East Yorkshire Classic

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East Yorkshire Classic

Sunday, July, 26, 2009 | Report & Pictures by Larry Hickmott | Thanks to motorcycle NEG pilot John Greatorex for his great help in getting the pictures below. | |

Sportscover get two riders on the podium, Kevin Dawson (Left) and John Tanner (right) but the victory went to Sigma Sport and their Dutch import Wouter Sybrandy. Click here for the high res slideshow

Sigma Sport's Dutchman, Wouter Sybrandy showed the determination required to win a Premier Calendar on Sunday (July 26) when he gave it his all in a two up sprint with Kevin Dawson (SportsCover) and managed to get his front wheel across the line first to win the biggest race of his cycling career so far. Third was John Tanner giving Sportscover two riders on the podium.

The one that got away in the Yorkshire Wolds
Coming into the latest round of the British Cycling Premier Calendar, newly crowned British Circuit Race champion Russell Downing was leading the series and after his victory in 2008, the Rotherham rider was the big favourite for the 2009 edition of the Hull Thursday road club promotion.

On the start line in front of an early morning crowd in Beverly were 130 plus riders including Cervelo professional Jeremy Hunt and most of the country’s top road riders. Missing was the British champion Kristian House who is racing in China for his trade team Rapha Condor but the race still had a very strong line up and how strong was demonstrated by how the day ended with a break getting away from the riders who lead the Premier Calendar competition and the big trade teams.

Premier Calendar leader Russell Downing has a dig as soon as the race starts.

The race began with a long neutralised section out of Beverley and as the field rode through Walkington with many itching to get going, one rider did just that although he may have been just having some fun with his rivals – it was none other than Russell Downing (CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta).

He sat up though and waited for the start proper and did the same again before being joined by of the young Irish riders. After they were brought back, there were a few other digs before two riders, Richard Cartland and Ashley Brown opened up a gap. This was  the start of the break that was never going to be seen again – at least by most of the peloton.

Richard Cartland and Ashley Brown get the jump on the peloton.

More riders joined the leaders to form a break of around eight riders including Dan Patten, Richard Cartland, Gareth Montgomerie, Scott Macrae, Daniel Kogan, Andrew Roche, James Moss and Stephen Halpin. Back in the peloton, attacks by riders such as Jeremy Hunt, Ed Clancy, Rob Partridge and Matt Cronshaw were being chased down and it wasn’t until John Tanner jumped away with Wouter Sybrandy that a chase group started to get going. More riders including Daniel Drake, James Stewart and Mark Cassidy, joined the chase group and it started the long long chase to bridge to the leaders.

That chase took well over an hour and it took its toll on some of the riders in the chase group who never made it to the front of the race. More attacks from the peloton continued as the two groups up the road got down to some hard work but none of the team leaders like Russell Downing were getting anywhere. Plenty like Dave McCann, Kevin Dawson, Will Bjergfelt, James Sampson and Andy Tennant to name but a small number of the attackers who tried but nothing was sticking.

Ashley Brown leads the original break before the chase groups get across to it

Dawson however persisted and eventually another small chase group got away. With the Sportscover rider were Dave McCann and Dave Clarke. Behind, Russell Downing and Jeremy Hunt to name the two I saw continued to attack but it was game over even though the lead of the first break was still only three minutes.

Reinforcements for the break were on there way and when the chase groups came together, there were no less than three Sportscover riders in it and they and the others were all committed to helping the break stay away.

Behind the break, the constant attacking in the peloton took its toll and the numbers in the group were going down each time we went back to see it and soon a split occurred but even that was not enough for a concerted chase to get going. When I left what was left of the peloton on the way back to Beverley, they were still well over two minutes adrift and with only 15 miles to go, they were making no impression on the leaders. It was time to go to the front of the race and watch the finale unfold.

With three Sportscover riders in the break, there was a certain amount of pressure on them but that didn’t stop others in the break driving it along and going clear from time to time with Dan Patten one of the most prominent. The pace of the leaders and the distance was taking its toll and riders were being dropped from the break with each attack as the leaders got ever closer to the finishing circuits.

John Tanner leads Wouter Sybrandy in their chase of the break.

The fatigue could certainly bee seen on the riders faces as they struggled along into a  strong wind. Of all the riders, the one who looked the freshest was Dave McCann. When an attack went from the front of the group, McCann who was in the middle of the group was on it in a flash and coming into Beverley for the first time he attacked. The breaks for freedom though with such fatigue in the legs were almost slow motion and the attack came to nothing.

Tanner was next to try and he took Clarke, McCann, Patten and Moss with him but those with still something left in their legs came back to join the leaders for the first of the two finishing circuits. The first lap of the town went by without anything getting away and then into the final lap, Wouter Sybrandy made his bid for freedom. For a mile or so, he pressed on chased by Patten and no sooner had they come back together, that Sybrandy  went to the back and almost straight away launched himself up the road again.

