Victory for Jack Bauer in Leazes Park
June 11, 2010; by Larry Hickmott | Part of the Northern Rock Cyclone Festival of Cycling
With a grand of British money on offer for the winner, New Zealand’s Jack Bauer (Endura) succeeded in plundering that loot from underneath the noses of his British rivals in the Leazes Elite Men’s Circuit Race in Newcastle on Friday night.
Podium for the Elite race, Jonny McEvoy, Jack Bauer and Matt Cronshaw
Bauer was part of a three man group that lapped the field by halfway in the race and after the rest of the riders left in the battle were given their own sprint five laps from the end to decide the minor placings, Bauer, Matt Cronshaw (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Jonny McEvoy (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta) were able to battle it out for the win with no outside interference.
The Elite Men’s event was the final race of a packed programme that had started at 6.30 that evening in dry and sunny conditions in this picturesque park. First up were the Youth races, two of them, and the young champions of the future raced as hard, if not harder, than any of the riders that night to win their races. Once the youth races were finished, the Seniors took to the circuit for the category 2/3/4 race which was 40 minutes plus five laps.
Slideshow of photos from all the races at the leazes Park circuit races
A large field of 60 plus riders were on the start but as the pace gradually got quicker, the peloton started to lose riders and the long line of riders started to split in places. A group of three eventually got away and seeing the danger, Stuart Wearmouth (MTS Inbuild) bridged to Stuart Reid (Herbalife/Wheelbase), Daniel Smith (Velo29 RT) and Simon Baxter (Adept Precision) to make a four up leading break.
This group of second category riders was never seen again although in the closing five laps, the peloton was getting awfully close and nine seconds was all that was in it at the finish where Reid won the sprint for the victory ahead of Smith and Baxter with Wearmouth in 4th.
Podium for the category 2/3/4 race, Simon Baxter (3rd), Stuart Reid (1st) and Daniel Smith (2nd)
Elite Men’s Circuit Race
With the sun sinking ever lower and lighting up the side of St James' Park football stadium which was within a few hundred metres of Leazes Park, a group of 40 or so of the best crit riders in the country lined up to battle for the £1,000 on offer. For many, it was their fourth race of the week after the Premier Calendar event last Sunday (Ryedale GP) and the two Tour Series crits on Tuesday (Southport) and Thursday (Kettering).
Rob Hayles explained before the start just how damaging these fast and furious events over an hour can be and that could be seen in the way at the start, as the attacks were launched off the front, riders one-by-one were sliding out of the back of the peloton which was constantly lined out.
Breaks were formed and then caught again before one finally broke the elastic. With one rider from each of the three big teams, Rapha Condor Sharp, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta and Endura, the break was given the green light by these teams and how it showed as they quickly opened up a big gap.
Lap by lap, they took large chunks of time out of the peloton until by halfway, they had caught what was left of the bunch. The race had by this time settled down having lost a quarter of the original starters but there were still some surprises in store for the spectators. The three riders in the break, says Bauer, had agreed to sit at the back of the bunch and have a breather when they lapped them, but Cronshaw wasn’t having any of that and he was soon away in a dangerous split while Bauer and McEvoy were back in the peloton.
Matt Cronshaw leads the break on their way to lapping the field.
A furious chase ensued and the race eventually came back together after Endura’s Scott Thwaites sat on the front and pulled the leaders back for his teammate Bauer. Nothing of any note then happened until the race was getting close to its allotted time of an hour and the commisaires told the bunch they a lap to go before they would sprint it out for fourth place. Chris Newton and Rob Partridge perhaps knew what was coming and had already escaped and Newton easily won the sprint for fourth with Partridge in fifth.
While the riders in the peloton, having run their race, melted away to the pits and a warm car, Bauer, McEvoy and Cronshaw cat and moused their way round the circuit. It looked for a while like a sprint was going to be the decider even though McEvoy had tried to play the other two against each other and steal away to a small lead with three to go.
It didn’t happen for the Motorpoint rider and after rolling through the finish with two to go, at the bell, up the slight drag to the finish, New Zealand Road Race champion Jack Bauer used the slope as a launch pad for a scintillating attack. The Kiwi certainly wasn’t waiting for the sprint and strong as an ox, the Endura rider blitzed that final lap at full speed and had plenty of time celebrating knotching up yet another British victory ahead of Cronshaw and McEvoy.
