Friday evening saw the second running of the Holme Valley Wheelers Stage Race. Conditions couldn’t have been more different to last year – not a drop of rain in sight and glorious sunshine though out the whole event. In a change to last year the opening tough hilly stage that had many riders on their knees, a new rolling road stage around Birds Edge and High Flatts was introduced. YouTube Video
Stage 1 – 30 mile Road Race
Stage One saw two riders break clear, local rider Ben Kellett (Hope Factory Racing) and Giles Drake (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com). The two quickly opened a gap on the main field and worked well together to build up a healthy lead. Behind Joe Moses (Sportscover) and Alistair Rutherford (Wheelbase Altura MGD) broke clear from the pack, unable to close the gap to the leaders, they still pulled away from the main field helping their overall chances.
Drake led out the sprint, but it was Kellett who had the edge to win by a length, Moses came in a lone in third at 40 seconds, with fourth Rutherford at 57 seconds. Michael Ashurst (Biketreks Racing Academy) led the 35 rider main bunch across the line ahead of Duncan Moralee (Strategic Lions Cycling) and Jordan Hargreaves (Team Hope Factory Racing) who had done a great job helping his team mate Kellett throughout the stage.
Stage 1 Results
1 Benjamin Kellett Team Hope Factory Racing 01:10:55
2 Giles Drake Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com 01:10:55
3 Joe Moses Sportscover 01:11:35
4 Alistair Rutherford Wheelbase Altura MGD 01:11:52
5 Michael Ashurst Biketreks Racing Academy 01:12:25
Stage 2 – 10 mile Time Trial
Stage two saw riders covering a hilly 10-mile time trial. Fastest on the day was James Gullen, giving Hope Factory Racing their second stage win of the event. Gullen also not only smashed his time from last year, but also the course record when he stopped the clock at 21:11. Drake finished second in 21:46 to maintain his overall lead, with Simon Baxter (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com) third.
Stage 2 Results
1 James Gullen Team Hope Factory Racing 00:21:11
2 Giles Drake Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com 00:21:46
3 Simon Baxter Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com 00:22:21
4 Matt Pilkington Metaltek – Knights of Old 00:22:23
5 Alistair Rutherford Wheelbase Altura MGD 00:22:34
Stage 3 – 55 mile Road Race
The final stage over 55 miles is well known as a tough course, and is often used for the Yorkshire Regional Championships. With little in the way of wind, the circuit proved to be much easier than in 2012, when cross winds broke the field up and saw two riders finish minutes clear of the splinted field.
This year the leading group of 11 formed around half distance, with Kellett joining up to make a dozen. Martin Ford (Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com) did a lot of work to keep the group together, with Chris Fothergill (Rock Racing Team UK) doing his best to disrupt things.
In the long uphill run to the line the group began to break up, with Matt Pilkington (Metaltek-Knights of Old) proving to be the strongest despite a heavy crash during stage one, with top 23 rider Joe Moses (Sportscover) rounding off a successful weekend by finishing second. Michael Ashurst (Biketreks Racing Academy) again used his sprint to take third, with Gullen fourth and Rutherford fifth. Giles Drake crossed the line in sixth, arms raised safe in the knowledge he was the overall winner.
Stage 3 Results
1 Matt Pilkington Metaltek – Knights of Old 02:21:22
2 Joe Moses Sportscover 02:21:22
3 Michael Ashurst Biketreks Racing Academy 02:21:24
4 James Gullen Team Hope Factory Racing 02:21:24
5 Alistair Rutherford Wheelbase Altura MGD 02:21:24
1 Giles Drake Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com 03:54:08
2 James Gullen Team Hope Factory Racing 03:55:00
3 Alistair Rutherford Wheelbase Altura MGD 03:55:50
4 Joe Moses Sportscover u23 03:56:14
5 Mark Perry Dirtwheels Cycles 03:56:42