Harvey remains on track for podium spot in series

Luke Souter leads the bunch during the latest race in the MK Bowl series. Photo: Judith Parry
Luke Souter leads the bunch during the latest race in the MK Bowl series. Photo: Judith Parry

Gareth Harvey kept up his pursuit of a podium finish in the King of the Bowl standings at Milton Keynes.

While the king had mathematically been crowned – Jake Hales of Spirit Tifosi Race Team winning for the sixth year in a row – the other podium places were still up for grabs.

VeloElite RT rider Gavin Howell sat second overall with 69 points, Shutt Ridley RT’s Harvey was third with 67 points and Will Scott of Flamme Rouge RT sat fourth with 60.

Each week at The Bowl there are ten points on offer so it was a nervous Harvey that lined up for an expected tactical showdown.

It was Howell, Harvey and Scott that marked moves, attempted to initiate breaks and watch each other closely.

Three riders broke clear, James Chapman of PB Performance Coaching RT, Clay Davies of Verulam - reallymoving.com RT, and crucially Matt Exley who is a team-mate of Scott.

These three quickly took a 30-second advantage as the group behind waited for Howell, Scott and Harvey to move. Team Bottrill rider Ollie Bates moved off the front of the group and initiated a counter attack.

As he checked the response, Bates sat up to wait for another opportunity. Harvey saw Scott and Howell in the middle of the pack, seeing his opportunity the Shutt rider pressed on as inconspicuously as possible.

Harvey and Bates worked together. Behind Scott and Howell watched each other and hesitated.

It was enough for Harvey and Bates to ease away and establish a counter attack. The going was tough for Harvey as he and Bates set about chasing the initial break and after ten minutes of hard riding formed a five-man group at the head of the race.

Exley refused to work hoping his team-mate could chase over, Harvey knew if he could just beat one rider in the breakaway at the finish he would secure second overall in the series.

The gap between Harvey’s group and the pair of Scott and Hales fluctuated. Into the final lap Harvey’s group held on to a 20-second gap. Harvey led out the final lap.

In the sprint, Harvey powered up the ramp to the finish with Bates winning the sprint by half a bike length. Harvey took second place on the night with Exley in third.

It was enough to put Harvey up to second on the night with Howell securing third.

In the 3/4 cat race Souter, Beechey and Munday all finished strongly with Souter taking sixth place, Beechey taking ninth and Munday finishing in the bunch.