Otley in Yorkshire heralded a return to near-normal cycle road racing in the UK with 128 riders starting the senior men’s The Property Development Group Otley GP on the evening of 30th June. The race was designated as the first round of British Cycling’s HSBC UK National Circuit Series for 2021. To celebrate this landmark occasion, the country’s most successful teams fielded strong line-ups including 34 riders from Britain’s five UCI Continental outfits.
Canyon dhb SunGod were represented by Matt Bostock (who won five out of the six races when the National Circuit Series was last held in 2019), Jim Brown, Damien Clayton, Jacob Scott, Rob Scott, Charlie Tanfield, Andy Tennant & Reece Wood. Even ex-Canyon Eisberg rider Harry Tanfield (Qhubeka Assos) turned out for good measure.
- Matt Bostock taking the win from Tom Pidcock in the 2019 race
The men’s race consisted of 20 laps of a roughly triangular-shaped 2.2km circuit which was undulating in nature and featured a fast descent into the final corner, leaving just a 200 metre sprint to the line. History has shown that being first through this corner on the final lap gives the best chance of taking the win.
Riders were attacking immediately from the off with Jacob Scott being an early leader for the Canyon dhb SunGod team. However, these fleeting initiatives were nullified until a definitive move was made on the fifth lap. Star up-and-coming rider Joshua Tarling (FlandersColor Galloo), who had won the Junior CiCLE Classic the previous weekend, made a bold move with Rob Scott being the first responder. As they pulled away from the peloton, Matt Gibson (Ribble Weldtite) bridged across on the sixth lap and the trio rapidly established a 20 second lead, continuing to work well together for the remainder of the race.
- Rob Scott leads Gibson and Tarling
3. Rob Scott in the fading light
There were numerous attempts to pull back this trio, but they were not sustained long enough to close the gap which stubbornly remained between 15-20 seconds. On the final lap the peloton wound up the pace in hot pursuit in the hope of a bunch sprint, including a number of Canyon dhb SunGod riders. However, Tarling showed great strength leading for much of the final lap keeping the trio slightly ahead. It was Gibson who accelerated on the downhill to be first through the final corner to take the sprint win from Rob Scott in second and Tarling in third, with the following peloton closing fast just a single second adrift.
4. Matt Gibson (Ribble Weldtite) takes the win
Canyon dhb SunGod placed four riders in the top ten with Wood finishing 7th, Bostock 8th and Brown 10th. These positions gave the team first place in the team standings with 62 points from Ribble Weldtite in second with 40 points and Team Inspired (the name used for the young Riders in the GB development squad) closely behind in third place with 38 points.
Following the race, a reflective Rob Scott commented in his interview with Larry Hickmott (velouk.com):
‘For us to come here and come second, that’s not really what we want. In an out-and-out sprint against Matt I’m probably not going to win, but that wasn’t my plan. My plan on the last lap was to hit them both, but the junior we were with (Josh Tarling) was so strong…he drilled it up here so hard that I just couldn’t attack.’
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Written by Paul and Marina Stedman with rider contribution by Rob Scott.