Five times Premier Calendar winner John Tanner (Strategic Lions) showed all his strength and experience to hold off the chasing pack and win the second of two Out Of The Saddle road races over eight laps of the Braithwell to Stainton circuit in South Yorkshire.
The 45-year-old veteran attacked on the climb from the Quarry on the opening lap, taking Dominic Smith (Retford and District Wheelers) with him in a two-man break which was to last for seven laps in windy conditions.
The pair led by 25 seconds at the end of the second lap and the gap stretched out to a minute on the next lap as, behind them, seven riders attacked on the climb to break away from the main bunch and were then joined by another nine in what proved the decisive move of the race.
By the end of lap four the two leaders had stretched their advantage to 1-18, and it rose to 1-40 before the chasers sensed the danger and responded with seven riders - Nathan Wilson (Wilson Wheels), Julian Gromett and Chris Daddy (Squadra RT), Dave Williams and Michael Rawson (Kuota-Spinergy-GSG), James Allen (Langsett Cycles) and Duncan Moralee (Strategic Lions) – forcing a split and breaking clear from the rest in hot pursuit.
The gap was down to 57 seconds with a lap and a half to go, but Tanner was too experienced to let his work come to nothing and he attacked up the drag with around four miles to go and dropped Smith, who was left to struggle on his own in the wind and be caught by the chasing riders.
Tanner stayed clear to retain a gap of 50 seconds at the line with Squadra RT taking the next two places through Julian Gromett and Chris Daddy, and their team-mate Jacob Trotter winning the sprint between the leading riders for ninth place.
The popularity of the course, the location and Out Of The Saddle’s reputation prompted organiser Steve Ellis to split the event into two races, starting seven minutes apart, which both had full fields.
The opening race saw a win for 21-year-old James Lowsley-Williams (Team UK Youth) who, making the trip from Tetbury in Gloucestershire well worth the effort, jumped away from breakaway rivals Rob Watkinson (Doncaster Wheelers) and Dean Parks (Clay Cross RT) for a solo win.
1 James Lowsley-Williams (Team UK Youth)
2 Rob Watkinson (Doncaster Wheelers)
3 Dean Parks (Clay Cross RT)
4 Stuart Percival (GMC Fire Services)
5 Ed Pickard (Beeston RC)
6 Greg Mansell (Team UK Youth)
7 Giles Pidcock (Chevin Cycles)
8 Ashley Proctor (Bike Box Alan/Whiston Velo)
9 Lee Allen (Beeston RC)
10 Lee Brown (Holme Valley Wheelers)
1 John Tanner (Strategic Lions) 1-50-00
2 Julian Gromett (Squadra RT) at 50 sec
3 Chris Daddy (Squadra RT)
4 Nathan Wilson (Wilson Wheels)
5 Duncan Moralee (Strategic Lions)
6 Michael Rawson (Kuota-Spinergy-GSG)
7 James Allen (Langsett Cycles)
8 Dave Williams (Kuota-Spinergy-GSG) all same time
9 Jacob Trotter (Squadra RT) at 1-10
10 Glen Turnbull (Patron)
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