ICE that had seeped from fields and across the road in a number of places delayed the start of the first Primavera Race of the season, which was hosted by Mid-Devon Cycling Club, for one hour.

Officials went out, spread bags of salt and swept away the slush.

Once underway, the race was neutralised till it passed the hedge flailing activity. This was so race service was not inundated with a lot of punctures at one time.

Once underway the action came thick and fast. With the wind on their backs speeds of 40 mph were seen on the flat sections of the course. It was a different story when fighting the elements. When the race for Elite, first, second and third category riders reached Halwill Junction for the first time the lap prize went to the current South Of England champion, Matt Downie.

Soon afterwards a group of 12 riders broke clear. They opened up a gap of nearly two minutes before the bunch reacted. It closed to 40 seconds on lap two where Michael Mottram from Wallingford took the honours.

On lap three the prize went to the Polish Time Trial champion, Marcin Bialoblocki. The pace he set with help from the others was having its toll. Bit by bit the front group reduced in numbers. Downie took the fourth and final lap prize before the run back to the Hatherleigh finish line commenced.

Bialoblocki continued to attach with such effect that with one mile to go he only had three companions. On the town bypass yards he surged clear to win by 13 seconds from Downie and Rupert Graham of the Spirit Tifosi Race Team.

The support race was slightly less fast but none the less aggressively ridden and was won by Mid-Devon’s Harry Birchill, who held off the challenge of Ron Nancarrow and Oliver Yates by several lengths.