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.
Ben Ives of the We Love Mountians Racing Team took the first stage at Honley in atrocious conditions with heavy rain and strong winds making the already challenging course into a true test of endurance. Riders tackled a 2.5 mile circuit 12 times with over 300 feet of climbing per lap.
Early attacks by Peter Barusevicus (VC Bradford) and Hugh Carthy (Maxgear RT) were nullified as the race became a war of attrition with the group being whittled down from over 50 to just 15 on the final 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.
Ives proved strongest on the climb to the summit finish, winning comfortably from Chris Sherrifs (Team Bglobal) and Dean Parkes (Team iOptix.co.uk)
Despite the gruelling circuit and foul weather most riders made it to the finish and could look forward to racing again the next day.
Stage 1 result
|1.||Ben Ives||We Love Mountains RT||01:41:29|
|2||Chris Sherriffs||Team Bglobal||01:41:34|
|3.||Dean Parkes||Team iOptix.co.uk||01:41:34|
|4.||James Gullen||Metaltek – Scott||01:42:08|
|5.||Hugh Carthy||Maxgear RT||01:42:08|
|6.||Lee Baldwin||Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles||01:42:08|
|7.||James Knox||Mountivation Development Academy||01:42:08|
|8.||Stuart Percival||Great Britain Fire Service (FSSAA)||01:42:36|
|9.||Tom Armstrong||Mountivation Development Academy||01:42:45|
|10.||Ashley Proctor||Sportscover Altura RT||01:42:46|
Metaltek-Scott teammates Gullen and Wilson dominated the time trial. They were the only riders under 23 minutes on the rolling course where riders had to again battle strong winds. Michael Ashurst (Champion System/Maxgear/Kyklos) took third place ahead of overnight leader Ives in fourth.
In the general classification Gullen now led going into the final stage with Ives second at 40 seconds. Chris Sherriffs of Team Bglobal and Dean Parkes of Team iOptix.co.uk were tied in third place at 1 minute 16 seconds.
Stage 2 result
|1.||James Gullen||Metaltek – Scott||00:22:33|
|2.||Simon Wilson||Metaltek – Scott||00:22:55|
|3.||Michael Ashurst||Champion System/Maxgear/Kyklos||00:23:29|
|4.||Ben Ives||We Love Mountains RT||00:23:52|
|5.||Ashley Brown||Sportscover Altura RT||00:24:08|
|6.||Hugh Carthy||Maxgear RT||00:24:18|
|7.||Chris Sherriffs||Team Bglobal||00:24:23|
|8.||Dean Parkes||Team iOptix.co.uk||00:24:23|
|9.||Tom Armstrong||Mountivation Development Academy||00:24:59|
|10.||Alastair Hepworth||Batley Cycling Club||00:25:05|
Stage 3 was run over five laps of an 11 mile circuit previously used for the Yorkshire regional championships in 2011. Simon Wilson (Mataltek-Scott) was an early attacker, going clear on the fast tailwind section through Ingbirchworth on the first lap. He was joined on the second lap by a select group containing his two teammates, Tom Barras and Gullen and many of the overall contenders who together established a lead of around one minute.
In the final two laps it was Barras who applied pressure in the crosswinds to split the group with only Wilson able to stay with him, together they stretched out their advantage. Approaching the finish the teammates decided not to contest the sprint but celebrated another stage one-two for the team and a one-two in the overall. It was Barras who was judged to have crossed the line first to take the victory.
A great result for the We Love Mountians Racing Team with both Ben Ives and Nick Coupland placing in the final top ten despite some ‘possible mistakes’ made by the officials due to the demands of some competitors. We think the use of timing chips would have made this event more ‘accurate’ in the final stage and end results and given competitors a better understanding of the leader board, as it happened. Hopefully this will be fixed by next time.
Stage 3 result
|1.||Tom Barras||Metaltek – Scott||02:33:18|
|2.||Simon Wilson||Metaltek – Scott||02:33:18|
|3.||Chris Sherriffs||Team Bglobal||02:36:38|
|4.||James Gullen||Metaltek – Scott||02:36:38|
|5.||Ben Ives||We Love Mountains RT||02:36:38|
|6.||Hugh Carthy||Maxgear RT||02:36:38|
|7.||Dean Parkes||Team iOptix.co.uk||02:37:25|
|8.||Lee Baldwin||Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles||02:37:25|
|9.||James Knox||Mountivation Development Academy||02:37:25|
|1.||Simon Wilson||Metaltek – Scott||04:40:13|
|2.||James Gullen||Metaltek – Scott||04:41:19|
|3.||Ben Ives||We Love Mountains RT||04:41:59|
|4.||Chris Sherriffs||Team Bglobal||04:42:35|
|5.||Hugh Carthy||Maxgear RT||04:43:04|
|6.||Dean Parkes||Team iOptix.co.uk||04:43:22|
|7.||Lee Baldwin||Buxton CC/Sett Valley Cycles||04:44:42|
|8.||James Knox||Mountivation Development Academy||04:44:57|
|9.||Nick Coupland||We Love Mountains RT||04:46:21|
|10.||Stuart Percival||Great Britain Fire Service (FSSAA)||04:46:29|