This time he had Dawson on his wheel and it wasn’t long before the others managed to drag themselves back up to the Dutchman. By now, there were only a few miles before the finish line so my pilot John Greatorex and I left the action and carried on to the finish.
We didn’t have to wait long and soon two riders came into sight, sprinting side-by-side for all they were worth, Dawson cramping with every rev of the pedals and on the line, it was the Sigma Sport rider who edged it.

Wouter Sybrandy wins the sprint from Kevin Dawson with the rest of the break breathing down their neck.

The winner of the East Yorkshire Classic was a Dutchman!

Only a few seconds later and a rider who in his time has won plenty of major races and represented Great Britain at the Olympics, John Tanner, won the sprint for third place from what was left of the race long break.

It had been some race and a demonstration that despite the strength of the teams in the UK, a break of riders from smaller teams can still come together and ride away in the major races and how great it was to see the old war horses in Dawson and Tanner on the podium again with a young rider getting his best ever result in a British race.

Afterwards, I spoke to the podium riders and the manager of the Sigma team, Matt Stephens.

Wouter Sybrandy: A rider who was delighted with the victory almost to the point of being in shock, was the Dutchman in the Sigma Sport team. “I really only started cycling four years ago so it’s gone really quick. This was the best thing that could have happened to me for my cycling. Winning a Premier Calendar, I still can’t believe it.”

“There is a lot of experience in the team with Matt and the guys and I couldn’t wish for a better sponsor in Sigma Sport so that has been a big help. In the beginning of the race today it was pretty hard and then I got in a chase group with John (Tanner) and some others and it took us longer than expected to get to the front. Once we did it became slightly easier but not comfortable.”

“Everyone in the group wanted to stay away and coming into the finishing circuit, we’d lost a few guys because of the attacks that were going. With two laps to go, I got distanced when guys were sitting up and it took me a long time to get across. On the final lap I just kept trying to get away as I know I wasn’t the best sprinter in that group and I thought if I’m going to have any chance, it’s in a breakaway.”

“As soon as we got to the descent and they sat up I just put the hammer down and went down the hill as hard as I could and got quite a decent gap.”

Kevin Dawson on the attack as he gets a chase group going well into the race.

Kevin Dawson. “The team rode well today. We had two guys in the break (John Tanner and Ashley Brown) and then I joined two other riders to get across and that was purgatory. I was like dying all the way across. When we got on, it hard but easier than when we were coming across. I was nailed at the finish though.”

“I came round Wouter and I was cramping with ever rev from the corner.”

“He (Wouter) got dropped on the first lap and then he came back and went twice on that final lap and was really strong. He went on the descent and gapped me and I dragged myself back across to him and only caught him at the traffic lights (400 metres to go) . I didn’t have a rev left in me on the line.”

“I was trying to ride for John but that was just the way it went. I was just covering the moves. We showed our colours all day and when I got across and there were three of us (Sportscover) and only one Pinarello. No Rapha lads or others.”

One of the all time greats of British racing, John Tanner gets the better of a young Kinesis rider, Moss, for third.

John Tanner: “Everything went to plan. Ashley was up the road, I was in a chase group and then Kev come across. Towards the end, everyone in the break had dead legs so Wouter just managed to jump away and Kev was dangling off his wheel by 10 yards for ages and just got to him for the finish.”

“Shame we didn’t win it but it was a good team performance. The conditions were not too bad and on the roads round here it’s a hard dead slog and it’s wearing down race. I can’t believe I’ve made the podium. It’s been a few years!”

On the fact he has a son, Jake, who races now, John says “it was like he was talking about it all the time and so it was like I wouldn’t mind doing it again so him riding has definitely helped. I don’t get to train with him a lot because of work but he has a good group of juniors he can go out with. He got into it over the winter last year and he’s wanting to do everything now.”

Matt Stephens: “The win is fantastic. The lads rode really positively today. I said we had to get in the early moves and we had a rider in every break so I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Wouter was unbelievably strong. He chipped off last year and got 11th and I knew he had it in him to win today and he did it. Getting away with Kev (Kevin Dawson) is a fantastic rider to get away with. This sort of finishing circuit suits Wouter down to the ground.”

On how Matt was after his terrible crash in the Irish RAS which saw Matt off his bike for a few months, he explained “this is my first race back and it was a bit of baptism of fire. I lasted until the steep climb on the run in which I am quite pleased with -- to do a 120k in the group before my legs went bang. I’m slowly coming back!”

East Yorkshire Classic Eurosport Trailer

The East Yorkshire Classic round of the Premier Calendar series will be broadcast on Eurosport in early August. Transmission times are:

  • 2 August - 1600 British Eurosport 2
  • 3 August - 2015 British Eurosport 1

And for those who can't wait, here's a short trailer...... 

