Report: York City Centre Races

Report: York City Centre Races

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York Cycling City Centre Races

Story posted July 25, 2010; by Larry Hickmott
Round 7 of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series

In a nail biting finish in the shadow of the York Minster, Aussie Dean Windsor (Rapha Condor Sharp) won the Elite Circuit Race Series event in a sprint against Andrew Magnier ( Downing of Rapha Condor Sharp made it an even better day for his team with third place.

A full report follows the photo slideshows of the day's racing.

Rapha Condor Sharp rider, Dean Windsor from Bathurst in Australia punches the air to celebrate a great victory in the Elite Circuit Race Series from Andy Magnier of Cycle Premier/Metaltek. The bunch sprinting for third can be seen in the background.

Elite Circuit Series Race

Category 3/4 Support Race

Support Races - Youth, Folding Bike etc

Cycle racing comes to York
York is one of the hottest tourist spots in the UK and it didn't take long to see that on arrival in this most historical of cities. Taking a seat outside one of the many cafes, the sound of different languages could be heard all around as the circuit for the afternoon's racing was prepared by the Events Plus team.

Taking a walk around the closed roads in the morning, the circuit was right in the heart of York and historical buildings were everywhere. Black and white Tudor style buildings housed businesses of all shapes and sizes and the quaint streets were filled with tourists who were curious about what the barriers were for. When told a bike race, it was smiles all round.

The weather was being kind too with the sun coming out to warm the cobbles on the section outside the world famous Betty's Team Rooms and the crowd didn't have long to wait for some racing. First off the line was the Revenge of the Ouse team event. The race comprised of three events including a cycle race around the circuit to be used for the day and once that had been won, it was the turn of the Folding Bikes to take to the course.

One of the first races was the folding bike relay race.

This was a team race between doctors, staff of the Minster and other local businesses and the racing saw a mixture of frivolity and drama capped off by the rider winning the race being disqualified! After crossing the line arms aloft, he’d been too busy showboating the victory and forgotten to fold his bike up at the end as per the rules. Sadly for him, his quick thinking nearest rival nicked the victory from him and the leading rider’s team.

After the disqualified rider had picked himself up off the road where he'd expressed his frustration witha  quick lie down, it was the turn of the Youth riders to get the crowd warmed up. Separate races were held for the different categories down to the final Youth race which was a combined category D/E event. The sight of under 8's battling their way round the historical streets in front of the York Minster gave the crowd a good reason to cheer long and loud.

There were plenty of Youth races during the York City Centre afternoon of cycle racing.

Go-Race events followed for under 14's and then a Go Race family relay event before the first of the senior events for category 3/4 riders. The bad weather was starting to close in by now and while the race started dry, the 100 or so riders in the senior support event soon had to contend with wet cobbles and corners. This was  the cue for some crashes and riders to slip backwards out of the group at the front of the race. A final flurry of attacks at the end came to nothing and a rider who'd won the support race in Dumfries at the start of the Elite Circuit Series, Bill Nickson, just took the win with the final throw of his bike ahead of Jonny Ratcliffe.

In a sensational bunch gallop, Bill Nickson wins the race from Jonny Ratcliffe.

Elite Circuit Series
It was now the turn of the professionals who’d been warming up in the pits on the rollers as the rain continued to fall lightly down on the streets of York. A big field of riders graced the event and nearly all the top riders were there with only series leader Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing) missing.

Rapha Condor Sharp rider Dean Downing gave the watching crowd something to laugh about as he did his impression of Wilkinson’s Superman approach to the start line when called up after British champion Ed Clancy (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta). For a while, Olympic and World track champion Ed was looking a little outnumbered on the start line as one after another of the Rapha Condor Sharp riders were called to the line.

The riders certainly have a laugh travelling round the country from place to place and Dean Downing takes the mickey out of a certain Endura rider not in York, Ian Wilkinson, as Dean does his Superman impression!

Eventually, the line of riders in black on the start line was broken up by some of the colour from the other teams and after a rolling lap, the race was flagged away.  Early skirmishes were quickly neutralised as the riders found their lines on the greasy cobbled course and the race got warmed up.

With such strength in depth these days, most of the early action was at the back of the peloton as riders not used to the pace of these pro crits found out to their cost. Even in the wet, these professionals know how to corner at speed and lay the power down and it was good to see a past master, John Tanner (Sportscover), right there in the thick of the action as his son Jake was getting a lesson in crit riding further back in the field.

