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Results and Reports for June 17-18
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Birmingham City Centre, June 18, 2000
Rob Hayles filled another gap in his British Championships portfolio with victory in the National Criterium championship, which took place in central Birmingham at the weekend. However, the event ended in controversy as first and third across the line, Chris Walker and Dean Downing, were both disqualified.
The decision centred on a crash in the latter stages of the race, in which both Walker and Downing were involved. According to the rules, riders who crash can re-join the race a lap down without penalty, up until the last five laps. It appears that the Commissaires took the decision that the crash had occurred within the last five laps and Walker and Downing were disqualified. To his credit, Walker took the decision in a very sporting manner, despite the fact that, had he won, it would have been a hat-trick of National Criterium titles for the Sheffield rider.
The race had all the classic ingredients of a Criterium, with a sporting course including short climbs and tricky corners complemented by the hot summer weather, in direct contrast to most of the season to date. The event was run at a fierce pace, with an average speed of over 40 km/h, and there were only eighteen riders still left at the finish.
Results - 64.8 km
1. Rob Hayles (GBr) (GBr) Athletes 1 1.37.07 (40.05 km/h) 2. John Tanner (GBr) Provision Planet X 0.35 3. Anthony Malarczyk (GBr) Real Cost Car Imports 0.43 4. Jon Clay (GBr) SLBM 5. Matt Stephens (GBr) Linda McCartney 6. James Taylor (GBr) City of Edinburgh 0.56 7. Tom Barras (GBr) Linda McCartney/WCU 1.06 8. Steve Higgins (GBr) Robert Grinsell Travel 1.09 9. Lee Finch (GBr) Arctic 2000 RT 10. Mike Moss (GBr) Cottingham Coreures 11. John Stollery (GBr) Robert Grinsell Travel 12. Steve Stoneman (GBr) Real Cost Car Imports 13. Rob Wood (GBr) ICSA Team 14. Martin Lonie (GBr) Linda McCartney/WCU 1 lap 15. Mark Kelly (GBr) Linda McCartney/WCU 16. Robert Heap (GBr) Cycle Centre RT 2 laps DQ'd: Chris Walker, Dean Downing Thanks to the BCF for the report/results
Astwood, Buckinghamshire UK, June 18, 2000
Not for the faint hearted these races...
I won't hide the fact that the legs ache as I write this after a round of the Peter Fryer that has former pros like Phil Corley agreeing that it had been a good race. The weather for the race was very un-English. It was hot for this part of the world, 26 degrees at a rough guess, a light breeze which was cooling and not a cloud in the sky.
For me, this was a local race, the only one I'll get to ride to this season, on a course that had another former top pro Neil Martin during the event saying it will wear down the field. Eack lap was ten miles (16km) with a 1 km climb plus a couple of others thrown in on the other side of the course.
Between 60 and 70 riders including series leader Nick Yarworth and world champion Ian Hallam took to the start line (full field for these roads) with veterans from around the UK assembling for this national series event. This was only my second "Fryer" event, the first being at Eastway the week before. During the Eastway event, which had almost 90 riders in it, Phil Corley told me that the race at Astwood would be nothing like Eastway which I had found in the bunch to be quite easy. Corley was right big time. I suffered from the drop of the flag.
The flag was still being pulled into the car when local Bob Varney (Milton Keynes C & T C) attacked. For 4 miles down the very quick A road, attacks never stopped coming and Varney among others, were always in there, as I was in the hope I could make a good group. As the race took to the lanes around Chichley Hall, a break (with Varney of course) went off the front which I didn't see as I had wrongly decided that a break was not going to out run the fast moving peloton. As the riders turned towards Bourne, Paul Freeman (Alpha) took another group across to the leaders by attacking into one of the junctions on the circuit.
For most of us in the bunch, that was the last we saw of them as the leaders, 11 strong at one point, worked well together with only the odd one soft tapping. In the bunch, the hitters (except for Mick Gray who was up the road) were still biding their time. Hallam being the pro is, munching on bananas and drinking plenty to make sure he was right for the last part of the race. The legendary UK time trialist Eddie Atkins, who I used to read about when still racing a bike in Oz, was covering himself with water to keep cool, something I can remember us doing in the top end tour in Oz when tempertures were far in excess of what they were today. Trying to tell my English wife it wasn't "that" hot didn't cut any ice though...
Riding alongside these UK legends in the hope I would have the legs to go with them when the hammer went down, they seemed to know what they were doing. After all at Eastway the week before, they had done the same thing, waited and then attacked to cross to the break towards the end of the race. Certainly, Nick Yarworth and Neil Martin were protecting their legs in the peloton. Even when it was hard they looked to be doing it easy.
Ian Hallam on the other hand tried to draw a group clear by attacking on his own along the road from Chichley around lap 3 but only succeeded in stringing the group out as the chase to bring him back lasted for around 6 miles (10km). Watching him attack was inspirational, but the fact that he wasn't able to outrun the pack showed he isn't super human. However, a lot of the riders here (and I don't mind I'm admiting I'm one) are in awe of a rider who has won World Championship and Commonwealth Games medals and when he isn't riding Fryer series races, he rides Premier Calendar events.
With 4 laps to go, the peloton was starting thin out. Everytime I looked around, there were riders missing and it was to get worse. Neil Martin attacked up the hill to Astwood and strung the group out as we struggled to stay in contact. A few were shelled out but it was the following series of attacks of Martin, Hallam and others that really broke the camels back. Eventually, they drew clear up the hill at Astwood with 3 laps to go and the bunch, still surprisingly holding the break, was soon to split with the hitters of Hallam, Martin and others drawing clear.
