A Staveley-based cycling team rider is enjoying his time in the saddle of late and hit top spot with a notable victory at the Otley Town Centre Races.
Twenty-year-old Steve Paterson, of Andy Moore Autocentres / J. E. James Racing Team, took the race win over a field full of the best riders in the business.
Team manager Andy Moore selected Paterson and Beverley Road Race winner Dean Watson as the team’s pairing to take on the formidable Otley challenge in the main support race for the event.
With a peloton comprising 100 riders, and a fast and challenging town centre circuit in prospect, the duo certainly had their hands full in the early stages of an action-packed race.
The narrow streets required razor sharp focus from all those taking part, along with a cool nerve as speeds reached 45mph and more in a thrilling contest.
The early pace proved successful in breaking the peloton apart, and the bunch parted into two main groups, the leading pack comprising around 40 riders.
The AMAC / JEJ pairing positioned well strategically, and were able to manage the pace near the front of the charge, enabling the advantage to extend to a point where the chasers lost touch.
Watson initiated a series of strong attacks on the rearmost part of the circuit, where the climbs were at their fiercest, and in a well worked move, Paterson continued the attacks on the fast descents.
The continued pressure to keep the pace high kept the counter attacks to a minimum, and as the race entered its closing stages, Paterson pushed his Giant Propel to the limit and on the last descent, gave it maximum attack and battled his way to the front.
Nerves of steel were required for the last 90-degree left bend to the finish, and approaching the turn at over 45mph, used the full width of the road to exit the corner on the front row.
In a furious sprint to the line, with riders filling the road, Paterson launched his well-known sprint and produced probably the finest sprint finish of his career to date, edging his bike ahead of all challengers to take victory.
Moore described the win as “monumental”.
“The Otley races are some of the most highly prized in British Cycling, and with a 33-year history, everyone dreams of winning here,” he said. “With a field of a hundred riders, Deano and Steve faced a really tough task tonight. Their attack plan for the race was perfect and the courageous full speed descent from Patto on the last lap showed total commitment to take the prize.”
And added: “His sprint was a delight to behold and to take the victory with such style is a stunning achievement. We came here knowing that the nature of the circuit would suit the Aero Propels perfectly, and the disc braking provided the key advantage into the last corner.
“Patto was able to get his machine into that last turn with astounding deceleration, the bike proved to be the race winning ace up his sleeve.”