Riders were out in force as the start of the road racing season began with the annual Saighton Road Race.
Hosted by Chester Road Cycling Club, 60 riders took to two wheels to contest the 56-mile race which takes in an eight-lap circular course which runs between Saighton, Huntington and Aldford.
Calm but cold weather conditions and a fairly flat course presented a perfect opportunity for a fast race where an early break of six riders was established after only 10 miles.
Chester RC’s team of eight fought at the front of the following peloton to pull the break back, despite losing Gary Maoudis to a puncture.
A lot of counter-attacking manoeuvres on the final lap saw another six riders break and, in the final miles of the race, bridge the gap to the leading group.
A 12-man sprint for the line then ensued with Stephen Fidler (David Hinde Race Team) taking the race win by an impressive three bike lengths over fellow breakaway companion Ryan Ellis (Albarosa Cycling Club) with Adam Hartley (VCUK PH-MAS Junior Race Team) taking a solid third-place finish where he was also the first junior home.
The peloton crossed the line 30 seconds later, with Chester RC’s Jimmy Smith and Jamie Fletcher taking second and third in the bunch sprint respectively.
Race organiser and Chester RC chairman, James Eastbury, said: “Today was an impressive display of top quality racing from the riders. It was a pleasure to organise.”