Barfoot shines to take glory in summer race

Luke Barfoot got clear of the group to win
Luke Barfoot got clear of the group to win
Leo Smith is body painted by Fiona Jones before the ride. 'Picture: Vernon Nash (180390-138) PPP-180206-181734006

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A POWERFUL solo attack from Luke Barfoot was rewarded with glory in the Portsmouth North End hosted Summer Road Race.

– Report by Graham Robins

The Tri UK rider continued his excellent form from Bournemouth where he had won a week earlier.

It was an exciting race as the Portsmouth club made good use of the Owslebury course near to Winchester with a 96km race for second and third category riders.

Barfoot, 23, from Yetminster, eased clear of a group of 10 riders just after the bell to solo away on the last lap.

As the finish line approached he had to fend off a charge from Red Walters (Sotonia CC) but managed to hold on to get his arms up with five seconds in hand, with John Hale (WORX Factory Racing) a further two seconds behind.

The course is often used to host the south divisional championships and is known locally as a tough examination for the riders.

The race covered the distance in a total of seven-and-a-half laps of which a lot is climbing.

After a week of rain in the area riders were greeted with a sunny morning but soon suffered as it got hotter.

The race rolled away from Owslebury and stayed together on the opening lap before four riders eased off the front and managed to gain a lead.

But they were soon reeled back into the bunch.

The four riders along with a fifth soon found themselves back on the front.

James Bonham (Southdowns Bikes), Portsmouth North End’s Jamie Caldwell, Paul Newsome (Project 51) and the Tri UK pair of Sean Post and Giles Greening built a gap of 45 seconds.

With the laps ticking away the five riders on the front were working well together.

As they crossed the line with two laps to go the remainder of the peloton began to splinter and it saw riders clipping off the bunch in search of joining the front group.

For the final lap just three of the original five leaders were still ahead but now the lead group had 10 in total.

At this point Barfoot decided to make his move and he slipped away to solo the final lap.

As the leaders came into view Barfoot was holding a strong lead but Walters and Hale did their best.

Eventually Walters sat up and applauded the winner while maintaining his second place.

– Report by Graham Robins