Classy Culverwell happy to be back

THERE was no stopping Sam Culverwell yesterday as road racing sped out of lockdown and onto the classic L’Eree loop.

Sam Culverwell powers up the Imperial Hill with a sizeable gap on his pursuers. (Picture by Jamie Ingrouille, 28386689)
Sam Culverwell powers up the Imperial Hill with a sizeable gap on his pursuers. (Picture by Jamie Ingrouille, 28386689)

The hotly-anticipated fixture drew close competition throughout, but Division One excelled in terms of quality, with several exciting young prospects jolted into local action by the inactivity of their race teams further afield.

Nineteen-year-old Culverwell, clad in his unmistakable Trinity Racing attire, was the best of the bunch.

He spent much of the testing 46.5-miler off the front and crossed the line in 1hr 52min. 45sec., with Jack English taking runner-up after outsprinting Marc Cox, James Roe and Sam Reed, all just under the 1-55 mark.

On the first of six laps, though, it had instead been Mike Serafin dictating proceedings.

Culverwell attempted an early break up Imperial Hill but was reeled in by Serafin, who stole a short-lived lead and then braved the coastal headwind to lead by 10sec. at the lap.

But it was a very different picture just one lap later.

Culverwell had carved out his own notable gap, courtesy of a move several minutes prior, and he never looked back from there.

An unfortunate crash from Seb Tremlett stalled the chase pack temporarily and Culverwell already looked to have the race in the bag at halfway.

Although he maintained a hot pace and entertained supporters with a celebratory gesture across the line, the victor’s major delight is simply to be back racing.

‘I think we’re really lucky over here to be able to road race – probably a lot of jealous people about in the UK,’ he said.

‘I was chomping at the bit this morning to get going and I really enjoyed it.

‘Being able to race over here will definitely help going forward, as it gives you that extra training benefit.

‘The fact that we get to race hopefully puts me in good stead for the rest of the year.’

Division Two presented a close contest, with Jack Hoskins pinching the honours over five laps, as did the four-lap women’s race.

Danielle Hanley defeated up-and-coming cyclist Chantal Green on the sprint and Maddie Wilson claimed a close third.

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