‘Bishop holds it all together’

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Worksop rider Andy Bishop played a strong and dominant supporting role for his Andy Moore Autocentres / J.E. James race team atthe Bodytorq Criterium Race Series in Lancaster.

Sunday’s race saw Bishop, Aaron Chambers-Smith and Steve Paterson aid an in-form Dean Watson claim an emphatic victory, adding yet another podium finish to a hugely impressive early season run.

Watson was keen to take the lead from the outset, with an aggressive early move which split the bunch and created a useful looking trio of breakaway riders who quickly established a meaningful gap between themselves and the main peloton.

It appeared as if the following group were confident enough to allow the attackers free rein to escape, perhaps feeling they could bring back the attack at a later stage in the contest, but strong and dominant support from Bishop and junior Chambers-Smith cast an iron grip over the pace of the chasers.

Within a few laps, the advantage had increased to a comfortable margin, and although several solo riders attempted attacking moves in a quest to draw the race back together, the confidence and discipline of the front runners ensured no success for the bunch.

With a peloton of quality competition chasing, the event turned out to be a demonstration of accomplished racing from Watson, who motivated the leading trio with a relentless drive on the front, pushing the pace ever upwards as the race neared it’s final stages.

Such was the force of the breakaway, the main peloton were forced to suffer the indignity of being lapped with a few laps to go, and as the three podium contenders passed the bunch, the serious business of deciding the final placings got underway.

Watson initiated a tantalising game of cat and mouse on the final two laps, teasing the others with clever positioning, and with the odd dummy attack thrown in.

On the penultimate circuit he attacked hard down the back straight, applying maximum pressure into the final corner, and then launched into a fierce final sprint, leading the trailing duo all the way to the flag and crossing the line with a couple of bike lengths to spare.

The quality of the victory impressed team manager Andy Moore.

He said: “Deano put on a class act. His confidence and sheer dominance of the race was just sublime. Bish and Smiffy held it all together keeping the chasers under control, and as a team, we produced racing perfection today.”

Further good news emerged for the team with Steve Paterson contesting the Category 3-4 race and sprinting in to a points scoring seventh place finish, giving the boys from Staveley yet more cause for celebration and rounding off a perfect day of racing.