Location: Birds Edge, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Event: 7-8 June 2013
Report: Snowdon Sports
Off-road specialist turned roadman, Giles Drake (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com) took the overall honours in Holme Valley Wheelers’ two-day, three-stage promotion in West Yorkshire with a final margin of 52 seconds over James Gullen (Team Hope Factory Racing).
The 29-year-old Wirral rider laid down his marker on the opening 30-mile leg, over five laps of a rolling circuit based on Birds Edge, near Huddersfield, when he broke away with eventual stage winner Ben Kellett (Team Hope Factory Racing) and put one and a half minutes into the main field.
Gullen clawed back a third of his deficit in the 10-mile time trial which opened the day two action, clocking a course record 21-11, but Drake took second place in 21-46 and, with Kellett over a minute further down, held an advantage of 55-seconds going into the final 55-mile stage over five laps of a hillier circuit.
All the leading contenders were in an 11-man break which formed on the middle lap – local man Kellett chasing hard from the main field to join them but then running out of steam and dropping back again – and with team-mate Martin Ford setting the pace to discourage any attacks, Drake made sure of overall victory ahead of Gullen and third-placed Alistair Rutherford (Wheelbase Altura MGD).
Matt Pilkington (Metaltek-Knights of Old) edged out Joe Moses (Sportscover) to take the final stage as small gaps opened on the long uphill drag to the finish, making up in some way for a heavy crash on the opening stage which left him with numerous abrasions.
“I’m very pleased,” said Drake. “I switched from mountain biking to the road at the start of the year, I felt I’d gone as far as I could and was trying to switch focus a bit, but it’s been a bit of a tough start with the loss of my team-mate Junior Heffernan. It had a big effect on me, but I’m getting back on to it now.
“I felt good on the first day and had a couple of prods before I went away again and Ben came across. We worked well together, just riding for time, and then it was pretty much defending what I had.
“I hadn’t ridden my time trial bike for a year, but that went well, and the last stage was all about the team – Simon Baxter and Will Haynes chased down everything early on, and when the break went Martin just kept the pace so high that no-one could attack. They were fantastic.”
1 Ben Kellett (Team Hope Factory Racing) 1-10-55
2 Giles Drake (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com) same time
3 Joe Moses (Sportscover) at 40 sec
4 Alistair Rutherford (Wheelbase Altura MGD) at 57 sec
5 Michael Ashurst (Biketreks Racing Academy) at 1-30
6 Duncan Moralee (Strategic Lions Cycling)
7 Jordan Hargreaves (Team Hope Factory Racing)
8 Chrius Daddy (Squadra RT)
9 Steve Guymer (Clay Cross RT)
10 Daniel Keena (Squadra RT) all same time
1 James Gullen (Team Hope Factory Racing) 21-11
2 Drake 21-46
3 Simon Baxter (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com) 22-21
4 Matt Pilkington (Metaltek-Knights of Old) 22-23
5 Rutherford 22-34
6 Bevan Humphreys (Urban-Cyclery.co.uk RT) 22-42
7 George Rose (Urban-Cyclery.co.uk RT) 22-43
8 Mark Perry (Dirtwheels Cycles) 22-48
9 Moralee 22-50
10 Kellett 22-53
1 Pilkington 2-21-22
2 Moses same time
3 Ashurst at 2 sec
5 Rutherford all same time
6 Drake at 5 sec
7 Martin Ford (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com) same time
8 Perry at 7 sec
9 Guymer at 9 sec
10 Christopher Fothergill (Rock Racing Team UK) at 19 sec
1 Giles Drake 3-54-08
2 Gullen at 52 sec
3 Rutherford at 1-42
4 Moses at 2-06
5 Perry at 234
6 Humphreys at 2-43
7 Guymer at 2-58
8 Ashurst at 3-25
9 Fothergill at 4-02
10 Ford at 5-37
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