Brendan Sullivan's Solo Victory
July 19, 2009; Report & Photos: Charlie Whitton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Full Gallery: www.charleswhittonphotography.com/portfolio63529.html
Welsh Veterans Road Race Championship win for Cardiff Ajax Rider
On a bleak day, more like March than July, nearly all 60 riders who had entered started Abergavenny RC's 2009 Welsh Road Race Championships for Veterans and Women. Based over 53 miles on a sixteen and half mile circuit covering Raglan, Chain Bridge, Usk and Gwehelog Hill, the wet weather and the fact that a lot of the course had just been gritted soon lead to many riders disappearing out the back with punctures.
However, first time up Gwehelog, Brendan Sullivan soon showed that flying back from the United States two days previously hadn’t slowed his legs. From the base of the climb, he started to string out the field and nearing the top of the hill he had six others for company but by the summit the pace he was setting had thinned them out to three. The leaders were Brendan Sullivan (Cardiff Ajax), Phil Mason (Climb on Bikes RT), Ian Jeremiah (Cardiff Jif) and Gareth McGuiness (Clwb Egni) and over the top they had a lead of some 10 seconds on the main field.
On the run down to the Raglan Roundabout, it soon became clear that they didn’t intend getting caught and by the Chain Bridge second time around they had increased their lead to nearly a minute. With a certain amount of indecision in the main field, the only rider to take up the chase was John Evans (Private Member). Evans, who was one of the earlier breakaways but had dropped back to the main field, had 10 seconds on the main field at the start of the final circuit.
On the final ascent of Gwehelog Hill, Sullivan showed the power that had just got him 4th in the USA Masters Road Race Champs and third in USA Masters Time Trial Champs by taking off on his own to a solo victory with over 45 seconds at the finish over his breakaway companions. These were lead home by Phil Mason, with Ian Jeremiah 3rd and Gareth McGuiness 4th. John Evans held on to finish 5th ahead of the bunch which was lead home by Ian Sutcliffe (Abergavenny RC). Winner of the Womens Championship was Hannah Rich (CandiTV-Pinarello RT) who finished 9th in the main event.
Crossing the River Usk at Pant-y-Goitre for the first time and the field are all together.
Nearing the summit of Gwehelog Hill and Brendan Sullivan forces the pace.
Sensing danger Gareth McGuiness fights to stay in contact with the leaders
The pace at the front strings out the main field
Through the Chain Bridge on the 2nd circuit and there are 4 breakaways – from left to right – Gareth McGuiness (Clwb Egni), Phil Mason (Climb on Bikes RT), Ian Jeremiah (Cardiff Jif) and Brendan Sullivan (Cardiff Ajax)
The bunch come through nearly a minute down
One lap to go and the leaders have over 1 min 45 sec on the chasers
At the start of the final lap John Evans (Private Member) tries to get up to the leaders
Peter Phillips (Bath CC) leads the bunch onto Raglan Roundabout to start the final circuit
Winner of the Welsh Vets Road Race – Brendan Sullivan
2nd, Phil Mason (Climb on Bikes RT) ahead of Ian Jeremiah (Cardiff Jif)
5th, John Evans (Private Member)
Ian Sutcliffe (Abergavenny RC) wins the bunch sprint from Courtney Rowe (Cardiff Jif)
2nd from left - Hannah Rich (CandiTV-Pinarello RT) comes home to win the Women’s Welsh Road Race Title
1. Brendan Sullivan, Cardiff Ajax
2. Phil Mason, Climb On Bikes RT
3. Ian Jeremiah, Cardiff Jif
4. Gareth McGuiness, Clwb Egni
5. John Evans, Private Member
6. Ian Sutcliffe, Abergavenny RC
7. Courtney Rowe, Cardiff Jif
8. Steve Thomas, Abergavenny RC
9. Hannah Rich, CandiTV-Pinarello RT (first Woman)
10. Simon Jenkins, Cwmcarn Paragon RC
11. David Lane, Cardiff Ajax
12. Mark James, Endura Racing
13. Liam Sullivan, Forza
14. Chris Haworth, Abergavenny RC
15. Angharad Mason, Forza.