Small groups were soon being shelled out the back of the main group and even more alarming for the riders concerned was that the lead motorbike was soon coming up behind them to lap them and finish their race for the evening. Back at the front of the race, a break soon went with a trio of riders from three of the big teams. Surprisingly, Jefte de Bruin of Kuota had missed it as had the riders from Sigma and many of the other favourites.

A break that last nearly all race, Pete Williams, Andy Magnier and Dean Windsor.

The leading trio comprised of Pete Williams (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta), Aussie Dean Windsor (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Andy Magnier of Cycle Premier/Metaltek. At the first sprint of the race, the lead trio barely broke rhythm as Magnier took first place more by chance than through any formal sprint as the three riders put the success of their break ahead of sprinting for series points.

Behind them, the bunch began to fire into life as a number of riders sought to bridge up to the break. Those efforts came to nothing until with 27 laps to go when four riders achieved a small gap over the main field. Motorpoint had two riders in it, Jonny McEvoy and Malcolm Elliott and they were closely marked by Rapha Condor Sharp riders Kristian House and Graham Briggs. Sensing the danger, the bunch quickly neutralised their efforts.

With Rapha team manager said to be unhappy at the combination out front, Dean Windsor attacked to get rid of Williams but all that did was distance Magnier and when Williams slipped away from Windsor, the Aussie waited for the Cycle Premier/Metaltek rider while Williams put his down and went solo out front.

With Keith Lambert, manager of Motorpoint/Marshals Pasta, recalling to those around him his days racing in York in the ‘80’s in between giving time checks to his rider out front, there was a flurry of action in the chasing peloton.

Dave Clarke of Pendragon Le Col Colnago was one of a number of riders to try a counter attack but with the teams of the breakaway well represented in the main bunch, no rider was allowed to gain much advantage. As the second sprint of the night approached, it was much the same situation as at the first; three leaders and a bunch divided between those that wanted to chase and those that didn’t.

Those that didn’t seemed to be winning the battle.

Dave Clarke of  Pendragon le Col Colnago strings the bunch out during the chase of the leaders.

With Clancy and Downing back in the bunch, valuable ranking points for the series were also going begging as the trio out front, first Williams and then Magnier and Windsor, took the points for the second of the two sprints.

As Williams started to labour out front with the strong wind taking its toll on his legs, the two chasers were just getting going and as they came up behind the Motorpoint rider, they promptly cruelly put the hammer down and the two chasers became the two leaders as Williams slipped backwards. Behind him, the Rapha riders were itching to attack and first Dean Downing had a dig and then Kristian House established a small gap on the field.

House bridged to Williams with 10 laps to go and as he did so, he sat up and looked behind at the fast approaching peloton. Rapha manager John Herety signalled from the pits that it was time to sit up and let the two leaders get caught. So with two left out front on a drying course, it was still all to play for as far as the bunch were concerned and play for it they did.

Endura rider Evan Oliphant attacks at the bell lap but was unable to hold on and finished sixth.

With six to go, Evan Oliphant attacked from the main field, was countered by Ed Clancy and the gap to the leading pair tumbled to 15 seconds. John Herety, standing in the pits indicated to Windsor that the gap was coming down but the Aussie wasn’t put off and simply turned to his co-escapee Magnier, had a quick chat to make sure he was 100 per cent committed and they then both pressed on.

As the bunch rattled through with four to go, Oliphant had been caught and only seven seconds separated the leading duo from a main bunch that was being driven along by Ed Clancy, resplendent in his new national champions jersey. That gap stayed constant as they passed through three to go and for a moment, it seemed it might just be possible for them to stay clear. All the teams of the leaders in the pits could do was sit, wait and encourage.

With one to go, the gap had surprisingly grown to twelve seconds as Rapha Condor Sharp riders swarmed all over the front of the field to help discourage any meaningful chase. It was going to  come down to the two leaders to decide the result and on a course with such a short finishing straight, it would most likely be the first rider through the final bend who would take the victory.

Closest pit to the corner was that of the Rapha team and much to their relief, it was Dean Windsor leading Magnier from a rampaging main field from which the other Dean, AKA Deano (Rapha Condor Sharp), took the spoils.

Another nail biting Elite Circuit Series race was over and all that was left was for the champagne to rain down on the crowd instead of the other wet stuff which had failed to put a dampener on a great race.

Dean Downing of Rapha Condor Sharp celebrates in the same manner as his teammate after winning the bunch gallop for third place.

