ONE Pro Race The Wally Gimber Trophy- 20/03/2017 -
The Wally Gimber Trophy is well renowned as the longest continuously run road race in the U.K, having first been held in 1960. The 58th edition of the British Spring Classic took place over 7 laps of a challenging 20km circuit, including a 2km drag up to the finish line. During the first 60km of the race numerous attacks were attempted off the front of the bunch but were never allowed to gain more than 20 seconds before being brought back by an active peloton.
At the start of the 4th lap, a group of 10 including George Harper and Josh Hunt of ONE Pro finally managed to go clear and gain some breathing space which was the first time during the race a break had reached over 30 seconds.
Unhappy with the composition of the break, the peloton held the lead group at 30 seconds before the elastic finally snapped and the gap increased to 50 seconds. During that time a chase group of 4 riders including Tom Baylis surged off the front of the peloton in hot pursuit, however when it didnt look like they would bridge the gap Baylis then jumped clear and went solo, closing the gap and joining leading group of ten.
Two laps to go the breakaway had grown to 16 riders and held an advantage of just 1 minute and 10 seconds over the peloton. With a lack of cohesion in the front and the group constantly attacking each other, 2 riders managed to go clear of the 16 man group with 30km to go and built up an advantage of 20 seconds. With no team wanting to take responsibility to bring the break back, the two leaders built their lead to an impressive 55 seconds with 20km to go and just one lap remaining.
The group behind began to chase but didn’t make up any ground in their attempt to close down the two leading riders. With 5km remaining Ed Clemens (Spirit Tifosi) went clear to take a fine solo victory over his breakaway campaign Dillion Byrne (Isorex Superano Ham). Josh Hunt and Tom Baylis had ridden hard in the group behind to try and bring the break back but in the closing stages this group began to fragment. As the group fought for the final podium place Hunt crossed the line in 6th place.