In-form Staveley cyclist rubs shoulders with Mark Cavendish and co

A victory salute from Damien Clayton at Mallory Park.
A victory salute from Damien Clayton at Mallory Park.

A week to remember for Staveley rider Damien ‘El Dynamo’ Clayton saw him bag another victory and also rub shoulders with some of the best in the UK.

Clayton, headline act of the Andy Moore Autocentres/J.E.James Racing team, competed against the legendary Mark Cavendish and a strong line-up from Team Ineos, among others, at the National Championships Road Race in Norwich.

In a highly respectable performance, he finished well up in the peloton, which followed a nerve-jangling and nailbiting win in a midweek race at Mallory Park in Leicestershire.

Clayton spearheaded a three-strong assault by the Moore squad which also included Dean Watson and Aaron Chambers-Smith, and they produced a typically magnificent team effort.

After a busy start to the race, Clayton was instrumental in a move by half a dozen riders at halfway. An eagle-eyed Watson immediately took control of the head of the pack and exercised firm discipline to ensure his teammate was able to take full advantage of his escape plan.

A solo attack by a rival left Clayton with almost 20 seconds to make up. But in a thrilling game of cat and mouse, he launched a fearsome push in the closing laps and slowly reeled in his prey.

At one point, it looked as if he had misjudged the pursuit, but on a power-packed final lap, he got to the wheel of the leader with less than 100m to go.