Report: East Yorkshire Classic

Report: East Yorkshire Classic

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East Yorkshire Classic Road Race 2010

Story posted Sunday, July 18, by Larry Hickmott |  Premier Calendar Home Page

Dave Clarke of the Pendragon Le Col Colnago team had his biggest victory in Britain on Sunday when he won the East Yorkshire Classic Premier Calendar Road Race on his own. Attacking the final kilometre on the run in to Beverley, Clarke held on to his lead all the way to the finish line to win by 8 seconds from Ian Bibby (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta) and Marcin Bialoblocki (Big Maggies/Wilier/Prendas) who won the final two podium places from a group of around half a dozen riders.

With the rest of the break in the background, Dave Clarke salutes the crowd as he scores his biggest victory in Britain.

Slideshow of the race action
Thanks to Welsh NEG pilot Graham Harper for getting us close to the action for the photographs here.

More photos from Cheryl King here:

The Race
It was rather wet when the teams and race officials arrived in Beverley and the riders were resigned to a wet day in the saddle as the rain continued to fall steadily outside of the headquarters. Thankfully, by the time the riders arrived en masse at the start, 10 minutes before the off, the roads may have been damp but the wet stuff  had stopped falling from the sky. With a growing crowd lining the barriers, the top 10 riders in the Premier Calendar Series were called forward to the line followed by the Continental teams and the rest of the 125 riders in the race.

The riders mass around the lead car waiting for the flag to be pulled and the race to start.

A long neutralised section out of Beverley followed which gave the riders plenty of time to get warmed up and ready for the action which was sure to come as the flag was dropped and the race was on. Sure enough, as soon as the flag had been pulled into the lead car, their was a short pause as the riders looked at each other before Qoroz rider Hugh Wilson took up the challenge and launched himself up the road.

What followed then was a succession of attacks and prominent in them was Ian Wilkinson of Endura Racing. It was quite a manic period in the race before a solid looking break formed with the likes of Yanto Barker (Pendragon Le Col Colnago), Simon Richardson (Sigma Sport Specialized), Jon Locke (Rapha Condor Sharp), Zak Dempster (both Rapha Condor Sharp), Steven Burke (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta) and then Sigma Sport rider Stephen Gallagher. Behind them, Ian Wilkinson and Tom Southam (Rapha Condor Sharp) on the come back trail were leading the chase.

Surprisingly, the break came back very quickly and then the attacks started all over again. Last year's winner Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport Specilized) had a dig and then Qoroz rider Hugh Wilson had another go and was joined by a Kuota Roads CC rider, Milan Sihelsky. It was all getting rather frantic and nothing was sticking.

There were though a lot of fresh legs in the peloton with the race still less than 20 miles old.

Hugh Wilson is the first rider to take the plunge and try to escape.

Ian Wilkinson then went on the attack again which was the signal for David Clarke to come to the front with Matt Stephens and Simon Richardson. Callum Sewell (Chevin B&O) then managed to escape and was followed a little later by a group of five riders, Matt Cronshaw (Rapha Condor Sharp), Kit Gilham (Sigma Sport Specialized), Callum Wilkinson (Endura Racing), Richard Handley Raleigh), and Andrew Hawdon (Herbalife/

The break quickly caught the lone leader Sewell and then not long, spat him and Andrew Hawdon out the back. The race was well and truly on now. Motorpoint Marshals Pasta rider James Sampson then crossed to the leaders in search of King of the Mountains Points while others like Robin Sharman (Basso Bikes) tried to do the same, as did Matt Jones and Gareth Mongomerie

Unlike Sampson though, the strength wasn't there in their legs and they went back to the bunch. David Clarke was by now getting very active again and he escaped the peloton with Stephen Gallacher and Gareth Mongomerie to chase the break down while the peloton was splitting as the speed and wind started to takes it toll.

This was how the bunch spent much of the day, lined out as riders tried to get a split going. Here, Ian Wilkinson drives it hard for his team, Endura.

Meanwhile, at the front, the break was down to four riders, Cronshaw, Handley, Sampson and Gilham while behind, the front split now had a good mix of the favourites in it as well as lots of riders from smaller teams. The second part of the peloton however had not given up and the likes of Bibby and others rejoined the front split before the race really got into overdrive.

The race was now halfway done but the action was only just getting going as the big guns started to fire. With the four leaders down to three after Kit Gilham crashed out, Matt Stephens and Ben Greenwood started a chase of the leaders and opened up a gap. David Clarke then decided to press on and he chased after Stephens and Greenwood and within a few miles, a really select group formed to chase down the leading trio.