That was the last I (and the remnants of the bunch) saw of the main action but even though there were 17 riders up the road. However, that wasn't the last action our group saw as former pro Phil Corley, winner of the Fryer event in this area last year, and recovering from a broken collarbone I understand, attacked with Eddie Atkins (and another). Although just 15 seconds clear, they were never in danger of being recaught by our group as the only time our group worked well together was for a few miles on the fast section of the course down the A422. Corley and Atkins were chasing the last of the series points on offer which go down to 20th.
Meanwhile, at the front, the break I understand was caught by Hallam's group with half a lap to go and on that last lap, a number of riders from the original break were dropped including Bob Varney and Paul Freeman. The reason for being dropped according to Bob was the attack by Mick Gray whose racing in the Milk RAS in Ireland (he finished 95th) meant he had plenty of racing in his legs. At the end though, the up hill finish suited Cubison who crossed ahead of Gray and Graham Geddes.
The scrap for points by the leaders overall was won by Hallam who finished 8th and closed slightly on leader Yarworth who showed his strength to me in no uncertain terms when he put me through hell at North Crawley as he closed down a split in the bunch. It was not only me though who was being tortured by the pace. The average speed of the race, despite the heat, was 25mph (40 kph) plus (most races here last year I did from cat 2 down were 24 mph or less) and it was only after I finished and saw the calibre of the riders who had not finished or were dropped by the leading groups that I realised how hard the race had been.
Overall, the top four leaders seem to have the table to themsleves with only one event left at Horwich (Nr Manchester) in September. Next big race for the over 40's are the national championships in August. Thanks to Mike Wilson and his team of supporters including Ian Murray on the motor bike giving us the time checks.
Courtesy of Larry Hickmott, www.echelon-velo.co.uk
Results - 120km (75 miles)
1. R Cubison (GBr) Rutland CC 40 2. Gray Mick (GBr) Api Resprays 35 3. Geddas Graham (GBr) VC Londres 30 4. S Davies (GBr) Ferryhill Whls CC 25 5. E Deane (GBr) Bournemouth Jubilee 20 6. P Trotman (GBr) Rugby Velo 15 7. I Harvey (GBr) Dinnington RC 14 8. Ian Hallam (GBr) Gs Strada/Rudy Project 13 9. Phil Galloway (GBr) Luton CC 12 10. N Martin (GBr) On The Edge RT 11 11. N Yarworth (GBr) Leo RC 10 12. N Giles (GBr) Gs Strada/Team Afford 9 13. Smith Gpw (GBr) New Brighton CC 8 14. A Woodcock (GBr) Glendene CC 7 15. Bob Varney (GBr) Milton Keynes C & T C 6 16. Paul Freeman (GBr) Alpha RC 5 17. P Lilley (GBr) Lichfield City CC 4 18. E Atkins (GBr) Leo RC 3 19. Phil Corley (GBr) Alpha RC 2 20. T Wilson (GBr) G S Invicta 1 Peter Fryer Overall Table After 4 Events (Unofficial) 1 Nick Yarworth (GBr) Leo RC 115 Pts 2 Ian Hallam (GBr) Gs Strada 102 3 Neil Martin (GBr) On The Edge 96 4 Mick Gray (GBr) Api Reprays 82 5 Chris Absolom (GBr) Yeovil CC 61 6 Rob O'conner (GBr) BCF Private Member 43 6 Dick Cubison (GBr) Rutland CC 43 8 Phil Galloway (GBr) CC Luton 37 9 Graham Geddes (GBr) VC Londres 34 10 Tony Woodcock (GBr) Glenedene CC 33 11 Nick Giles (GBr) CC Lancashire 31 12 Pete Wheddon (GBr) Clevedon & Dist CC 30 12 Dave Wright (GBr) Finsbury Park CC 30 14 Ian Harvey (GBr) Dinnington RC 27 15 Gordon Smith (GBr) New Brighton CC 26 16 S Davies (GBr) Ferryhill Whls CC 25 16 Gary Hill (GBr) Dinnington RC 25 16 Reg Smith (GBr) BCF Private Member 25 19 E Deane (GBr) Bournemouth Jubilee 20 20 Geoff Davison (GBr) J E James 19 21 Paul Webster (GBr) Dinnington RC 16 22 P Trotman (GBr) Rugby Velo 15 23 William Belcher (GBr) Clayton Velo 13 24 Bob Varney (GBr) Milton Keynes C & TC 12 24 Tom Wilson (GBr) Gs Invicta 12 26 Costa Piedris (GBr) Whitewebbs CC 11 27 Paul Lilley (GBr) Litchfield City CC 10 28 Ron Hewes (GBr) Harlow CC 9 28 Max Mccalla (GBr) Catford CC 9 30 Chris Davis (GBr) Sports Coaching RT 8 30 Malcolm Whitehead (GBr) VC Deal 8 32 Dave Maughan (GBr) Middridge Crt 7 32 Keith Gordon (GBr) New Brighton CC 7 34 Phil Bayton (GBr) BCF Private Member 6 34 Richard Roustone (GBr) Chesterfield Crs 6 36 John Hadfield (GBr) J F Wilson 5 36 Paul Freeman (GBr) Alpha RC 5 38 Keith Middleton (GBr) VC Lincoln 4 39 Ben Dallison (GBr) Twickenham CC 3 39 E Atkins (GBr) Leo RC 3 41 Peter Halliwell (GBr) Horwich CC 2 41 Richard Hutt (GBr) Colchester Rovers CC 2 41 Phil Corley (GBr) Alpha RC 2 44 Derek Kilgallon (GBr) Clevedon&Dist CC 1 44 Roy Crombie (GBr) Rockingham Forest Whl 1