ADAM Gould led host club Colchester Rovers Cycle Club home at their annual Abberton Road Race.

Gould sprinted to an excellent sixth-place finish, around the traditional Layer-Abberton Reservoir course.

Gould said: “This was my best-ever road race result and very unexpected.

"Having not raced for over a year I was surprisingly relaxed, maybe because I wasn’t expecting to get a result.”

A large number of third and fourth category racers from the Eastern region and further afield took to the line, on a day of fine weather which was very much welcomed by the race organiser James Baldwin.

Riders rolled out from race HQ in a leisurely-paced neutralised zone before the inevitable injection of speed came when the race began on the actual circuit.

The first few laps saw a number of breakaway attempts but with the weather warm and sunny with very little wind, this wasn’t conducive to anyone staying away.

This didn’t stop Gould from trying when, midway through the race, he had a brief attempt at bridging across to a lone rider up the road, only to quickly realise his legs were in no shape for anything quite so heroic.

Instead, Gould concentrated on ensuring his position within the pack was near the sharp end so he could react to any moves and stay out of trouble.

This paid dividends when, on lap four, along the new road on the reservoir, a touch of wheels saw a large number of riders taken down and out of the race.

This meant the end of the race for a number of Gould’s Rovers' team-mates.

Gould was lucky enough to be able to navigate around the crash and then the chase began to get onto the tail end of the remaining bunch who were going up the hill towards the church at a quick pace.

“This was the hardest part of the race and I believe I was one of the final riders to make the split as a lap later the field was considerably smaller,” said Gould.

With no breakaway likely to stick, everyone seemed content to wait for the bunch sprint at the end.

On the final drag up towards the church, Gould was in the perfect position, about 7th wheel.

But then as the reduced bunch crested the hill, riders began to attack and Gould pushed on and tried to pick his way through any gaps.

With 100 metres remaining, the road finally opened up and he was able to sprint to an excellent sixth place.