Will Haynes wins Middleton Bank Classic
Earlier on in the week Andy Miles and Will Haynes once again raced the TLI Pursuits down at Croft. With a strong headwind down the finishing straight the racing was made a lot tougher and riders had to remain alert at all times to avoid splits opening up. The strong wind also increased the likelihood of a break getting up the road, and this became the case with about 5 laps to go. An 8 rider group, including Haynes, got off the front and never looked likely to be brought back. Once established, the break immediately started attacking each other, and this continued right to the finish. Not feeling at his freshest, Will rolled home in 8th place, whilst Andy won the sprint in the sizable bunch to stick both Durham riders in the top 10.
The wind once again made for tricky racing conditions at Newburn on Thursday night, with Sam Walsh joining up with Haynes and Miles for the 40 lap points race. It was decided to change tactics slightly from previous weeks and go all out for the sprints, instead of trying to form a breakaway. This proved to be a good move, as Andy put points on the board in every sprint to come 2nd overall with 25 points, ahead of Will in 3rd with 16 points. Only some very strong sprinting from eventual winner Craig Anderson from Blackhawk Cycles prevented the Durham boys going one step further.
Clayton, Haynes and Miles raced the Middleton Bank Classic in Northumberland on Sunday, a tough 100km, 8 lap race featuring some tricky climbs and strong crosswinds before a 5km run in to the finish on top of the steep climb of Middleton Bank. The field of 60 included some very strong 2nd cat riders, and the racing began in earnest as soon as the flag was dropped. The decisive break went clear half way round the 2nd lap, with Miles being the sole Durham representative. However, sensing the danger from behind Clayton put in a big effort to help tow Haynes up to the break. With 2 riders now present in the 15 man move, which was now working well together, Durham had a real chance to pull off a result. With 2 laps to go, the attacks started coming from the break, but nothing was making too much of an impact. This was until the final lap of the circuit, when two riders went clear, Michael Dales of Velo29 and Matthew Robinson of All Terrain Cycles. The duo worked well together and looked like they could hold on for the line, but once off the circuit and onto the run-in to the finish, Haynes put in a big dig with Thomas Bustard of Sportscover to try and get across. Hitting the foot of the final climb, Haynes had the leaders in his sights and immediately set about chasing them down. With a fantastic display of strength, Will was able to cruise past and take the biggest win of his career by a good 20 bike-lengths. Andy struggled home with the remnants of the breakaway to take 13th place, whilst Alex came home 3mins down to take 20th place.