GRAVES AND ROSE CONTINUE DOMINATION
(Event Galleries) Kimroy Photography
The Beacon Roads CC's 39.4 miles Little Mountain Time Trial in Worcestershire provided the setting for the third round of the RTTC Classic Series at Great Witley on Sunday when Philip Graves (Clifton CC York) and Claire Rose (Podium Ambition P/B Club La Santa) continued their domination of the 2016 Series, Graves notching up win number two while Rose claimed her third Series success.
COURSE RECORDS GO
The day also saw two course records go the Women's and Juniors' while Graves was just six seconds off of Matthew Bottrill's 2015 record of 1-32-29.
With 119 starting the event headquarters at Great Witley Village Hall were a hive of activity with riders warming up on rollers in the busy car parks, helpers checking tyre pressures or heading for the Village Hall attracted by the aroma of bacon rolls.
All the competitors, Men, Women, Juniors and Paracyclists faced racing the same testing distance with its many ups and downs and it was the Paracyclists who were away first. It was a mostly sunny day but a chilling wind didn't help. It was 18 year-old David Murphy (Liverpool Mercury Dolan CC) who proved the best of the Paracyclist with an adjusted time of 1-46-42. His actual time was 1-52-55. The Juniors followed on and as in round two it was Jamie Holmes (Mid Shropshire Wheelers) who proved the best, his 1-52-43 taking 1-46 off of the previous Junior course record, set by Ryan Kenworthy last year.
TURNBULL TOP VET
The Veterans headed away and once again it came down to a battle between Marc Turnbull (TORQ Performance) and Ian Holbrook (Stone Wheelers) and as at the Buxton CC event it was Turnbull who triumphed, his 1-40-30 3-19 too good for Holbrook. The Target Time competition was taken by David Hargreaves (North Lancs RC), his 1-55-19 giving him a plus of 8-21.
MURPHY RULES-FOR A WHILE
The Women followed on the heels of the Veterans and it was Kelly Murphy (Boot Out Breast Cancer CC) who set the early standard with her 1-50-33, which knocked 3-18 off of Ruth Eyles 2007 course record. Murphy held her place at the top of the Beacon RCC's result screen. Past winner in 2014 Liz Powell (Mike Vaughan Cycles) came in with a 1-57-58 and 2013 winner Paula Moseley (Hereford Tri Club) headed Powell with her 1-55-51 but was no threat to Murphy.
ROSE SMASHES RECORD
It was Claire Rose who upset the Murphy apple cart. Rose had been ploughing her way through the field and her 1-43-32 smashed Eyles' course record by 10-19. It just needed Rose's team mate Sarah Storey to finish to settle the podium places and her 1-48-24 gave her second place ahead of Murphy who completed the winning trio.
"I rode a stage race with Podium Ambition a couple of weeks ago where I just missed winning the prologue time trial by four seconds and since then I've had plenty of rest and have got good form after that stage race. Today's course suited me, I enjoyed it now I'm looking forward to the Tour of Yorkshire this coming weekend," Rose said. "After that we are off to America for a couple of stage races. Now that I'm lucky enough to being a full time cyclist I'm taking every advantage of it," Rose added.
The course was made up of two circuits, one of 16 miles the other 23 miles. The first circuit brought the riders back to Great Witley with they faced a long drag in to the wind before a descent and then the climb of Stanford Bank at 20 miles before the undulations took the riders to Ankerdine Hill with six miles to the finish.
GRAVES AT FULL REVS
Last off, Graves was quickly at full revs and by the time he ad those first 16 miles under his belt he had caught and passed Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy CT) and was already two minutes up on Brett Harwood (Terry Wright Cycles). At this point Richard Bussell (AeroCoach) looked to be the biggest challenge to Graves as he had to switch out to avoid a parked car with no break in his speed in the head-wind drag through Great Witley.
Bussell took the race lead as he finished with a 1-35-13. Dean Robson (Nopinz) clocked 1-35-49, Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) 1-35-16; Brett Harwood (Terry Wright Cycles) 1-35-54. This left Graves and Pettinger to finish. Graves was first back and his 1-32-35 topped the lot as Pettinger finished with a 1-37-40.
A former Beacon Roads CC member, Richard Bussell said he had lost some seconds baulked by a car "but that would have made little difference to my being beaten by over 2-30, Graves'was an amazing effort," Bussell said. His next target? "The 50-mile Championship, I'm looking forward to it."
Matt Clinton was had some mechanical problems. "My tri-bars came loose, it was a bit scary on those bumpy roads," Clinton said. Pettinger also had his troubles. "My gears played up, I could only get the small gears, then it righted its self by then I had lsot too much time," Pettinger said.
GRAVES CLOSE TO RECORD
Sitting on the floor, recovering and getting his breath back, Graves was disapointed that he was so close to getting the Men's course record. "Just six seconds that's all. My legs were feeling a bit heavy today, I rode most of the course yesterday but got lost and ended up in Bromsgrove", Graves said. "I did about 70 kilometres, but it was more important to know the course," he added celebrating his 11th win of the season.
Let us remember that Graves real sport is Triathlon and it is only a leg injury that has brought that to a stop. "I'm alright cycling but I can't run yet. I had a scan this week and the specialists said I should be able to run again in six weeks", Graves said. With his obvious cycling ability why not stick to it? "It all comes down to sponsorship," he said.
Next week Graves rides round four of the RTTC Classic Series in Cumbria.