Paignton postman Darren Moore was a gallant second behind winner Nigel Polkinghorne in a sprint climax to the first of the revived Lemon Valley Road Race organised by the Colin Lewis Cycles sponsored Mid Devon Cycling Club this week.
The 22-year-old from the host club was the only rider to stay with the St Austell Wheeler after the key break midway through the 40 mile race from Bickington to Dyrons (Newton Abbot) and back four times.
Until then, Polkinghorne and Moore had been in a pack of aggressors featuring Nigel Brooks, from the Taunton-based Team Zoyland, John Peters (Mid Devon Cycling Club), David Brown (Westbury Harriers), Keith Lilley (St Budeaux CC) and policeman Maurice Elphick (Exeter Wheelers).
Polkinghorne and Moore's only moment for concern came at the Drumbridges roundabout when both stopped to allow an ambulance through on its way to an emergency call. Meanwhile, behind them, it was Peters, from Kingsbridge, who eventually split the pursuing bunch to take third place a minute behind the front two.
The race was the second in a series of six organised this summer by the Mid Devon CC, Exeter Wheelers and Plymouth Corinthians.
Polkinghorne leads overall, with Moore second, having won the opening race at Brent Tor last week, while the remaining programme takes in Starcross (June 8), Lemon Valley again (June 15), Starcross (June 22) and the final event (June 29) organised by Plymouth Corinthians on the Avonwick circuit at South Brent.
Twenty-two riders competed in this week's race, with Polkinghorne's time of 1 hour 45 minutes an excellent performance given the gradually worsening weather conditions and fast fading light.
1 Nigel Polkinghorne (St Austell Wheelers),
2 Darren Moore (Mid Devon CC),
3 John Peters (Mid Devon CC).
Bunch sprint winners - Adrian Sluman (Plymouth Corinthians), Stuart Pickering (Duchy Team Racing), Keith Lilley (St Budeaux CC), David Brown (Westbury Harriers), Nick Denning (Exeter Wheelers), Neil Brooks (Team Zoyland), Maurice Elphick (Exeter Wheelers).
Re-printed by kind permission of the Herald Express newspaper, Torquay Devon.