Jack Bauer makes sures everyone knows the name of his sponsor (Endura) as he wins the Leazes criterium
Afterwards, talking about how his break came about, Bauer explained “we just snuck away. It is such a tight course that once you are out of sight, you’re out of mind. Because there were riders from Rapha, Motorpoint and Endura, it was pretty clear the teams would let us get away.”
“The legs felt real good out there. We had a pretty hard race last night (Kettering, Tour Series) but we’ve had an easy enough day today, driven up in the car, a sleep in the hotel and I felt fine. You have to be careful in how you recover from all these races but then we knew it was going to be hard. It is our job but it is all we have to do.”
“One hours work a day suits me down to the ground!”
The Kiwi Road Race champion Jack Bauer shows he can ride a mean crit as well as he attacks with a lap to go.
On why he attacked a whole lap out from the finish, Jack said “I never leave it to a sprint if I can help it, especially against those two who I’ve never had to sprint against. I thought the guy from Rapha was going to be rapid looking at how he was pedalling so I thought with a course like this with a little hill in it, I’d go a lap early”.
On what it was like once the break had caught the bunch, Jack revealed “that was hard, real hard! We were talking amongst the three of us at how we’d sit on the back and stay of the wind for a bit and this was Cronshaw’s idea! Me and McEvoy were happy to do that but as soon as we got to the bunch, Cronshaw headed up the right hand side and actually got away and got a gap. Things weren’t looking too good for me there for a while but Scott Thwaites did a ton of work to get me on the back of Cronshaw. It was a good team effort!”
Ian Wilkinson and Graham Briggs in one of many short lived breaks
Riders in the category 2/3/4 race line up in bright sunshine
Graham Briggs wins the bunch kick for sixth place.
Liam Armstrong wins the bunch sprint in the 2/3/4 race for 6th place.
Stuart Reid wins the battle for the victory in the 2/3/4 circuit race.
Primes in the 2/3/4 race were keenly fought for.
Elite Circuit Race
1. Jack Bauer, Endura Racing
2. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor Sharp, st
3. Jonny McEvoy, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta st
4. Chris Newton, Rapha Condor Sharp @1 lap
5. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing @ 2 secs
6. Graham Briggs, Rapha Condor Sharp @ 5 seconds
7. Alexandre Blain, Endura Racing st
8. Scott Thwaits, Endura Racing, st
9. Tom Murray, Sigma Sport Specialized
10. Jeroen Jannsen, Kuota-Road CC
11. Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing
12. Peter Williams, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
13. James Moss, Endura Racing
14. Richard Hepworth, CyclePremier-Metaltek
15. Rhys Lloyd, Pendragon-Colnago-Le Col
16. Dave Clark, Pendragon-Colnago-Le Col
17. Jefte De Bruin, Kuota-Road CC
18. Marcin Bialoblocki, Wilier/Big Maggies/Prendas
19. James Sampson, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
20. Martyn Irvine, Ireland
21. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp
Senior Category 2/3/4 Circuit Race
1. Stuart Reid, Herbalife/Wheelbase
2. Daniel Smith, Velo29
3. Simon Baxter, Adept Precision
4. Stuart Wearmouth, MTS/Inbuild
5. Giles Harrison, Active Cycles
6. Liam Armstrong, VC Briganti
7. Karl Juan Denton, Yorkshire Velo
8. Andrew Beattie, Infinity Cycles
9. Karl Freeman, Corley Cycles
10. Sean Polson, M Steel
Youth Under 16/Under 14
1. Harry Tanfield, Velo 29
2. Adam Martin, Blackhawk Bikes
3. Charlie Tanfield, Velo29
4. Taylor Cardus, Stockton Wheelers
5. Anna Barnes, Unattached
6. Luke Parkin, Hetton Hawks CC
7. Shaun Nicholson, Columba CC
8. James King, Columba CC
9. Matthew Worton, Hetton Hawks CC
10. Alistair Maxwell-Gray
Youth Under 12/Under 10
1. Thomas Pidock, Aire Valley RT
2. Angus Brown, Hetton Hawks
3. Eleanor Dickinson, Border City Wheelers
4. Simon Howlett, Border City Wheelers
5. Joseph Armstrong, Border City Wheelers
6. Fin Robertson, Hetton Hawks CC
7. Rob Barnes, Unattached
8. Johnny Bouch, Bordy City Wh
9. Jake Dobson, Newcastle Phoenix
10. Max Pearson, One life racing
1st Under 8: Joseph Pidock, Aire Valley