George Wood (Cycling Sheffield) took his first National B road race win of the season at the JToW U23 Men’s GP, round 3 of the Under-23 Men’s Road Series.
Featured image: Emma Wilcock
Over 115km of a lump course between Brecon and Hay-on-Wye, a field of 55 eager under-23s set off in search of a win. The racing was fast from the gun, with a strong headwind on the back half of the circuit, together with a sharp climb on each lap, adding to the challenge.
Despite the initial aggression, the early moves were foiled, and the race was still together after the first two laps of seven tours of the main circuit.
On the third lap, however, Cycling Sheffield’s George Wood attacked with Wales Racing Academy’s new recruit Will Harding. The pair created a gap and were quickly joined by Series leader Sam Clark (trainSharp), who bridged across.
The trio worked well together, keeping their chasers at bay. But with one lap remaining, concerned that they might be caught, Wood decided to go it alone, attacking on the last climb. Clark and Harding could not respond, leaving Wood to ride solo for the final 8 kilometres to take the win.
Harding and Clark arrived at the line just under a minute later, Harding getting the better of Clark to take second. Wood’s teammate James Hartley capped off a good day for Cycling Sheffield by leading in a small chasing group to finish 4th.
Clark continues as the Series leader, but Wood is now only four points, with just one round remaining. It takes place on 27 August in the South West of England at the Stars of the South West road race.
On the previous day, Libby Smithson (AWOL O’Shea) had won the JToW U23 & Junior Women’s GP on the same course.
With thanks to George Wood for his help in understanding how the race played out.