A bizarre day, starting fine with standing water on the roads from overnight rain. the sun came out eventually, but on the third of three laps of the Sharperton circuit the heavens opened. This, however, did not dampen the spirits of Mick Mallen of G S Metro, who attacked the bunch on the first climb on the circuit. He was joined a couple of miles later by John Cann, Infinity Cycles, who shared the work holding off the bunch.
Earlier the bunch had let a break of ten riders clear and they held a gap of 30 secs or so until there was a coming together. This remained the case until Mick Mallen's attack.
Cann and Mallen battled up Bilsmoor with the rain abating somewhat, but the skies remained black. The rain continued on and off and on the climb of Winters Gibbet the pair were being pulled back very rapidly by Adam Martin, a youngster(a junior) who appears to be a natural climber. He caught the two escapers at the top by the scaffold, and the now three strong escape worked together to hold off the chasing peloton.
At the finish the logical winner should have been the very strong Mick Mallen or John Cann who maybe should have attacked his companions on the last rise with 1km to go, but didn't and paid the price when the younger Martin out jumped his two companions and pulled off a good win by 10 bike lengths or so. He was ecstatic when he crossed the line.
The rest of the field came in spread over ten minutes or so, proving that it had been a very hard and demanding race run under very inclement conditions. In particular the rain on the third lap which washed gravel and stones onto the circuit making conditions very hairy indeed.
Two riders did, in fact, crash on the descent of Bilsmoor going out to the circuit, but sustained only minor grazes, thank goodness.
Chris Gray did another fantastic job of organising, congratulations and well done.