A scorching performance to match the warm weather was produced by Staveley’s Damien ‘El Dynamo’ Clayton to win the Upton Cycling Club Road Race on Sunday.
Dominant and assured against quality opposition, Clayton turned in his finest display of the season, well supported by teammates Andy Bishop and Aaron Chambers-Smith, of the Andy Moore Autocentres/J.E.James Racing team.
Having risen to the top of the Elite UK rankings in recent weeks, Clayton was determined to keep his momentum going and won rich praise from team manager Andy Moore.
“Damo showed the ultimate focus to take the win,” said Moore. “I think he wanted it more than anyone else. It was a no-compromise performance.
“Bish and Smiffy played perfect support roles. It was the usual team effort. I’m very proud of them all.”
In temperatures approaching 30 degrees, a peloton of almost 80 riders faced the fast, flowing open-road course.
Clayton was positioned well throughout the race and soon joined a pack of about a dozen riders that attacked, with Bishop and Chambers-Smith honouring their duties in the main bunch.
The closing stages offered a tantalising game of cat and mouse to decide the victor, and Clayton attacked hard on the penultimate lap to create a useful eight-second gap.
The finish was still nailbiting, but the Moore rider used the width of the road to unleash an impressive final kick and take the spoils.