TEENAGE cycling star George Wood is celebrating winning his first race in eight months.
18-year-old Wood, from Canvey, outthought and outsprinted the rest of the seven-man breakaway to ride to success in the 2/3/4 Hatfield Puncheur Road Race, at Hatfield Heath on Sunday.
The Richardsons-Trek rider finished one second ahead of Daniel Young, of Neon-Velo Cycling Team, with his teammate and team manager Andy Lyons finishing the race in tenth place.
“It was a real tactical battle,” said Wood. “There were a lot of breakaways earlier in the day and I went with all of them but none could stay away.
“After speaking to Andy in the peloton he said I was strong enough to go for the win and not to waste my energy with all the breakaways.”
With two laps of the 69km circuit remaining, there was a split in the main group and Wood saw his opportunity. Taking turns on the front of the seven-man breakaway, Wood burst from Wayne Crombie’s slipstream down the finishing straight.
“I told myself not to look back and to just go for it,” said Wood. “I couldn’t believe it when I took the win. It was a great feeling.”
Wood’s last win came at the Cyclopark in Gravesend last September.
He followed up Sunday’s win with an eighth place finish at Hog Hill, in Redbridge.
George Wood with team manager Andy Lyons