Dean Windsor: It was great to win in this series (Dean won a round of the Tour Series too) especially as I’ve been so unlucky lately. I punctured at Stafford, got second at Abergavenny and then last week, I blew a tyre a few metres before a corner and went ass over head. So it’s good to get a win after luck like that.

It was such a hard race on that circuit with cobbles, wet corners and a headwind. I didn’t do my trademark attack on the first lap but waited for five laps and after the others boys had had a few goes, I got away with a Motorpoint rider (Pete Williams) and Andrew Magnier.

My manager John though was a bit worried about the combination so to start with I had to put Pete Williams in trouble and I made the first move and then he jumped me. I told Andrew I couldn’t work with Williams and that I was happy to work with him and so we sat Pete out front for a while and then when we caught him, we went bang over the top of him and then me and Andrew worked hard all the way to the end.

It was getting close at the end and we both committed 100 per cent to trying to stay away. I looked around at the bottom corner and saw it was so close. I had to lead out the sprint but had the corner with 150 metres to go so it was okay. It was a headwind up the straight before the finish and Andy had done the last turn, so I thought I’d draw up next to him but he wouldn’t let me pass. I knew I had to really get past him to be first into the corner so I did.

Andy was such a strong rider out there and deserved his second place.

The circuit was drying out at the end but I wasn’t sure if it was totally dry, so you had to be a bit wary. When you start to get too confident, you go round a corner and start to slide so next lap, you’re more cautious again.

Podium for the York Elite Circuit Series race, Dean Downing, Dean Windsor and Andrew Magnier.

Andrew Magnier: “It was very hard work staying away for almost all of the race. I really wanted to get a good result I knew that being in a relatively small team that my best chance was to get into a small break. I made sure that I started at the front of the race and I pretty much jumped on anything that went in the first couple of laps. Finally I looked behind on the third lap to see that a small gap had appeared back to the bunch.”
“Our lead fluctuated between 10 and 15 seconds for a while before it finally went out to half a minute but I knew there were some strong riders back in the bunch. The fierce competition between Rapha and Motorpoint became obvious very quickly and Windsor and Williams were reluctant to do anything to help each other. They were attacking each other and at one point I lost the wheel and had to claw my way back to them. I won the first intermediate sprint after 20 minutes and when Williams attacked shortly afterwards, we left him out to dry on his own. Dean (Windsor) and I worked together to hold him at about 10 seconds until we were ready to bring him back. Dean put the hammer down and I tucked in as we caught Williams and he was unable to jump on as we went past.”
“We still had a tough job to hold off the bunch. I gave it full gas in the last few laps and did the last big turn on the front before we started the sprint. Dean attacked and I got on his wheel. We were shoulder to shoulder down the finishing straight and he just got half a wheel in front as he went round the final curve before the finish line.”

 Dean Downing: “It was perfect for us and Motorpoint this circuit. Andy Magnier did a good ride to get in the break and he’s been going quite well this year. We were just sat in the bunch at the front, controlling it with Motorpoint and then they got half a lap and we thought we’ll try and break it up. Endura were having a few digs and so were Sigma and then at the end, when Pete Williams came back, we thought that is even better for us.

Then Motorpoint sat on the front with Ed Clancy and Malcolm Elliott and then at the end, I think they blew a little bit, we went to the front to slow it down again. Then I got a perfect leadout from Chris Newton where I felt as safe as I did at the nationals  but had no gear trouble this time.

Chris is so good with his tactical awareness in all disciplines, he’s fantastic. He just looks at where everyone is and with a few laps and I came up from fifth wheel to him where he was at the front controlling the pace. With two laps to go, I told him I was on his wheel and he gave me the nod and he knows I’m not going to lose his wheel.

He proceeded to wind the pace up and Oliphant went with a lap to go which was perfect for Chris, he just wound it up, jumped into the last corner and I was on his wheel and came off it with 200 to go.

On the series, Dean says, “I’m doing Preston so I’ll go for the series there. After Wilko won so many races at the start when I didn’t take part in a few, the series wasn’t really in my plans but now tonight I got third and Wilko wasn’t here and Ed was out of it at the end. It makes for an interesting last round.

More photos from the day in York

The races during the day saw a rolling start on the Start/Finish straight with the York Minster in the background.

There were plenty of historic buildings on the course which flowed nicely for the riders with only a few sharp bends like this to slow the riders right down.

A break in the closing laps of the Support race never managed to stay away.

Andrew Magnier and James McCallum lead the race through on their rolling start.

James McCallum (Endura Racing) forcing a split through the Minster Yard as he chases down the break.

