LVRC Clifton RR 12th June.

By Graham Balshaw

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Following my success in the Nationals a few weeks ago I was determined to put in a good performance but I am well aware now that there are several other veterans in my age group that on their day will beat me.

The race was held at Sheriff Hutton a little village in North Yorkshire and although the circuit was a little flat for my liking but it did have a couple of reasonable climbs and a hill finish. About 35 had entered the race, 25 age 50+ and 10 age 55+ so not a large field but some good familiar faces in there.

The race got off with an early solo break from Melvin Hartley, the other riders must have thought the same as me “That break will never stick”, to his credit he stayed away for about 15 miles before we broke his heart and caught him. Steve Ellis from the younger age group made several attacks before his last one with 11 miles to go would stick, I went after him and took three others with me. The five of us worked well together taking equal turns and built us a large gap ahead of the bunch.

Into the last mile and no one will come past me, slower and slower I went but still no one came past, “How strange I thought”. I was now riding at half power so didn’t mind still being at the front.

As we got to about 600M to go and slightly up hill I decided to go “Full Gas”, it seemed a good idea at the time but after 100M I looked back and three of them had managed to hang onto my wheel. At that stage I probably should
have just kept going as hard as I could, but made another mistake and eased right off. They stayed on my wheel, got their breath back and then did what I should have done attacked from the back.

The race finished:
1st Steve Ellis age 50+
2nd Martin Hopkinson age 50+
3rd Paul Stubbs age 55+
4th Graham Balshaw age 55+ Second in my age group.
5th Melvin Blackford age 50+
6th Melvin Hartley age 55+ A good recovery after his solo effort
Many thanks to Cameron Brooks and his team for a very well organised event and superb marshalling.

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