Fresh from being crowned North Midlands Road Race League champion, Dean Watson produced another stunning performance for Staveley’s red-hot cycling team.
This time Watson, of the Andy Moore/J.E.James racing squad, took an elite podium spot in a race at Birmingham that formed part of the Behind The Bars Road Circuit Series.
In a capacity field, of quality opposition, he was ably supported by teammates Andy Bishop, Steve Paterson and Aaron Chambers-Smith. But a confident Watson played the attack card early and launched from the front of the peloton with only four laps gone.
The fast, attacking nature of the course provided the opportunity, and the threat was quickly spotted by Team Ribble’s Ed Hopper, who proved sharp enough to sprint across to match Watson’s move. The duo soon pressed on to form a formidable strike force at the front.
Within a few laps, the advantage increased rapidly to more than half a minute and then to more than a minute. The astonishing speed of the breakaway was impressive, with the two lead riders averaging 30mph-plus, despite a quality group working hard to claw back the deficit.
In the background, Bishop, Paterson and Chambers-Smith put on a determined show with the sole intention of controlling the pace of the bunch. ‘Smiffy’ was the undoubted star in the supporting role, and taking position at the head of the chasers, he selflessly burned himself out to maintain control.
Bishop took over the role after Chambers-Smith pulled over, and looked extremely competent in the bunch. With Paterson backing up the plan, the leaders were
able to drive ever forward, putting the first two podium spots beyond doubt.
Incredibly, they lapped the entire field and although, in the final sprint, it was Hopper who took the top spot by a whisker, Watson was more than satisfied to settle for second.
Team manager Andy Moore praised the front two for putting on “a first-class racing display” but also labelled the work by his entire team as “exceptional”.