Who would have thought that Staveley could produce the UK’s number one elite cyclist?
Well, that is the case as Damien ‘El Dynamo’ Clayton, of the Andy Moore Autocentres/J.E.James Team, produced another first-class performance over the weekend to maintain his crown at the top of the rankings.
His win came in the Keith Carter Memorial Elite Road Race at Walkington in Yorkshire, where the boys in blue and yellow put forward a strike force of Andy Bishop, Aaron Chambers-Smith and Dean Watson to support Clayton’s charge.
The quartet were keen to stamp their authority on the 124km race from the flag, and Clayton’s confidence and determination came to the fore again with a lively display of attacking riding.
Eager to split the peloton apart, a combination of Watson and Clayton maintained a dominant presence at the front of the pack, taking turns to exploit any breaks as the race uncovered.
A testing, long climb offered a test of endurance on part of the course, and with the riders facing the challenge on each circuit, many were found wanting as the pressure mounted and they dropped off the back of the bunch as the stress took its toll.
The pairing of Watson and Clayton looked comfortable throughout, and when the opportunity arose, Clayton proved to be razor sharp as always and attacked hard to create a meaningful break containing eight riders.
As the final stages of the race unfolded, one of the breakaway group launched a purposeful attack, opening a 50-metre gap, but an alert Clayton spotted the danger and quickly joined the fray.
With the last-lap bell ringing, he unleashed the final assault and sprang clear. Confidently extending the advantage to more than 100 metres, the last climb broke the spirit of the chasers, leaving Clayton to take a comfortable victory.
Team manager Andy Moore described the display as ‘performance perfection’ and ‘a true champion’s ride, befitting his status as number one in the UK’.
The team now look forward to more elite road races, including the prestigious Lincoln GP in a fortnight.