Last night saw a foggy and mildly moist Sheffrec road race up at the Baslow triangle course. It was a well run event by the SheffRec and I managed to win it so all was good. A big thank you goes to out to Marc and all of the SheffRec for putting on the event and giving up there time to Marshall.
54 riders departed from the Fox and Goose for the first Sheffrec CC / JE James evening road race. Damp but ever drying conditions met the riders for 17 laps of the 2.2 mile Barlow Triangle on the outskirts of Sheffield. The days previous heavy rain had caused race organisers problems and had to spend well over an hour sweeping the corners and making sure the mud washed from nearby fields was removed from the circuit. Many thanks to marshals and in particular Pete Dungworth for his efforts with shovel and broom!
The first attack of the evening came on lap 2 from race sponsors JE James rider, Charles Tennick but by the following lap he was safley back in the bunch who were looking like they’d completed the Paris Roubaix with mud sprayed over most of the bunch riders. Furth attacks came on laps 3, 4 and 5 with unattached rider Ben Thomas gaining a slight advantage over the bunch. By lap 6 all was back together with a few riders drifting off the back due to the three sharp corners that we making the race more like a crit than an open road race.
The first Science in Sport Prime came at 7 laps and was easily claimed by Chris Metcalfe riding for Matlock CC. Most riders looked content to just sit in the main bunch and wait to make their moves. The major move of the night came from local rider Danny Lowthorpe riding for Rutland CC. Danny soon gained a 20 second advantage over his rivals. On lap 9, two riders emerged from the bunch to successfully bridge the gap and join forces to ensure that this was a race winning move. The group of now 3 was made up of original instigator Danny Lowthorpe, VS Cycles Dominic Turner and another local rider, Tony Grassby from Peak Road Club. These guys meant business and soon pulled out at 40 second advantage with most riders willing just to remain in the shelter of the main bunch.
The closing laps saw the trio of Grassby, Turner and Lowthorpe further extend their lead to 1 minute and the winner of the race would now come from this move. A late surge by Paul Allen of Wakefield CC and team mate of Grassby, Steve Gibson meant that they escaped the main pack but never really made an impact on catching the 3 riders up the road. The last lap came and still the 3 riders were together as the bell rang. The crowds gathered at the finish line it was Danny Lowthorpe who emerged from the mist to take the win in style. Dan had made a jump on the penultimate climb and this saw him cross the line with 15 seconds to spare from his 2 breakaway companions.
The pairing of Grassby and Turner claimed the remaining podium places with Dominic Turner edging out Tony Grassby just before the line. A further 34 seconds back came Steve Gibson and Paul Allen to claim 4th and 5th. The bunch sprint for 6th was won by JE James rider Charles Tennick just seeing off Luke Allen, Doncaster Wheelers and local veteran rider Rob Blackburn also from JE James RT. The top 10 was rounded of by Craig Wilson from Birdwell Wheelers and Ben Last of Sportscover Strategic.