RTTC Classic Series Rd 4 - Event Report

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A third win "on the bounce" for Philip Graves (Clifton Cc York) and a first win for Kelly Murphy (Boot out Breast Cancer CC) that's the brief story of the Border City Wheelers promotion at Greystoke, near Penrith, Cumbria.

Philip Graves

After taking the Buxton CC event and the Beacon Roads CC event Graves's win puts him at the top of the overall points table with two events still to come while Murphy's success puts her in third place behind current leader Jackie Field (CC Ashwell) and Claire Rose (Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa).


The hoped for battle between Graves and roadman James Gullen (Pedal Heaven) failed to happen after Gullen had mechanical trouble. "My chain dropped of the jockey wheels three times and got wedged," Gullen explained. THe last time he had help from a marshal to release the chain.

While the Men and Espoirs faced two laps of a 14-mile circuit, the Women, Veterans and Paracyclist covered one.The weather was reasonable although it was a bit blowy on parts of the rural course.


The Men and Espoirs were first away and with the route taking them past the event headquarters in Greystoke Village Hall it was easy to keep a check on progress. Early on and 35 minute laps seemed to be the order of the day with Jonathan Fowles (Champion SystemVCUK) through in 35-17. Espoir George Evans (Team Bottrill) bettered that with a 34-15, equalled later by Dean Robson (Nopinz). Within minutes Stephen Lewis (Rock to Roll Cycles) sliced 10 seconds off to head the leader board. 

The Espoirs contest carried on with Nicholas Cooper (DFL In-Gear) through 15 seconds down on Evans but well before he had headed in to his second lap Graves had caught him two minutes and dropped him by another1-23, a man on a mission. That mission was to avoid being caught by Gullen, off two minutes behind him.


Graves had gone through in 32-07 to be  followed by Gullen in 34-01, who had been slowed by those chain mishaps. A second lap 32-37 gave Graves a winning 1-04-44 with Robson clinching second with 1-08-21 while Stephen Lewis rounded out the top three places while Evans took fourth and the Espoirs place with q 1-9-04, 49 seconds ahead of Gullen.

"I think I should stick to road racing, my chain coming off three times ruled me out," Gullen said. On Monday Gullen made up for his misfortune on Sunday by winning the Kent Valley RC Shap Fell hill climb in a record 22-49 for the 9.1-mile ascent.


Runner-up Robson reckoned he could have gone at least one minute faster if he had not got so much clothing on. "I thought it was going to be cold, so had an extra undervest and gillet on which all helped me be very un-aerodynamic," Robson joked.

"I was looking forward to racing against James (Gullen) its good to have some opposition to draw you out, I kept waiting for him to pass me looking back, "Graves said. "With three miles to go I thought I could hear a disc wheel behind me, I thought it was him!"


Mark Turnbull

"It was a good course with a side wind in a few places but there was a strong tailwind to the finish, I was doing 80ks. From now I'm building up to ride the National `50-mile Championship," Graves added.


The Paracyclists were led home by Series long-time supporter Rik Waddon (Para T) after covering the 14 miles in 37-48 his adjusted time was 32-55 to runner-up Adrian Jones (Jedi Cycle Sport)`34-30 and third placed Matthew Robertson's (Woolwich CC) 36-13. Liverpool Mercury Dolan CC's David Murphy was just three seconds slower but having ridden all four of the current Classic Series he heads the overall points listing. "It was a bit windy over the top of the course, but I'm pleased with that," Waddon said.

Tom Roper (Beacon Wheelers) claimed the Junior event, an excellent 35-07 putting him 1-28 clear of Jamie Holmes (Mid Shropshire Wheelers), the overall leader of the Junior listings at the moment.


Having ridden all four rounds Ian Holbrook (Stone Wheelers) holds the overall points lead in the Veteran's Series, both on actual time and Target Time, although he finished third at Greystoke with a 35-17. It was Mark Turnbull (TORQ Performance) who was fastest, in fact his one-lap time of 33-46 was only bettered by Graves! The Target Time competition fell to David Hargreaves (North Lancs RC) with +04-51 to Mike Westmorland's (Border City Wheelers) +3-14.

"I managed to drive round the course beforehand, that helped. The course suited me, but I lost some time on the bends but that was the same for everyone. I went hard on the climbs and easy down them, it was a bit like interval training," Turnbull said.

Kelly Murphy


With Claire Rose (Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa) winner of the first three legs of the Women's Series not riding (she finished 18th in the Tour de Yorkshire) the way was open for a new name to top the result board. Kelly Murphy (Boot Out Breast Cancer CC) had finished third in the Beacon Roads CC round so she proved to be the candidate. Her 38-16 gave her the win by 41 seconds from Claire Swoboda (Starley Racing while Lynsey Curran (Dooleys RT) was a further four seconds behind Murphy.

Murphy's ride was her second of the weekend, on Saturday she rode and finished the Tour de Yorkshire. "I finished in the Emma Pooley group," she said. "I was lucky it was a small field today. I prefer time trials to road racing, the atmosphere is much more friendly," Murphy said. 

Her weekend's racing didn't end there. On Monday she was the best woman in the Kent Valley RC Shap Hill Climb. Murphy covered the 9.1 miles from Kendal to the top of Shap in 27-52, nearly two minutes faster than the record set by Anne Plant in 2008. There is obviously the making of a good stage race rider in Miss Murphy. 

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHS by KImroy Phoptography