Location: Longhirst, Northumberland
Event: 18 March 2012
Report: Snowdon Sports
Back on the road after a winter of track racing, Tom Murray (IG-Sigma Sport) proved strongest on the finishing drag to outsprint Dan Smith (Velo29 CT) for the top prize in the Wansbeck Australian Pursuit at Longhirst, Northumberland.
Covered by seven minutes at the start of the 47-mile race, the field closed up by the end of the third of six laps with the back group continuing to force the pace before Murray went off the front with Richard Kipling (MTS Cycle Sport) and Matthew Kipling (Velo29 CT) for company.
The three leaders were pulled back by a group of ten chasers with around three-quarters of a lap to go, but Murray went again with Smith – winner of the Highfield Kitchens race at Middlesbrough the day before – for company.
“I gapped him on the little climb to the finish and managed to hold on,” said 26-year-old Murray, from Huddersfield. “It was a good race and I was quite surprised at how strong I felt today.
“I was pretty confident at the end and I knew my form was good. Dan was strong and had local knowledge, but I will always back myself in a small group sprint.
“I’m building up steadily to the first Premier Calendar race in April, and my season is really built around the Tour Series and National Criteriums.”
1 Tom Murray (IG-Sigma Sport)
2 Dan Smith (Velo29 CT)
3 Richard Kipling (MTS Cycle Sport)
4 Chris Mark (Velo29 CT)
5 Colin Humphrey (Sportscover)
6 Andy Beattie (Infinity Cycles RT)
7 James Alder (VC Briganti)
8 Jack Rees (Velo29 CT)
9 Matthew Kipling (Velo29 CT)
10 Alex Bottomley (Velo29 CT)
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.