The cards in the East Yorkshire Classic had been dealt and those who had made the selection included Stephens, Richardson, Bibby, Clarke, Bialoblocki, Tanner, Newton, and Partridge while behind them, the rest decided to sit up, either because they had teammates up the road or because their legs could no longer take the punishment being dished out.

The key selection in the race behind the four leaders led here by Dave Clarke, Chris Newton, Ben Greenwood, John Tanner, Simon Richardson, Rob Partridge and Matt Stephens.

The race was now between the two front groups who merged but no sooner had they come together,  the race got even more interesting as James Sampson, in that effortless style of his drifted off the front to go for KOM points and David Clarke chased him down.

Suddenly, the Motorpoint riders in the break could sit back while Rapha's Greenwood and Cronshaw, as well as Matt Stephens and others were given the task of chasing the leading duo down. Chase them down they did but there was plenty more drama to come.

The race was by now into the last 30 miles when Clarke attacked on his own but within 10 minutes of having gone clear, he was stopped in his tracks by a puncture and had to chase to get back on. While all that was going, Stephens and Richardson were being dropped as had Greenwood and Cronshaw. It was certainly getting very tasty as the race approached the finishing circuit.

Drama as Dave Clarke (in the background of this picture)  who had been on his own, has to wait for the service car behind the break to get a wheel.

While Stephens and Richardson had made it back to the leading group, Partridge attacked with still over 10 miles to go and the chase by Jonny McEvoy was so strong, that not only were Stephens and Richardson dropped again but so were Tanner and McEvoy himself. The young Motorpoint rider, McEvoy, had his job though and with Partridge caught, there were five leaders; Newton, Clarke, Bibby, Bialoblocki and Partridge.

With the wind howling across the course, the final finishing circuit saw no significant attacks from the riders in the leader quintet until with just over a k to go, Clarke had one final dig and what an attack it was. The others did manage to get close to him after just failing to get to his back wheel,  the Pendragon rider carried on, flat stick all the way to the line to celebrate his best victory yet on British roads.

Jonny McEvoy gives it everything for his teammate Ian Bibby in pursuit of Rob Partridge. Just off the back is Matt Stephens who rode all day at the front, and finally has to give in.

Post race reactions

Dave Clarke: The Pendragon Le Col Colnago rider is one of the most aggressive in the British peloton and in the Tour Series town centre circuit races and the Elite Circuit Series that followed, the man on the black bike and in the dark blue Le Col kit is a familiar face at the front of a lined out peloton. Dave hasn’t had that many major results but after winning the East Yorkshire Classic, many we spoke to said that he was certainly a deserved winner.

Dave himself was understandably pleased with his win although all the jumping up and down was being done by his supporters. Perhaps the four hours in the heat and wind had taken its toll or maybe he was just playing it cool after the victory.

It was good to do something decent in this country for a change. I have won a few big races abroad but failed to win anything of any class over here so it was good. Everyone was looking a bit tired on the run in and I knew it wasn’t going to be mine in the sprint so I thought I’d better have a go.

Earlier, in the final section of the race on the way back to Beverley, after he’d attacked and was on his own out front, Dave had punctured and got a wheel from neutral service but could only get the 14 sprocket after that. He’d been caught by the break again but that wasn’t his final solo move. He attacked with a kilometre to go but that came with some worries as well.

I was a bit worried when I couldn’t pedal fast enough on the descent and thought I might get caught.” Going back to the attack he’d made just before his puncture, Dave told us “it was a bit of a struggle to get back on after the puncture and the 10 minute effort out front on my own.

Asked how it was in the break which was losing riders during the 30 or so miles back to the finish from the circuit at the far end of the course, Dave replied “to be honest, I’d thought I’d done too much work. I was on the go all day trying to get something going. There was some reluctance in the break to work but we did enough to stay away from the rest.

Every year I have done this race, it has split at the point I made my move and until now, I’ve not been in the move but I thought this year, it’s my turn to make it.

Marcin  Bialoblocki
(Wilier/Big Maggies/Prendas): “I am very happy with the way I rode today. It was a shame I didn’t win but I have very good form. I have had 19 wins this year already but before in the Premiers I have had no luck with punctures. Today though went well.

Ian Bibby wins the sprint for second, just!

Ian Bibby (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta): The rider who was second by winning the gallop to the line from what was left of the break, said afterwards “we kind of messed up really. There was a group away early on and I jumped across to it and so did Jonny. As soon as we got across, it split again and then we were losing guys on the way back.

Richardson went and no-one wanted to let him come back and then coming on to the finishing circuit, Partridge got a bit of gap on us.  Jonny (McEvoy) committed and did a brilliant job to get him back and that effort split it and Jonny was dropped. It was obvious that Clarky was going to jump which he did a few K out, and I attacked and got within a few bike lengths of him and swung over and nobody else closed the gap and he rode away again.

