Norman Harris Memorial Road Race
Location: Usk, Monmouthshire
Event: 5 May 2013
Report: Mark Prosser/Snowdon Sports
Photos: Huw Fairclough
Matt Rowe (NFTO) won a two-up sprint finish to the Norman Harris Memorial Road Race, staged on roads around Usk in Monmouthshire on Sunday.
A full field of 80 riders took to the start line of the inaugural Norman Harris Memorial Race on a beautiful, sunny day.
The race took in four circuits of a 16-mile lap from Gwehelog to Raglan and via Chainbridge to Usk taking a long, steady climb back up to Gwehelog where there was a prime on the first three laps. At the end of the fourth lap the race continued for three miles to a finish line on the edge of Raglan.
As soon as the flag dropped riders tried to establish a break but the peloton wasn't prepared to let anyone get a substantial lead. First time up the climb and it was Adrian Lawson (Cadence RT) who took the prime with a short gap to the bunch. The second lap followed a similar pattern and it was again Lawson who took the second prime.
On the third lap a break pulled clear including Matt Rowe (NFTO), Richard Harris (Cwmcarn Paragon), Ben Davis (Bristol RC) and Vincent Thomas (Forza Cycles RT). The bunch were looking unlikely to let the lead grow but it was Davis who led over the prime to take the third and final prize.
Shortly after the third climb the elastic started to stretch and crossing the finish line for the start of the final lap the group led by 45 seconds leaving the race in the balance.
The break continued to work hard and coming into the finish they kept the peloton at bay. Rowe and Harris pulled clear of their companions to fight in out in a close two up sprint with Rowe taking the victory. Davies took third a second behind and Thomas fourth another second back. A fast charging bunch came in 15 seconds further back leaving a nightmare for the judges.
Matt Beckett (Cardiff JIF) took the bunch sprint for fifth narrowly ahead of James Phillips (Severn RC) and Gerry Bowditch (NFTO).
The organisers would like to thanks all the volunteers who helped produce a successful first running of the event that was a fitting tribute to Norman's memory. Also many thanks to the commissaires, Welsh NEG, CSAS marshals, Medibike and Welsh Cycling for all the help and advice given throughout plus to the riders for putting on a good race.
1 Matt Rowe (NFTO)
2 Richard Harris (Cwmcarn Paragon)
3 Ben Davis (Bristol RC)
4 Vincent Thomas (Forza Cycles RT)
5 Matt Beckett (Cardiff JIF)
6 James Phillips (Severn RC)
7 Gerry Bowditch (NFTO)
8 Courtney Rowe (Cardiff JIF)
9 Nick Preece (Climb on Bikes CC)
10 Graeme Boswell (Cardiff Ajax CC)
11 Lewis Bevan (unattached)
12 Robert Jones (Ogmore Valley Wheelers)
13 John Fitzpatrick (Abergavenny RC)
14 Danielle King (Wiggle Honda)
15 Julian Attfield (Cardiff Ajax CC)
Please credit www.britishcycling.org.uk and link back if you use any of our race results.
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.