HALESOWEN Cycling Academy’s season off to a flying start with Jack Stanton-Warren’s strong ride placing him in 6th in his first race of the season.

The Ludlow racer, who is currently at Manchester University, attacked early on in the 70-mile Jim Rogers Memorial, in the Trough of Bowland in Lancashire, against a strong field and was driving hard in the lead group for the rest of the race.

By the finish at the top of a three mile climb onto the moors, the initial group of 15 had been whittled down to seven, but Stanton-Warren ran out of legs in the final sprint behind the eventual winner Andrew Nichols of Team B38.

“I'm happy with that as it showed I have come through the winter well,” he said.

Closer to home, Patrick Fotheringham came safely through his first race of the year, the Evesham Vale road race, at Inkberrow in Worcester, contested by a strong field including professionals from the Raleigh squad, and run off at over 27mph for the 100 km.

Former Halesowen Athletic and Cycling Club race Callum Ferguson riding for the Catford CC under-23 team finished sixth behind the winner Liam Bromiley of Cycling Sheffield, with another ex-HACC rider Jacob Tipper in 16th.

Last year's HACC star Charles Walker, who has moved up to the Catford CC for 2017, crashed heavily close to the finish.