Jack Granger Memorial (Premier Calendar #1) - NE

Middleton, Great Britain, March 17, 2002

Results    Photography

Round one to Tanner

By Gerry McManus

It must have been a case of deja vu for John Tanner on Sunday as he continued where he left off from last season by dominating the first round of the 2002 Premier Series in the UK.

The Compensation Group RT rider out-sprinted Julian Winn (GS Pinarello), teammate Mark Lovatt and Gethin Butler (Preston Wheelers) to take the chequered flag first at the top of the climb at Nevil Holt on the small finishing circuit.

This was the first time that the Rockingham Forest Wheelers had staged the Jack Granger Memorial Road Race as a Premier Series counting event but the 90-mile race had a full field of 80 plus reserves.

After a brief neutralised section up to Bringhurst village, the peleton ascended the one-mile Devil's Staircase climb for the first of seven laps on the nine-mile large circuit.

After a steady first lap it was Neil Swithenbank (MK Cycles RT) who stretched his legs first with an attack on the second climb of the day.

After an hour of racing with everyone back together on the fast decent at the back of the circuit, a split in the bunch appeared and 17 riders slipped slowly away.

By the time the race appeared up the Devil's Staircase for the fifth time, the leading group had swelled to 25. These riders had a 30-second lead on a bunch in completed disarray, as they realised that the break included many of the race favourites including Tanner, Lovatt, Winn (GS Pinarello), Anthony Malarczyk (Atom Elite RT) and Julian Ramsbottom (Race Scene).

As the riders passed the lapboard for the final time on the big circuit, the break was up to 1min 7secs to a chase group of 17 riders. They had escaped a struggling bunch as the wind picked up and the sun disappeared behind grey clouds.

Julian Winn was the protagonist of an attacking move on the first climb of the small circuit as the breakaways reached the narrow lane to Nevil Holt with a nasty one-in-five left hand bend. Winn was clear and the group broke apart into several groups. By the time they came around again, Tanner had bridged the gap to the leader, with Huw Pritchard (Angliasport RT) on a solo chase with five chasing at 30 seconds.

It wasn't until the final lap that Pritchard made the connection to Winn and Tanner having been joined by Malarczyk, Butler and Lovatt.

With Tanner keeping the pace high on the climb, Pritchard was dropped from the group and destined for fifth spot.

A delighted Tanner finished the strongest with a race average speed of 24.8 mph.

"I had thought that the two of us were home and dry with two laps to go. We had 45 seconds," he said. "We were doing one pace and couldn't really pick it up."

Once they were caught, Tanner was planning tactics: "With about two kilometres to go, going up the hill, I put a hard turn in. Luckily that got rid of Huw (Pritchard). He is about the fastest (finisher) of the lot of us really,"

Tanners immediate race plans include the Tour of the Reservoir, Tour of Munster in Ireland and the Archer International Road Race in Buckinghamshire on April 7.


Photos by Steve King

Photos by Gerry McManus


1 John Tanner (Compensation Group RT)  3.38.33
2 Julian Winn (GS Pinarello)              0.01
3 Mark Lovatt (Compensation Group RT)     0.03
4 Gethin Butler (Preston Wheelers)        0.06
5 Huw Pritchard (AngliaSport RT)          0.21
6 Anthony Malarczyk (Atom Elite)          0.59
7 Kevin Dawson (Compensation Group RT)    1.00
8 Bill Nickson (Scotland
9 Martin Ford (PM)
10 Chris Anelay (VC Voodoo)               1.03

Spring Road Race (3/4/W/J)

1 Simon Henley (Evans Cycles RT)       1.39.36
2 Chris Garner (Zenith CC)                0.14
3 Jonathon Hunt (Ashfield RC)             0.17
4 Martin Garner (Coalville Wheelers)
5 Tim Smith (PM)                          0.24
6 Ian Murphy (VC Ashby)
7 Mervyn Sperry (PM)
8 Julian Freeman (Rockingham Forest)
9 Don Parry (Nene Valley)
10 Chris Steele (Kenilworth Wheelers)

Results courtesy of Steve King