The Derek Smith Memorial Road Race – 25 April 201
Organised by the Halifax Imperial Wheelers, this was the first running of the Derek Smith Memorial RR on what was a new course for the club based on Hartshead Moor near Cleckheaton.
In the A/B race it was Darren Otter (Rutland CC) who won in what has become his signature fashion, alone and several minutes up on his chasers. The winning move was made with 6 laps to go (of the initial 10). Several riders immediately saw the danger and took chase. It was to no avail, Darren soon gained time and held a group of what was to become 3 chasers at over 2 minutes all the way to the finish. In the sprint for second place Richard Binks (Holme Valley Wheelers) beat the promoting club’s Sean Smith (and Derek’s son), these two taking first and second place in the Bs respectively. Paul Dixon (VS Cycles) finished fourth to claim second A.
Meanwhile John Hadfield (Rutland CC) took off alone in the latter stages of the C/D race. He said afterwards that it was seeing his team-mate Darren’s solo efforts that had inspired him. It proved to be a successful strategy as he too held off his chasers – winning the race alone. Again a small group of chasers were sprinting it out for second place with Paul Webster (Dinnington RC) getting the verdict from Chris Miller of the Clayton Velo (who claimed first place in the Ds). Mick Day of Paul Milnes Cycles finished fourth in the race and second D.
In the E/F/G race it was the turn of Mick Holmes (Batley CC) to solo to victory with Phil Etches (Witham Wheelers) and Kev Shand (West Pennine) having to settle for second and third respectively. First F was Jeff Hardy and, in what is becoming something of a habit, Jack Watson of MI Racing won the first G prize.
Thanks to Darren for the write up !!!