Chitterne Road Races

Our thanks to Avid Sport and a host of volunteers hosting a full field for the Women’s and Men’s events.

Lucy Lee (feature pic) and Zeb Kyffin (below) take the wins at the Chitterne Road Races.

Lucy Lee (Team LDN – Brother UK) sprinted clear of Zoe Backstedt (Tormans ACROG) and Alice McWilliam (Grinta Coaching) in the final metres of the women’s race whilst Kyffin (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) came in a few seconds clear of Samuel Painter (TBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling) and Yanto Barker (Onyx Racing Team).
The exposed roads of Salisbury Plain have a reputation for creating attritional racing and the conditions did nothing to dispel that history as we saw the combination of climbs and crosswinds make light work of the bunches in both races.

The women’s race started with a stuttering opening as the race was briefly paused following a crash in the early kilometres but the climbs on the course quickly got to work breaking up the group and left a group of 31 riders to contest the win with one lap to go. On the main climb, a five minute effort out of the village of Chitterne up onto the plain it was Lucy Lee who was showing her form and leading the group over the crest with the group well strung-out in her wake. Millie Couzens (PH Mas – Paul Milnes Cycles) was glued to her wheel and Backstedt was looming ominously, clearly backing her sprinting ability to secure the honours. Lee was looking composed though and despite this show of strength her rivals were not in a position to look to take an advantage heading into the sprint. Maddi Aldam-Gates (Bath CC) was the first to launch her bid for glory on the long gradual climb to the line but admitted to her own inexperience as she was swallowed up by the main pack as they approached the finish and it was Backstedt who was leading up the left hand side of the road. Lee though took the shorter, sheltered line and with a glance over in the final metres knew she has the victory in the bag by a bike length.

The weather rolled in for the start of the men’s race but it did not dampen the enthusiasm to be back racing. With a long neutral section out of the way it was on the second lap of the race that the wind gradually prised a group off the front. Initially 13-strong, the same impetus that had eked out their slender advantage began to rip things apart further on the climb and the group was down to 9 with the main group singled out in the gutter heading down the descent towards Shrewton. One lap later, the pattern of the race was emerging with the front group nursing a 60s advantage over a chasing pack led by Canyon DHB Sungod that threatened to pull the whole bunch apart as they approached the final lap. As the bunch took the bell they were down to 24 riders but the gap had been cut to 40s and the race was finely poised. Kyffin, Painter and Barker has managed to strike out away from the rest of the leaders on the final lap and came into the finish with enough time to finesse but the winning margin was never in doubt with Kyffin blasting four seconds clear of Painter on the final slope to the line with the bunch and remains of the breakaway all starting to come together in the final kilometre.