Location: Prissick Cycle Park, Middlesborough
Event: 3 September 2011
Report: Marcus Smith
Harry Tanfield (Team Wallis Cycles) showed his undoubted class by taking victory in the opening Elite event in the Blackhawkbikes.com Prissick Autumn Cup four race series.
Harry Tanfield (centre) going for the line
Action started early with younger brother Charlie Tanfield (Velo 29) and Will Brown (Fietsen Tempo) displaying impressive spirit to forge a 35 s gap over the confused peloton. The promoting club's Craig Anderson (Blackhawkbikes.com) put in a flurry of furious attacks to halt the damage being meted out by the daring duo, but nothing stuck until Harry Tanfield and Taylor Cardus (Velo 29) escaped the clutches of the seething bunch.
The big legs of Cardus and the fluid power of Big Tanfield got stuck into the task and were soon lapping 2 seconds quicker than the tiring train of Brown and Little Tanfield. Junction was made with 15 to go and the pitiful peloton was mopped up soon after. A testing attack by young Alex Hopper (Velo29) kept him on the same lap as the fearless four and a guaranteed 5th place for his bravery. In the finale, Big Tanfield took a close sprint from Brown and a slightly disappointing Big-legged Cardus.
TLI Croft Series winner Anderson kept alive his hopes of a high place finish in the series by nailing the bunch gallop for 6th place. The fine selection of cakes by Eve, Belgian Ardennes Pate baguettes and all manner of snacks proved popular with the riders and spectators, Cardus being first in the queue to refuel his big sprinters legs.
Alex Clayton (Durham University) taught his rivals a first class lesson in bike racing during the well-attended ‘Mule Bar Stakes' 3rd/4th category event. The degree of his class and form was first class material, and the manner in which he brought back a truant group that had sloped off without his permission was masterful.
He later threw down a blistering lecture in speed and aggression - only understood by experienced racer Martin Hopkinson (Fietsen Tempo), which led to a two-up sprint between the hard working pair. Hopkinson has won several sprints this season in the Velo29 Crits and also in the Croft Crits and was many spectators favourite, but in the final test, Clayton kept his cool, calmly took out his metaphorical cane, and thrashed his opponent on the line.
The final podium step was expertly claimed by Daniel Plant (Ferryhill Wheelers) in a hugely exciting bunch rumble.
In the Youth races, Alice Grieve (Stockton Wheelers) showed female intuition and hard work is worth a bunch of flowers and a Cream Tea for four at Fletcher Farm Coffee Shop as she won both the girls A race and the Super Sweepstake in the Elite race.
Will Stavely (Clifton Cycles) showed both strength and speed to take the Boys A victory, Jake Dobson (Newcastle Phoenix) the Boys B, Tiny Tanfield (Cleveland Wheelers) the Boys C, Patrick Lally (One Life Racing) the Boys D. Lauren Kilcullen was victorious in the Girls A group, Patrick Kilcullen in the Boys E, and Roisin Lally in the Girls group E.
British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.