Opie lauds Vaughan talent

Jacob Vaughan leads Chris Opie, Rory Townsend and Jack Billyard into Boarhunt on the final lap of Portsdown Hill. Picture: Hugh McManus
Jacob Vaughan leads Chris Opie, Rory Townsend and Jack Billyard into Boarhunt on the final lap of Portsdown Hill. Picture: Hugh McManus
James Copeland on his way to glory. Picture: Eamonn Deane/localriderslocalraces.com

Copeland back with a bang

Persf Pedal winner Chris Opie with runner-up Jacob Vaughan, left, and third-placed Rory Townsend, right. Picture: Hugh McManus

Perfs chief delighted by Pedal power

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Chris Opie has predicted a bright future for Perfs Pedal runner-up Jacob Vaughan.

The BIKE Channel Canyon rider, who claimed his second victory in the Portsmouth road race on Sunday, was impressed with both the VC Londres junior and Jack Billyard.

His next race is the junior Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. That is going to be pretty special for him and we’ll be looking out for his result

Chris Opie

The duo joined Opie and defending champion Rory Townsend in a decisive group before fighting out the finish on Hundred Acres Road, near Wickham.

The former ONE Pro Cycling man who took the honours – after Billyard had lit up the dash for the line.

But he reckons Vaughan, who claimed the British Junior Road Race Championship last season, made a real statement with his second spot.

And with the junior Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne up next for the teenager on February 26, Opie will be following his progress.

He said: ‘You can see why he is national champion, that’s for sure.

‘And he is a good guy as well. Both Jacob and Jack were really nice guys.

‘Jacob’s next race is the junior Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, which is a big race.

‘That is going to be pretty special for him and we’ll be looking out for his result.

‘Hopefully he has a good ride.

‘He was good. He was sensible, he rode a mature race, he didn’t waste his energy, he didn’t ride for no reason but when he did, he made it count.

‘Hopefully he will go a long way.

‘Jack rode very well and went early on the final climb.

‘Rory went after him and luckily I managed to come round them.’

Zappis ace Billyard battled illness last year but was the south region junior champion in 2015.

Opie, meanwhile, will now begin fine-tuning his training ahead of his next outing for BIKE Channel Canyon, which could come in the Rabobank Dorpenomloop Rucphen in Holland on March 12.