Kiely and Stockwell lead the Wheelers charge at champs
PUBLISHED: 13:29 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 11 December 2019
A superb head-to-head battle between Joe Kiely and Oli Stockwell lit up what was already an exciting day of racing at the Eastern & Central Regional Cyclo-cross Championship.
The pair were team-mates at Welwyn Wheelers for many years although Stockwell now rides in the colours of Flamme Rouge after a short spell with Team Ribble.
Both are a small part of seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of talent that comes through the Gosling-based cycling club and they brought all that ability to the junior men's race at Stanborough Park.
From the word go they left the rest of what was an excellent field far behind with only Max Bolton of Team Bloodwise able to get anywhere near them for any length of time.
The opening three laps had the pair shadow boxing but two devastating attacks from national road champion Stockwell was able to finally distance his friend and take the win.
Kiely was joined by Bolton for the last lap again but had enough to grab second place on the podium.
Stockwell said: "My legs aren't the best at the moment because I've been doing some training so I wasn't too sure how strong I'd be against Joe because obviously he's very strong too.
"So I sat in for a bit to see how I felt. I then decided I did have the legs so I went for it. Joe nearly caught me but I could see he was struggling a little bit so I went again and was able to open up a decent gap.
"I haven't done too much cross but I did go to the Euros a few weeks ago but since then I've been doing more road training and been on the track with the GB squad preparing for next season."
Kiely admitted that there could be no complaints at the result.
He said: "He was going really well and when he went I couldn't follow him so fair-dos to him.
"The course was fast and I faded a bit but I got a second wind on the last lap and was able to hold Max off and take second."
Kiely can still be content on what has been an excellent cyclo-cross season so far, one which saw him claim a massive win in round five of the National Trophy Series in Llanelli last month.
"That was good," he said. "I was really happy with that ride in Pembrey. I just had really good legs that day.
"This year has definitely had its up and downs but things seem to be coming good at the moment.
"I'm joining HMT next year so that will take me to Belgium and Spain to race.
"I've still got work to do but I'm happy with where I am."