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Hammer house

Despite being virtually unknown in the UK, Christian House
won the fourth round of the National Under 23 Road Race Series, the Stars of Tomorrow
Road Race, and with it booked his place in the GB team for the World and European
Championships.



GB selection rules guaranteed the winner of the race a place in the World and European
teams and, not surprisingly, competition for the coveted places was fierce. House,
who was brought up in the USA, but who has English parents and an English passport,
made the trip from Belgium, where he is based, with the sole aim of qualifying and
carried out his plan admirably.



From the start in Wellington, the event took in four undulating laps of the beautiful
Somerset countryside, with a 3mile climb to the finish ridden only once. With so
much at stake, not surprisingly the race was very animated from the off, with attacks
coming thick and fast. However, with the main contenders closely marked, no break
got more than 20 seconds in the first three laps. At times the high speed of the
race strung the bunch out in a long line and a couple of notable riders found the
pace too hot, including Yanto Barker and Lee Finch, who both pulled out before the
last lap. There were different problems for Series contenders James Griffiths and
Jamie Alberts, who both had to work hard to get back on after bike and wheel changes
respectively.



Finally, on the last lap, significant splits began to appear at the front. With 16km
to go, Dan Bridges (Alsager/Addidas) Christian House (Kvc Vlug En Virj-Midera Cycling
Team), Tim Morley (Team Y2K), and Paul Shepherd (Linda McCartney) got clear and were
joined a couple of miles later by Steve Cummings (Alsager/Addidas). When their lead
reached almost a minute, the leaders began to attack each other and Dan Bridges was
the first to drop back. Shepherd also lost touch briefly, before clawing his way
back to the front.



Steve Cummings then attacked, was brought back and blew spectacularly with about
3km to go. GB Mountain Biker Tim Morley also managed to get away briefly, but Christian
House brought him back and counter-attacked decisively to win by a clear 3 seconds
at the line. Morley was second, Shepherd third, a further 10 seconds back and Cummings
fourth at 23 seconds, just in front of the main bunch.



Sixth placed Tom Southam increased his lead in the series by two points over seventh
placed James Griffiths. As the leader of the series after four events, Southam also
booked his place at the European championships. Christian House will be joined in
the five-man Under-23 Worlds team by the National Under-23 Champion, the winner of
the National Under-23 Series and two discretionary selections.



Stars of Tomorrow Road Race ó Round 4, National Under-23 Road Race Series.



Wellington, Dorset: Sunday 2nd July 2000



Results (provisional)

Christian House (Kvc Vlug En Virj-Midera Cycling Team)

Tim Morley (Team Y2K)

Paul Shepherd (Linda McCartney)

Steve Cummings (Alsager/Addidas)

Bill Nickson (Paul Moy Associates)

Tom Southam (Alsager/Addidas)

James Griffiths (Linda McCartney)

Rob Wood (Isca Team)

Michael Cotty (Gios Primera)

Ross Muir (Atom Prickett Elite)

James Shaw

Robin Sharman

Tom Wood

Justin Hoy

Gary Willis

David Clarke

Ian Wilkinson

Tom Barras

James McCallum

Richard Smith

Series Standings After 4 of 6 Rounds (Provisional)



1. SOUTHAM Tom Alsager-Adidas MRT 61



2. GRIFFITHS James Linda McCartney-WCU 58



3. SHARMAN Robin Alsys-Bradgate CRT 48



4. ALBERTS Jamie Alsager-Adidas MRT 36



5= NICKSON Bill Paul Moy Associates 35



5= CUMMINGS Steve Alsager-Adidas MRT 35



7. SWITHENBANK Neil Alsager-Adidas MRT 31



8. FINCH Lee Arctic 2000 RT 21



9. LLOYD Daniel Raleigh Factory RT 21



10. HOUSE Christian 20













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