The Holme Valley Wheelers 2 Day Stage race is a new race for 2012, comprising of three stages including a time trial.
Stage 1 was a tough road race over 14 laps of a 2.5 mile circuit which comprised of a climb around 1200 metres long at an average of 10%, followed by a fast decent. With many riders actively talking about just how hard the circuit was going to be it was little surprise that some chose to fit compact chainsets for today’s stage.
To make maters worse the weather was far from ideal, with light rain to make the decent tricky and a head wind on the climb to add to the suffering.
The race was neutralised until half way up the first climb, as soon as the lead car pulled away the speed increased which saw a number of riders go off the back. Peter Barusevicus (VC Bradford/Pennine Cycles/Stella Azzurra) was the first rider to attack from the front of the field, but this didn’t last long – clearly it was going to be a race were the winner was the last man standing. A snapped chain on the first climb put paid to Michael Ashurst’s (Maxgear/Kyklos) hopes, whilst his team-mate Hugh Carthy road aggressively throughout the stage, and could be seen at the front on almost every lap.
The weather continued to deteriorate as the night went on and the decision was taken to shorten the stage. Slowly the leading group was getting smaller and smaller until they were down to ten riders with 3 laps to go. On the last lap the climb continued for a further 200 metres to the top of the hill and saw Ben Ives (We Love Mountains RT) emerge from the dark (it was 9.20PM) to take the win, a few seconds back Chris Sherriffs (Team Bglobal) led in the remains of the peloton. Despite the gruelling circuit and foul weather most riders made it to the finish and could look forward to racing again tomorrow…
Stage 1 Results
1. Ben Ives (We Love Mountains Racing Team)
2. Chris Sherriffs (Team Bglobal)
3. Dean Parkes (Team iOptix.co.uk)