Greenwood wins Not So Lumpy Road Race
Sunday 20th June 2010 | Bashall Eaves (Lancs), a Preston CC promotion for Elite 1,2,3’s | by Ian McVety
Bathed in glorious June sunshine, the beautiful Hodder Valley only a stones throw from next weeks National Road Race Championships, played host to the Preston CC promoted 'Not So Lumpy Road Race', counting as part of the Liverpool Echo Star Trophy series. As the race rolled out from the Longridge Sports Centre towards the circuit, an early attack very quickly formed the basis of the main break of the day.
Above: Josh Hunt, (Mid Devon CC) leads the early break.
Amongst the early break away riders were Josh Hunt, (Mid Devon CC), Leigh Cowell, (Kuota Spinergy), Ashley Brown, (Team Sportscover), Owain Lovell, (Ashfield RC), Rob Sharmon and Andrew Young, (Basso Bikes), Richard Cartland, (Team Corley), Steven Fidler, (Crewe Clarion) and Lewis Cowerly, (VC Montpelier). The break very quickly established a respectable gap and sensing the danger, a chasing group comprising of James Moss, (Endura RT), Ben Greenwood, (Rapha Condor Sharp), Ashley Finn, (Cycle Premier Metaltek) and Richard Bott (Team Herbalife/Wheelbase) soon set off after them.
As they approached the steady rise to Chaigley, the leaders had 34 seconds on the chasing group and by the main climb through Bashall Eaves village, they had soon bridged the gap. With the leading group now established, they soon drew out an advantage of 2 minutes on the peloton and for the middle part of the race this is how it remained.
On the penultimate ascent through Bashall Eaves, passing the Red Pump Inn, Finn attacked and Greenwood followed. Realising the distance still remaining however, Greenwood later commented that he was reluctant to fully commit as there was still plenty of fire power in the chasing group. This assault did however have an effect of breaking up the large lead group in to two smaller units and as they passed through the feed station, riders clambered for placings, not wanting to miss what was clearly an important move.
Above: Ben Greenwood, (Rapha Condor Sharp) leads Ashley Finn, (Cycle Premier Metaltek).
On the final climb up the long draggy ascent on tough heavy roads through Bashall Eaves, Greenwood, already having carefully selected his spot, unleashed a stinging attack and went clear of the group. With nobody following, it was up to him to solo his way to the finish. Gaining all the time on the remainder of the climb, Greenwood counted on his climbing prowess to make time on the ascents calculating that the followers would not be so strong and knowing they would be chasing hard on the descents and on what little flat there is on the course where they may be able to make time back on him.
Cresting Chaigley, the circuit plunges rapidly to the River Hodder and then takes a right turn on to the smaller circuit. One complete lap of this turns the riders around so that they run anti-clockwise on the larger circuit. By this point, Greenwood had gained 30 seconds but now, facing a rising head wind, he was having to dig deep.
As he approached the Hodder Bridge turn near Clitheroe, he was losing time and on leaving the inner circuit, Greenwood fought valiantly up the long and steep climb back up Chaigley knowing that the group were catching him fast. With one last left turn towards the finish line, the chasers had their quarry in sight. Greenwood looked around to see them on his tail and with one last effort found some inner strength to cross the line and take the victory to a rapidly approaching Josh Hunt and Rob Sharman. The final ascent of the day saw a field finish in penny numbers, causing little trouble for finish judge, Ivor Armstrong, who next week will be co-ordinating proceedings at nearby Barley when racing takes place at national level on the other side of Pendle Hill.
Above: Josh Hunt, (Mid Devon CC) and Rob Sharmon (Basso Bikes) closing in as Ben Greenwood, Rapha Condor Sharp) wins The Not So Lumpy Road Race.
Results – 75 miles – 2hr. 51 min
1. Ben Greenwood – Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Josh Hunt – Mid Devon CC
3. Rob Sharmon – Basso Bikes
4. Jake Tanner – Team Sportcover
5. Owain Lovell – Ashfield RC
6. Ashley Brown – Team Sportscover
7. Ashley Finn – Cycle Premier Metaltek
8. Richard Cartland – Team Corley
9. John Tanner – Team Sportscover
10. Grahame Sumner Great Britain Fire Service
11. Tim Baldwin – Bradford Olympic
12. Richard Bott – Team Hebalife Wheelbase.co.uk
13. James Moss – Endura Racing
14. Paul Bethel – Team Elite
15. Andy Coupe – Team Wallis CHH
16. Dillon Byrne - Team Hebalife Wheelbase.co.uk
17. Andrew Hawdon - Team Hebalife Wheelbase.co.uk
18. Duncan Morallee - PM
19. Gary Adamson - SIS
20. James Cullen – Team Wallis CHH