Pre-race favourite Rob Jebb (Team Factory Racing) turned in another commanding performance to win the 51st Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross classic for the tenth time since 2000.
The 38-year-old, from Kendal, survived a puncture approaching the top of the final climb of Pen-Y-Ghent to complete the 38-mile North Yorkshire course in 3-05-14 and retain his title with a winning margin of 7-25 over Keighley veteran Ian Taylor (Jedi Cycle Sport), who improved on his previous best finish of third in 2010.
Third place went to Jebb’s team-mate Dave Collins, who came in a minute and a half behind Taylor.
First woman was 30-year-old Delia Beddis (ViCiOUS Velo), who finished just 56 seconds outside the four-hour barrier as she beat closest rival Isla Rowntree (Islabikes) by almost seven minutes.
A field of nearly 600 riders set off from Helwith Bridge under blue skies and sunshine, but with a strong wind blowing over the tops of the three major ascents of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-Y-Ghent.
Jebb made his customary surge on the opening climb to pull away from the leading group and, once clear, was able to ride at his own tempo on a trouble-free ride before his late scare.
“It was a lot nicer than last year’s wet and mist, but it was really windy on the tops and it was nearly blowing me off my bike,” said Jebb.
“I just did my usual and gave it a go as we came on to the first climb, on the bit that suits me.
“I felt comfortable and once I had a gap, I was going around at my own pace. I punctured in the last 50 metres on Pen-Y-Ghent and had to ride back to Helwith Bridge on a flat tyre, but I had a ten-minute lead and could just ride back steady to make sure the tyre stayed on the rim.”
Will he be going for number 11 next year? “Absolutely! I love it. I’ve got three children now and I’m 38, but I will always turn out and keep plugging away.”
1 Rob Jebb Hope Factory Racing 03:05:14
2 Ian Taylor Jedi Cycle Sport 03:12:39
3 Dave Collins Hope Factory Racing 03:14:05
4 Andrew Peace Jedi Cycle Sport 03:18:06
5 Ryan Henry East Midlands Consortium 03:18:18
6 Matt Lawton Macclesfield Wheelers 03:21:03
7 Carl Sturgeon East Midlands Consortium 03:21:19
8 Ben Bardsley Cyclewise 03:21:48
9 Lewis Craven Wheelbase 03:21:57
10 Simon Rodgers Halifax 03:22:36
Vet 40: Ian Taylor
Under 23: Robert Watson Paul Milnes Cycles/Bradford Olympic RC
Vet 50: Mark Ferguson High Peak Cycles RT
1 Delia Beddis ViCiOUS Velo
2 Isla Rowntree Islabikes
3 Verity Appleyard Brotherton Cycles
Vet 40 woman: Isla Rowntree Islabikes
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