York Minster with a bike race in the foreground -- lovin'it! Earlier, Keith Lambert of the Motorpoint team recalled the Kellogs town centre races on the very same circuit in the 80's. Maybe next year a past champions parade or race!

Rapha do their best to control the peloton.

Malcolm Elliott  leads the chase for the two leaders.

British, Olympic and World Champion, Ed Clancy leading the chase for Motorpoint.

More historic buildings in York including the most haunted house a little down from where this was taken.

A famous team room, Betty's was busy as the bike racing raced past its doors all afternoon.

It was a day for all sorts of weather, sunshine for the folding bike race and rain for the 'proper' races later!


Elite Circuit Series Race
1. Dean Windsor, Rapha Condor Sharp 1.07.04
2. Andrew Magnier,
3. Dean Downing, Rapha Condor Sharp @ 2 seconds
4. Jonny McEvoy, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
5. Chris Newton, Rapha Condor Sharp
6. Evan Oliphant, Endura Racing
7. Stephen Adams, Sigma Sport Specialized
8.  John Tanner, Sportscover
9. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor Sharp
10. Will Bjergfelt, Wilier Big Maggies Prendas
11. Andrew Tennant, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
12. Steven Burke,  Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
13. James McCallum, Endura Racing
14. Jefte de Bruin, Kuota Road CC
15. Jereon Janssen, Kuota Road CC
16. Simon Wilson,
17. Jon Tiernen-Locke, Rapha Condor Sharp
18. Tom Murray, Sigma Sport Specialized
19. Matt Kipling, MTS Cyclesport
20. Tom Last, Sigma SPort Specialized

21. Steve Lampier, Pendragon Le Col Colnago
22. James Sampson, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
23. David Clarkem Pendragon Le Col Colnago
24. Andy Tinsely, Kuota Road CC
25. Alistair Kay, York Cycle Works
26. Ben Greenwood, Rapha Condor Sharp
27. James Sharp, York Cycle Works
28. Peter Williams, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta

Support Race
1. Bill Nickson, Bill Nickson Cycles
2. Jonny Ratcliffe, Team JD Cycles
3. Paul Allen, Wakfield CC Exponential
4. Jerrod Hartley, Clevelelys RC
5. Steven Whitehurst, Chevin Bang & Olufsen
6. Ewan Sewell,  Chevin Bang & Olufsen
7. 99
8. Craig Gath, York Cycleworks
9. Simon Hudson, Harrogate Nova CC
10. Paul LehanHarrogate Nova CC

11. 91
12. 87
13. Andrew Windrum, York Cycle Works
14. 82
15. Dan Shoreman, Yorkshire Velo
16. Clin Hawxby, Chevin Bang & Olufsen
17. Rob Towsend, Sheffrec CC
18. Matthew Eastwood, York Cycle Works
19. Darren Binks, Hambleton RC
20. Paul Bennet, Clifton CC
21. Peter Fielding-Smith, Richardsons RC/Cube
22. Andrew Donaldson, Ferryhill Wheelers
23. John Savage, Clifton CC


Category D & E
1. Aaron Preston, Cleveland Wheelers
2. Toby Tanfield, Cleveland Wheelers
3. Lewis Hartley, Eastlands Velo
4. Mason Hollyman, Sowerby Brothers
5. Euan Cameron, East Bradford CC
6. Jack Ford, Holme Valley Wheelers
7. Tirus Waterman, Holme Valley Wheelers
8. David Lewis, North Midlands Youth Squad
9. Billy Lazenby, East Bradford (1st E)
10. Goerge Southhy, East Bradford CC (2nd E)

Youth C
1. Reece Wood, Aire Valley
2. Adam Hartley, Eastlands Velo
3. Seth Waterman, Holme Valley Wheelers
4. Thomas Pidock, Aire Valley RT

Youth B
1. Leon Glendhill, Holme Valley Wheelers
2. Charlie Tanfield, Velo 29

Youth A
1. 14
2. Harry Tanfield, Velo 29
3. Jacob Scott. Holme Valley Wheelers
4. Ollie Wood, Aire Valley RT
5. Jake Womersley, Sowerby Bros Cycles

* numbers only denotes a sign on the line rider.


Round 1: Dumfries Bikefest
Round 2: Otley Town Centre Races
Round 3: Stafford Grand Prix
Round 4: Get Connected Wales Circuit races
Round 5: Colne Grand Prix
Round 6: Blackburn Grand Prix

British Circuit Race Championships

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