Coming into the finish, I got the sprint for second but it is disappointing. It was a proper tough course with some windy sections. Newton was riding really strong and Partridge  seemed happy to sit in all day and didn’t want to do much. Clarky was really strong today and constantly off the front. I don’t think he rode in our group much! He deserves it, definitely”.

In an early race move, James Sampson from Ian’s team was off the front with who else, Dave Clarke, and that forced teams like Rapha and Sigma to chase. Asked was that a tactical move by Motorpoint Marshals Pasta, Ian replied, “no, James went for  king of the mountains sprint and then put his head down and went away with Dave. That worked out pretty well for us because then Rapha had to ride and that meant they lost two of their riders later on and Newton was left on is own.

Ian finally explained that after the Tour Series and some of the Elite Circuit Series, he’s had two weeks of relaxing, one completely off and the other doing a little bit on the bike. “I have started to come round now and want to get in a real big week now and get in some training for the Tour of Britain.

Marcin Bialoblocki (3rd), David Clarke (1st) and Ian Bibby (2nd).

Matt Stephens (Sigma Sport Specialized): After a bad crash in the crits a while ago, Matt Stephens was back in action and he had a busy day. Not only was he going off the front in moves, and chasing down moves like the one by Sampson and Clarke, Matt was also looking after an under par Simon Richardson who admitted it hadn’t been a good day after a break from training and racing.

It was a really really hard” Matt said “but we didn’t have it today in the legs. We had numbers up the road (three made the break). Kit (Gilham) was in the early break and Simon and I rode across to it in the split. Then Kit crashed. We rode to the plan but in the end we didn’t have the legs to do something although two top 10’s isn’t bad.”

It was a brilliant ride by Clarky, he was clearly the strongest man out there and well done to him.

On the conditions, Matt said “it was really humid and everybody was seemingly nailed to the road. There wasn’t much action early on in the break and you could tell from the faces the conditions were playing their part on the race. I was cramping up after 70 miles which didn’t help and that was probably down to not being hydrated enough.

Early on when Clarky went away (with James Sampson), it put us in an awkward position. There were lots of teams with just one rider while us and Rapha had two so we had to chase Sampson and Clarky. I spent quite a lot of my money then but we had no choice. The underlying form is there though and I just have to work on the top end and condition. By the time of the next Premier (Richmond GP) and the Tour of Britain, I should be going even better.

John Tanner leads the break off the circuit and onto the road back to the finish.

Chris Newton (Rapha Condor Sharp): The leader of the Premier Calendar who has had a superb season this year was fourth in the East Yorkshire Classic and has done enough to win the Premier Calendar competition after Richardson got dropped on the run in and was 8th. “I went out there to win the overall today. Three wins from the competition has been good and so I was able to switch focus and go out there to seal the overall.”

You have to race from the front in this race with the narrow roads and once I was in the break, I just did enough. There were a few attacks on the run in and I managed to get across to one by Dave and I think it was Bibby and that had put Simon (Richardson) under pressure. Once we were away on the finishing circuit, knowing Simon was behind, I pressed on which probably took it out of me for the sprint.

Dave was more than a deserved winner today. He put a lot into the bike race today and probably shaped it quite a lot so that was good. You have to put in to get out. You can get a few good results on the back of the hard work of other riders but if you put the hard work in, you will reap the rewards.

Asked how the East Yorkshire Classic compared to his other races, Chris explained “I have always really struggled on this circuit. Sometimes I have sat too far back at the beginning and then been left chasing through the narrow lanes and on the climbs. It is a tough course and the weather was quite sticky and with the wind as well, it was quite hard when you were on the front.

After racing the Track Worlds in 2010, Chris came out and won the Doon Hame three day Premier Calendar race in Scotland and asked about his road season, he says “I’m pretty pleased with it. The preparation for the Olympics starts two years out (this year) and then the year after the Olympic it was non-stop. In 2009 for example, it wasn’t so much being sick of riding the bike but some times you’re going through the motions.

If I look back, through my career it has always been the same and this year is where it comes together. I had a decent winter, a break and was enjoying what I do and racing to win. Once you have one, the pressure is off and the others come easier.

Looking ahead for the second half of the year, Chris has some preparation to do for the Tour of Britain as well as spending some time on the track so he’s ready for the international track season once the Tour of Britain is over. Chris, like many in European national track teams, is also having to suffer the problems brought by the very late decisions to change the qualifying system for the Olympics and the mess that has resulted from the event changes and so on.

