MIDLANDS: NMRRL cycle season enjoys exciting start

Cycling's North Midlands Road Race League season got underway on April 25 with competitors from across the region.
Cycling's North Midlands Road Race League season got underway on April 25 with competitors from across the region.

THE FIRST cycle races of the 2013 North Midlands Road Race League at Torworth were held in cool, cloudy conditions which meant a reduction in the race distance by a lap due to reduced light.

The opening week of the season, on April 25, was the turn of the fastest group A and the intermediate group B.

In the Group A race, at the end of the first lap, James Thompson (Langsett Cycles RT) & Connor Swift (Bikeboxalan/Whiston Velo) had opened up a 17 second lead over the bunch with several riders trying to bridge the gap.

A lap later, a breakaway had been firmly established with Thompson & Swift joined by current NMRRL Champion Jamie Burgan (Langsett Cycles RT), Josh Cole (Bikeboxalan), Lee Allen (Out Of The Saddle CC) & Gabriel Cullaigh, Levi Moody (both RST Racing Team) with the lead now 38 seconds.

Given the calibre of the group, there seemed little chance the bunch would be capable of reeling the breakaways in, with the advantage comfortably maintained over the remaining laps. At the finish, Cullaigh proved to be the stongest with a well timed sprint to take the win from Allen with Moody in 3rd place and Burgin having to settle for 4th, followed by Swift, Thompson & Cole. Joey Walker (RST Racing Team) won the bunch sprint for 8th place ahead of team-mate Struan McInnes and ex-NMRRL Champion Marc Etches (Sheffrec CC).

In the Group B race, at the end of the 2nd lap, Aaron Handley (Bikeboxalan - Whiston Velo) & Wayne Lancaster (BBM Revolution CC) opened up a 15 second lead over the rest of the field. A lap later their lead had increased to 24 seconds and despite the windy conditions, they were able to stay away for the rest of the race.

During the final lap, Handley attacked and was able to open up a small gap which he was able to hold to the finish with Lancaster coming in 12 seconds behind. Daniel Jackson (TLI) won the bunch sprint ahead of John Wilkinson & Richard Cross (both BBM Revolution CC) a further 21 seconds behind Lancaster.

After the race, it emerged that Handley had broken the rules of the road by attacking on the wrong side of the road, an action which was considered not only dangerous but also unsportsmanlike and he was therefore excluded from the result.

GROUP A:

1. GABRIEL CULLAIGH JUN RST RACING TEAM 25.8 miles in 1 hr 03 mins 16 secs

2. LEE ALLEN SEN OUT OF THE SADDLE CC

3. LEVI MOODY JUN RST RACING TEAM

4. JAMIE BURGAN M2 LANGSETT CYCLES RT all same time

5. CONNOR SWIFT JUN BIKEBOXALAN - WHISTON VELO @ 4 secs

6. JAMES THOMPSON M2 LANGSETT CYCLES RT @ 7 secs

7. JOSH COLE ESP BIKEBOXALAN - WHISTON VELO @ 19 secs

8. JOEY WALKER JUV RST RACING TEAM @ 37 secs

9. STRUAN McINNES JUN RST RACING TEAM

10. MARC ETCHES M2 SHEFFREC CC both same time.

Group B:

1. WAYNE LANCASTER M2 BBM REVOLUTION CC 25.8 miles in 1 hr 06 mins 20 secs

2. DANIEL JACKSON ESP TLI @21 secs

3. JOHN WILKINSON SEN BBM REVOLUTION

4. RICHARD CROSS ESP BBM REVOLUTION

5. MICHAEL TIMMINS JUN UBER BIKE COMPONENTS

6. HARRY WHITE JUV DINNINGTON RC/UNIVERSAL CYCLE CENTRE

7. CHRIS CUNNINGHAM M2 OUT OF THE SADDLE CC

8. DEAN HAGUE A OUT OF THE SADDLE CC

9. JAMES HUNT M2 SHEFFREC CC

10. TOM SKUBALA ESP OUT OF THE SADDLE CC all same time.