British National Points Race Championship
Newton Retains Title
Chris Newton is once again National Points champion, a jersey he's made his own, with another masterful performance combining speed, guile and sportsmanship that's unsurpassed in the discipline.
Newton's velvet glove was clasped around the Gold medal from the off and despite lone breaks and splits in the field, he was always in the right place to take control. Andy Tennant had a battle royale with Jon Mould and Evan Oliphant for Silver, eventually settling the argument in the penultimate sprint, with Jon Mould leaving it until the final sprint to claim bronze. Here's how the race unfolded, sprint by sprint:
Just a few laps into the 160 lap epic, David Lines went clear and was immediately joined by Chris Newton, with the Rapha Condor rider coming over the top to claim the 5 points. Dan Maclay counter-attacked straight after the sprint and went away alone, the Hargroves Cycles rider getting his sponsor some great exposure and staying away.
Sprint 2 came and Dan Maclay claimed five points with Newton taking 3 points and the overall lead. Another Newton masterclass looked to be on the cards.
Sprint 3 and David Hines was on the attack again. However, Newton sensed the danger and closed Hines down with ruthless efficiency. Alex Dowsett counterattacked and split the field. Tennant, Newton and four other riders bridged before it all came together again, albeit in a strung out line. The pace began to shell out riders.
Sprint 4 came and Newton hit the front and took a further 5 points with Tennant in close attendance. Newton's overall lead was 10 points over Dan Maclay at this point.
Sprint 5 loomed and John Mould took 5 points ahead of James McCallum. Newton was content to take 1 point, not sensing danger from the riders in front, saving his energies for later. Newton was now 11 points ahead of second placed McLay.
Then Planet X's Andrew Magnier attacked and like a shot Newton blew off the front in hot pursuit. Newton flew past Magnier to claim five ahead of Magnier. The field were all over the place trying to close down. Magnier and Newton sat up and fell back into the field. Newton was now 16 points ahead of Maclay and in total control.
Sprint 7 and Tennant strung the field out and no-one could respond. Tennant took 5 points, while the irrepressible Newton claimed 3. Tennant now leapfrogged into Silver medal position, 17 points behind Newton. Straight after the sprint Tim Kennaugh went clear momentarily, but the man in black was there once again to close the young Manxman down.
Sprint 8 came and once again Newton came over the top like a bad dream to claim 5 more points ahead of Evan Oliphant. Newton was now on 31 points, ahead of Tennant on 9
Overall placings at the halfway stage:
George Atkins went clear and was joined by Newton and Dan McLay - a dangerous combination of youth and experience. The trio stayed away and Newton got the five points with McLay taking three. Suddenly 9 riders were clear including Newton, Tennant, Atkins, Fenn, Harrison and Mclay. The next sprint came and once again Newton took maximum points ahead of John Mould.
The leading group of nine riders continued to press, and took a lap, giving the lap scorers one hell of an arithmetic test.
Kennaugh and Magnier then got away with the Manxman taking 5 points. The leaderboard now looked like this:
The next sprint came and Newton once again went off the front like a missile. 5 more points for Newton... Newton had now doubled the score of his nearest rival.
With Newton practically unassailable it was all about the silver medal, and Tennant took the next sprint, 5 points in the bag and back in Silver medal position.
Tennant scored again in the next sprint but Oliphant clawed back points, just 3 points behind Tennant with 2 sprints remaining. The penultimate sprint came and Tennant took 5 points and secured the Silver medal. Newton slotted in behind in gentlemanly fashion and took 3 points, his medal secure. Dan Maclay went away but Newton closed him down, determined to end the race the way he started - in command. Behind him Jon Mould went on a charge and took enough points to overhaul Oliphant for Bronze.
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