Location: Astley, Stouport-On-Severn
Event: 13 May 2012
Report: William Fotheringham
James Notley of Planet X ran out a strong winner of the 70-mile Halesowen A & CC road race on the tough Astley circuit near Stourport in Worcestershire, escaping from a 14-rider group which dominated the entire race, with the remnants of the bunch finishing five minutes back.
The winning move formed in dribs and drabs on the headwind drag approaching Great Witley on the first of the five laps, and included pre-race favourite Matt Clarke from the promoting club, perennial strongman Phil Mason of Climb-On Bikes and Belgian-based local rider Ewen McDonald.
They rapidly gained a minute before a chase was instigated by the Paramount CRT, who included the big absentee from the break, former winner Mike Jones. The pursuit was intense for two laps but served only to whittle down the bunch and blunt the legs of the chasers, who never looked remotely on terms.
Notley made his winning attack on the last climb into Astley, the toughest section of the circuit, but came close to blowing up in the final uphill kilometre to the finish after opening a decent gap.
Behind Thomas Marshall of Cadence-Cannondale and Clarke led in the chasers.
The race had an Olympic theme with Notley receiving £201.20 prize money from race sponsors Wood & Loines, and the prize presentation carried out by 1948 Olympic medallist Tommy Godwin, whose medals were on show at the headquarters, and who gave a brief, enthrallings speech about his experiences in the Games.
1 James Notley (Planet X)
2 Thomas Marshall (Cadence Cannondale)
3 Matt Clarke (Halesowen CC)
4 Rob Turner (NFTO)
5 Jonathon Pain (Leisure Lake Bikes.com)
6 Philip Mason (Climb On Bikes)
7 Daniel Bill (Rapid Performance Coaching RT)
8 Tony Kiss (Rapid Performance Coaching RT)
9 Ewan McDonald (Mirmil CT)
10 Ross Clayton (NFTO)
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.