Top 10 for Copley in Nationals

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Second claim member Josh Copley rode the Junior National Road Race recently. Here is the report via Catford CC:

National Junior Road Race
On Sunday 16th a CatfordCCEquipe/Banks junior team of Josh Copley, Ieuan Woods and Hector Corey rode the National Junior Road Race near Wallingford, as a bonus our headline sponsor Jeff Banks CBE presented the prizes on the day! Here Josh reports on the event from his perspective which culminated in a fine top 10 position against the best Juniors in the country:

This year three CatfordCC Equipe/Banks riders lined up in Wallingford the start of the Junior National Road Race Championships, with a field of 120 riders. It was also the first time all three of us had ridden as this group of three, but we had all raced with each other at National Level before. The course consisted of six laps; 4 short ones which had a long testing hill/drag, then two longer laps which had a steep hill in. The total race distance was 72 miles. The race rolled out and what followed was the most uneasy 5 miles I have ever ridden, even as a neutralised zone. Normally the riding is close but uneventful, this time however all manner of things happened. From proper crashes to complete wheel blow outs which sounded like shot guns going off, all of which was accompanied by a lot of shouting at each other and the occasional insult as people tried to stay upright! Once away on the course Ieuan Woods tried an early attack just before the first time up the first drag, unfortunately this was closed down by the peleton. Hector Corey and myself waited a little longer before trying to make moves. After the 3rd time up the shorter hill I decided to attack, just after the feed. I was joined by two others shortly after. My group made it over to the break forming a group of six. We worked together well. Ieaun and Hector closing down moves from the main group. My group completed a lap of the short loop and the first lap of the long loop before being caught by a group of favourites about eight strong. Over the last climb a small group of favourites attacked. I had just pulled off the front and was unable to follow this move, later was told by Paul Dole (the Commissaire driver) it was my one mistake of the race and cost me! I was part of the second group over the last climb. The run into the line was fast and twisty. One rider attacked with five miles to go, he had played us all telling us he was spent for the last ten miles! I found myself in third wheel with one kilometre to go, and waited until three hundred metres before launching my sprint from second wheel (the picture above shows just how close the finish for 8th place was. I came away with 2nd in my group giving me 9th on the day. Glad to walk away with a top 10 at the national champs. I was completely spent at the end, Jeff Banks ended up popping into Costas just to get me some water. Very tough day out. Lots of encouragement at the road side, a real testament to Wallingford and the local community for being able to put on a bike race.

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