CAMERON Biddle took a narrow victory as Halesowen Cycling Club won their home road race for the first time.

The talented youngster made a late lunge for the line to snatch the win ahead of Ross-on-Wye's Josh Sandman, who had raised his arms in celebration too early after a hard-fought contest on the Astley Circuit on Sunday.

At the uphill finish, the sprint looked initially to have gone the way of talented junior Sandman, who rides for the Backstedt team, but as he celebrated Biddle timed his effort perfectly and kept going full pelt to get the verdict by a matter of centimetres.

The pair could barely be separated by the naked eye but the electronic timing had Biddle two hundredths of a second ahead.

Biddle was active early on and together with Sandman was eventually part of a five-man break which went clear on the third climb of Astley Bank during five laps of the tough 14-mile course, rapidly gaining a minute over a 75-strong field which was shedding riders from the off.

With the pair were local rider Jamie Crump (Success Cycling), Joseph Rees from Cardiff Ajax and Harrison Knight of Zero BC development team.

Behind, a strong duo set off in pursuit of the leading quintet, with in-form Matt Clarke joining Rhino Racing's Oli Hayward in an attempt to link up. The pair never gained contact, but with both their best riders ahead, the Halesowen team had only to mark the opposition as Clarke rode to sixth place, one minute and five seconds behind.

While Dan Morris and Pat Fotheringham had mechanical issues, James Pheysey finished in a chase group to take 12th place and the first third-category prize, while Henry Lloyd-Langston put in a strong ride in his first junior season to finish in the bunch along with Jo Hobbs.

The brilliant success is the first for Halesowen since the event was relaunched nine years ago.

Elsewhere, Halesowen Cycling Club rider Alex Barker, competed in the latest round of British Cycling’s under-14 National Youth Circuit Series, held on the Isle of Man over the bank holiday weekend.

Commencing on Friday evening, the prologue event was a Time Trial course set out on the Douglas promenade Alex sharing fifth place with six other riders, just six seconds of the top spot.

Day two saw the tour relocating to Jurby, in the north of the island, for a flat 30km around a closed road circuit, which featured an additional points race, whereby the first three riders to cross the line are awarded 3, 2 and 1 point. All of the nine points sprints were keenly contested with Barker wining three sprints and securing second place in the points classification and an overall fourth place in the race.

The location for day three was Ellerslie, situated near Crosby and renowned for its gruelling 2km climb. With all to play for, Barker and his team members set about attacking on the climb, with Barker in a good climbing mood he claimed two of the four hill sprints to add to his points tally and claimed sixth place overall in the final sprint. An impressive ride saw him cover over 30kms and climb over 450 meters in just 51:39 minutes.

Final results recorded Barker in overall seventh, second in the points classification and second in the team competition from a field of over 50 UK selected national riders, which included fellow HA&CC rider Tom Pattinson who, aged 12, competed in the under-14 competition and secured a credible 15th place overall.

HACC were also represented in the girls racing with Kinga Ingram coming in fifth in the under-16 general classification and Isla Blain achieving a top 10 finish in the under-14 competition.

Clarke is set to send the week training in Majorca, while Biddle continues his campaign in the East Midlands road race league, and Fotheringham, Pheysey, Lloyd-Langston and Morris ride the Gloucester City event at Redmarley.

Barker’s attention now shifts to qualifying for the National Track championships and preparing for the Mini Paris – Roubaix race, whilst also defending his current lead in the West Midlands Circuit Championship.