Leader stretches advantage at the top after tactical switch

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Veteran Tim Gould changed tactics to great effect to claim victory in the fourth round of the National Trophy Series.

Gould, who had previously bided his time before striking for the front in the series, led from the start at York Velodrome with Michael Burdon, one of Yorkshire’s fastest starters.

The switch in approach paid off as Gould won the veterans 50plus race to increase his overall lead in the series.

Each category of the series is decided by the rider who has gained the most points in five of the six round event. Gould leads with 190 points after four rounds.

He soon hit the front and no one could match his pace as he increased his lap speed throughout the race.

Gould explained the thinking behind his tactical change, saying: “The course was laid out with many twists and turns.

“Everywhere was slippery, with bends on the banks off camber.

“When I warmed up on the course, I decided that if I was in a group, then I would have to ride at the front all the time so as not to get involved if someone in front of me slid off.

“ So I thought, if I have got to always ride at the front, then I might as well ride at the front of the race, so I made what is, for me, a fast start.

“I had no problems and everyone could see that it worked!”

It is Gould’s fifth year of cyclo-cross racing since his return to the sport in 2014, when he won the veterans 50 category in the Three Peaks, setting a new course record for the category.

Leading the chase after Gould at York was Zepnat team-mate and national champion Peter Middleton, who made it a Zepnat 1-2 to please the Matlock bike shop.

Middleton is definitely getting his form back after serious injuries earlier this year — 11 broken ribs, a punctured lung and over a week in intensive care.

Zepnat’s Sean Beswick gained 25th place and Matlock CC’s Simon Patton was 33rd.

Gould is next in action in the fifth round of the series at Ipswich.

In the veterans over-60 category, Matlock CC’s Chris Watts finished 10th.

In the veterans 40 to 49 years race, Wirksworth’s Alex Forrester started almost as fast as his older colleague and was holding third position when passed by Scott’s Nick Craig.

Alex could not match the speed but was reasonably satisfied to finish sixth.

Series leader Adrian Lansley won the round.

Zepnat’s Dan Alexander was 14th, racing on a borrowed machine after all his bikes were stolen the previous weekend.