Saturday once again saw the Holme Valley Wheelers promote their Summer Wine Road Races. First off in the morning was the 4th Cat event, covering 9 laps of the Hade Edge circuit including the climb of Flight Hill on each lap.
The race stayed together though out the first 7 laps, with a few small attacks serving only to shell out the odd rider out the back, rather that making any selection at the front.
On the penultimate climb Karl Gray (VS Cycles) managed to split the leading group and five riders including Gray’s teammate Andrew Richardson took the bell slightly ahead of a two other riders.
Gray went a gain on the final climb of Flight Hill, and this time no one could follow him. Edward Farnell (Manchester Wheelers) took the sprint for second ahead of Steve Lee (Wheel Guru), with Richardson taking fourth ahead of Luke Dabbs (University of Manchester CC).
4th Cat Results
1 Karl Gray (VS Cycles, Brighouse) 2:00:00
2 Edward Farnell (Manchester Wheelers)
3 Steve Lee (Wheel Guru)
4 Andrew Richardson (VS Cycles, Brighouse)
5 Luke Dabbs (Univ of Manchester CC)
6 Mike Whittaker (Beeston CC)
7 Danny Walmsley (Dirt Wheels)
8 Clive Davies (Lune RCC)
9 James Hunt (Sheffrec CC)
10 Andrew McLeod (Lancashire RC)
By 2pm and the start of the 3rd cat race temperatures had risen further making this as much a race of attrition for the riders.
The attacks soon started with both Andrew Prince (Stafford Road Club) and Nicholas Latimer (Rutland CC) having a go off the front in the opening laps, but nothing stuck.
On lap three Mike Curtis (Aire Valley RT) drove the main field up the steepest part of the climb, but again failed to break the group up. Gareth Owen (Team Swift) was the first rider to gain any real advantage when he went off the front a lap latter on the climb, but was brought back on the decent soon after.
By the bell the attacks had failed to produce any real splits in the group and over 30 riders swept though the bell with only one climb left to make a difference.
As the riders came into view at the finish, Stephen Bottomley (Crosstrax) had opened up a 40 meter led and coasted across the line to take the win. Stuart Murfin (Ashfield RC) pipped Sean Newbould (Featherstone RC) for second, with Andrew Mitchell (Ellis Briggs RT) holding off the main group for fourth. Mike Curtis (Aire Valley RT) took the bunch sprint from what was left of the main field, which crossed the line in ones and twos for some time after.
3rd Cat Results
1 Stephen Bottomley (Crosstrax) 1:48:00
2 Stuart Murfin (Ashfield RC)
3 Sean Newbould (Featherstone RC)
4 Andrew Mitchell (Ellis Briggs RT)
5 Mike Curtis (Aire Valley RT)
6 Mark Jacobi (Peak RC)
7 Andrew Prince (Stafford RC)
8 Sam Pedder (Base 2 Race)
9 Nick Armitstead (Dirt Wheels)
10 Mike Hutton (Sheffrec CC)