Mid-Devon junior Nick Avery was also 18th at 47 seconds.
Ashburton-based Ali Holland (Team Shred) followed up her first-leg win with another convincing display in the Ladies' race.
Holland attacked on the second lap of the 35K race, but she was followed by Miriam Freemantle (Team Tor 2000), who took the first 'prime'.
Holland finally shook off her rival to win in 1hr 2mins 25secs, 33 seconds clear of Freemantle.
Holly Russell (YOGi Cycling) outsprinted Fiona Telfer-Brunton (One & All Cycling) for third place.
Mid-Devon duo Jo Edwards and Louise Georgi were ninth and tenth.
For the third and last race this Saturday, the men's distance goes up to 65K, while the Ladies — they have 16 entries — remains at 35K.