Ashwell Cycling Club's Martin Lawless finishes third in Tour ta Malta

Martin Lawless of Ashwell Cycling Club (right) was third in the Tour ta Malta.

Martin Lawless of Ashwell Cycling Club (right) was third in the Tour ta Malta. - Credit: ASHWELL CYCLING

Ashwell Cycling Club’s Martin Lawless has returned to Guilden Morden with a third-place trophy from the Tour ta Malta.

The international road cycling event, now in its 26th year, attracts riders from all over the world and is described as the Mediterranean’s ‘tour of friendship’.

Competing over three separate stages with the overall time used to decide the winner, Lawless was racing in the masters category.

It began with a seven-mile individual time-trial, man against the clock, near the coastal road at Saint Paul’s Bay.

With wind a factor, Lawless managed to place third, 32 seconds adrift of the early leader, Dave Mitchinson from Hatfield.

Stage 2 was a hilly road race near the island’s popular Golden Bay, where riders had to negotiate the locally renowned 1.5-mile San Martin climb six times.

Lawless managed another third-place on this stage in a frantic uphill dash to the line, Mitchinson again taking the win.

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The final stage, which featured on Malta TV news, was another road race on the foothills of the ancient city of Mdina.

Lawless had assistance from Ashwell teammate David Wells who, despite riding with a broken pedal from an earlier crash, kept the pace high to prevent any breakaway that could remove Lawless from his podium position.

With the stage finishing in a bunch sprint, and Lawless fourth, there was no change in the overall classification and the Ashwell man sealed his third-place trophy.

Lawless, who is also one of Ashwell’s youth coaches, hopes his success will inspire local riders to take their cycling further.

Ashwell cycling club run weekly, inclusive youth coaching sessions throughout the summer evenings and welcome all children who want to take an interest in bike racing and fitness further.

For further information, contact head-coach mark@ccashwell.com