Forces cyclists have been facing challenging conditions in the Army Cycling Road Race Championships.

Riders representing cap badges from across the Army faced a tough course and difficult conditions.

It was a tense and competitive day's racing, with the New College at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst providing the backdrop.

With several of the leading women's riders absent, this year's race was a chance for others to shine and there were one or two nerves on the start line.

The compact field made a steady start - with almost an hour on the saddle ahead of them the hard racing was still to come.

Army road race cycling

It wasn't long before a lead group began to stretch away, as they completed another circuit of the 2.7 mile course.

By the time the race was down to its last two laps Lance Corporal Chloe Weller had pulled clear from her opponents.

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The Kent based reservist, who is looking to join the regulars in the near future, made light work of the final stages and cruised home to victory.

She finished well clear of runner up Warrant Officer Class 2 Rachel McKenzie, with both riders set to feature at next month's Inter Services event in Devon. WO2 McKenzie told Forces Network:

"I'm really pleased... It was pretty wet, pretty dirty... a hard race."

There was little let up in the damp conditions for the men's race. A strong entry list made this one of the most competitive events in the forces racing calendar.

The wet circuit did little to slow riders as they jostled for the racing line. Tactics play a huge role in road racing as team members sacrifice themselves to put their top rider in the hunt for victory.

Although one or two set out on their own the peloton was never far behind.

The heavy rain caused competitors further problems, with silt and debris washing its way onto the course. It meant retirement from the race for some due to the dreaded puncture, as the thin tyres fell foul of the material on the road.

Army road race cycling

In the end it was Sergeant Mark Robertson who claimed his first Army title. The engineer took victory just a few weeks after winning the Scottish Championship, but this latest result delivered a greater sense of achievement.

The Army face their RAF and Navy rival for inter-services honours next month.

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