More Photos

Jeremy Hunt who had a frustrating day trying to get a chase going wins the sprint for 10th.

Attack number 2 for Wouter on the final lap.

Attack number 1 for Wouter with 5 miles to go.

Dave Clarke and John Tanner having a dig through through the finish with two laps to go.

David McCann of Ireland having a go as they come to two laps to go.

The break coming into Beverley was all over the place as attacks came and went.

King of the Mountains Dan Patten having a go on the way back to Beverley.

The three Sportscover riders driving the break along on the route back to Beverley

Not much action after the three circuits and on the road back to Beverley from what was left of the peloton.

Tom Barras and Alistair Kay having a go to chase the break when the road climbed on the way back to Beverley

Not for the first time, Jeremy Hunt attacks but fails to pull a group of chasers away from the peloton.

Eventual winner Wouter Sybrandy leads the break as they start the trek home to Beverley

James Sampson and CandiTV put the hammer down and this was all that was left of the peloton on the road back to Beverley.

The peloton splits as they approach the feedzone on the circuit for the last time.

One of the many digs Russell Downing had but not even he could get away and start the chase of the leaders. It wasn't for a lack of trying!

The field strung out in their chase to get away and reel the break in. The roads were dead, the hills certainly hard enough but the hitters in the peloton were unable to make it happen today.

Jack Kirk leads the John Tanner/Wouter Sybrandy chase group.


1. Wouter Sybrandy, Sigma Sport/Specialized
2. Kevin Dawson, Sportscover/Spuik, JE James
3. John Tanner, Sportscover/Spuik, JE James
4. James Moss, Kinesis
5. David Clarke, Pendragon Kalas
6. Andrew Roche, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
7. Dan Patten, Magnus Maximus Coffee.com
8. Dave McCann, Ireland
9. Richard Cartland, Corley Cycles
10. Jeremy Hunt, Cervelo
11. Russell Downing, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
12. Scott McCrae, Endura Racing
13. Ashley Brown, Sportscover/Spuik, JE James
14. Richard Handley, Kinesis
15. Graham Briggs, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
16. Rob Hayles, Halfords Bikehut
17. Peter Williams, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
18. Marcin Bialoblocki, Sport Beans Wilier
19. Yanto Barker, Lecol Colnago
20. Mark McNally, Halfords Bikehut

21. Dale Appleby, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
22. Tom Barras, unattached
23. Simon Gaywood, Corley Cycles
24. Andrew Tennant, Halfords Bikehut
25. Evan Oliphant, Endura Racing
26. Matthew Kipling, KUK Kinesis
27. Dan Staite, Python Racing
28. Richard Hepworth, Arctic Premier
29. Chris Newton, Rapha Condor
30. Joe Skipper, BMC UK
31. Callum Sewell, Leeds Mercury
32. Steve Lampier, KUK Kinesis
33. Paul Griffin, Team Ireland
34. Wayne Coombes, VC Montpellier
35. Daniel Drake, Lancashire,
36. Roy Chamberlain, Team Corley
37. Russell Hampton, Private
38. James Williamson, Sigma Sport Specialised
39. Alistair Kay, York Cycleworks
40. Malcolm Elliott, CandiTV/Marshalls Pasta
41. Andrew Hastings, Finchley
42. Jack Adams, Pendragon Kalas
43. Lee Tunnicli, Fit For
44. Steven Guymer, Raleigh Avanti
45. James Sampson, Candi TV/Marshalls Pasta
46. 92
47. Jack Kirk, Wyre Forest
48. Callums Wilkins, Endura Racing
49. Mark Wordsworth, Team Corley Cycles
50. Mark Thwaite, Team Assos
51. Daniel Kogan, BMC UK
52. Ashley Finn, Herbal Life/Wheelbase
53. Michael Cumming, Raleigh Avanti
54. David Coulson, Sabbath Clayton
55. Richard Mason, Fit-For
56. Robert Wadell, KUK Kinesis
57. Jon Mozley, Madison.co.uk
58. Gary Hand, Endura Racing
59. Damian Smith, Herbal Life/Wheelbase
60. David Lines, Endura
61. Colin Humphries, Sports cover/Spuik JE James
62. Simon Baxter, Adept Precision RT
63. Chris McNamara, Corley Cycles
64. Kit Gilham, Sigma Sport Specialized
65. Ben Simmons, Team Wiggle
66. Tom Last, Sigma Sport Specialized
67. Stephen Halpin, Ireland
68. Scott Thwaite, Madison.co.uk
69. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor,
70. James Stewart, KUK Kinesis
71. Gareth Montgomerie, Sigma Sport Specialized
72. Hamish Batchel, Sportscover Spuik JE James


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