Asked does he know enough about what is going to happen on the track to plan a programme, he replied, “no. It was like, we’re doing the Europeans, no its not the Europeans, yes it is, they are definitely on but no-one wants to organise them, there’s no money but they’re on, you’re not going to the Commonwealth Games, are you going to the Commonwealth Games, what do you want to do?…

Even the Omnium qualification, I have not seen any document where they have put it into the World Cups yet and how they will do that. Whether it will be putting the points together from the Points and Scratch races or something else?

Asked if it’s like treading water with your form, Chris replied, “yeah. At the end of the day I still have to train and I know what I have to do to prepare so I just do that, it won’t be much different to the training for the Points or the Team Pursuit so when they finally make up their minds, I’ll be ready to go.

Approaching the finishing circuit, Endura's Rob Partridge goes it alone

Rob Partridge: The Endura Racing rider attacked as they hit the finishing circuit and had the break chasing him for a long while before he was caught. Speaking afterwards, Rob who has won a Premier Calendar event this year, said “I caught them hesitating a bit and if it wasn’t for McEvoy, I may have stayed away.

I didn’t feel the best today but I still wanted to have a go and try and catch them napping. I actually felt more comfortable when I was by myself than in the group. Then, when I got caught by the other four, it started to really hurt. Newton was wanting me to work straight away and I thought, well, I’ll do what I want do and ride it the way I want to ride it.

“Every little acceleration was hurting and I thought it was going to be a hard ask to get the win. Had I had better legs, I’d have a dig before the finale but Clarky put one in and caught us all napping. We knew he was strong but I think we were stupid to even give him an inch. It was a well deserved win that was.”

1. Dave Clarke, Pendragon Le Col, Colnago
2. Ian Bibby, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta @ 8 secs
3. Marcin Bialoblocki, Wilier/Big Maggies/Prendas
4. Chris Newton, Rapha Condor Sharp
5. Rob Partridge, Endura Racing
6. John Tanner, Sportscover
7. Jonny McEvoy, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta @ 47 seconds
8. Simon Richardson, Sigma Sport Specialized
9. Matt Stephens, Sigma Sport Specialized
10. James Sampson, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta @5.42
11. Evan Oliphant, Endura Racing @ 7.21
12. Kristian House, Rapha Condor Sharp
13. Wouter Sybrandy, Sigma Sport Specialized
14. Yanto Barker, Pendragon Le Col Colnago
15. Alexandre Blain, Endura Racing
16. Rob Sharman, Endura Racing
17. Matt Jones, CoC Fougeres
18. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor Sharp
19. Andy Coupe, Team Wallis
20. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing

21. Will Bjergfelt, Wilier Big Maggies Prendas
22. James Moss, Endura Racing
23. Matt Kipling, MTS Cycle Sport
24. Tom Barras, Raleigh
25.James Stewart, Raleigh
26. Malcolm Elliott, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
27. Matt Gee, Raleigh
28. Simon Holt, UC Bergamasca
29. Jake Hales, Corley Cycles
30. Hugh Wilson, Team Qoroz
31. Ian Field Science in Sport
32. David McGowan, Kuota Road CC
33. Steven Guymer, Raleigh
34. James Gullen, Team Wallis CHH
35. David Mclean, Frezza Pasta Montegrappa
36. Tom Last, Sigma Sport Specilized
37. Dillion Bryne, Herballife Wheelbase
38. Stephen Gallacher, Sigma Sport Specialized
39. Mark Wordsworth, Corley Cycles
40. Ben Stockdale, Team Qoroz
41. Richard Mardle, Felt Colbournes
42. James Williamson, Sigma Sport Specialized
43. David Shackleton, Cottingham Courers
44. Peter Williams, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
45. Kevin Dawson, Sportscover
46. Zak Dempster, Rapha Condor Sharp
47. Steve Lampier, Pendragon Le Col Colnago
48. Jonathan Tieran Locke, Rapha Condor Sharp
49. Gareth Montgomerie, Sigma Sport Specialized
50. Ashley Cox, Corley Cycles

Premier Calendar Overall

1. Chris Newton    Rapha Condor Sharp    477
2. Simon Richardson    Sigma Sport Specialized Cycling Team    343
3. Jack Bauer    Endura Racing    301
4. Evan Oliphant    Endura Racing    266
5. Ian Wilkinson    Endura Racing    259
6. Marcin Bialoblocki    Wilier/ Ciclismo    229
7. Jonathan McEvoy ***    Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta RT    223
8. Peter Williams    Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta RT    205
9. John Tanner    Sportscover Strategic    190
10. Rob Partridge    Endura Racing    184

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