The top British riders coverge on Stockton on Tees for the Stockton Velo29-Altura GP RR – VeloUK is there

The Velo29 Altura Stockton Grand Prix Road Race showed what putting a top level race on a competitive course can yield – a mega awesome race! It was won by Russell Downing who boarded the Russell Hampton train from peloton to break, then closed down a lone move by Rhys Lloyd within half a mile and to top it all off, won the sprint by so many lengths I’ve lost count.

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Russell Downing wins the Velo29 Altura Stockton GP with ease – his form in the race was scary good!

The race was on from the gun and with 57 miles covered in the first two hours, that shows just how quick it was. Breaks were coming and going and on the second lap, 30 riders found themselves detached from the peloton and it was race over within 30 miles. At the front, a big group of two dozen or so got away with all the top teams, and many a race favourite in it but Pedal Heaven closed that down only for a smaller break to get away.

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A lap to go and Rhys Lloyd (Metaltek-Kuota) goes it alone

Richard Handley, Alex Peters (Madison Genesis), Hugh Wilson (NFT0), Matt Cronshaw, Rhys Lloyd & Adam Martin (both Metaltek Kuota) got a gap and it was left to Raleigh to chase. Problem was for the other teams, the break were working well and soon had a three minute gap and it wasn’t until the final few large circuits that Rapha Condor JLT realised the problem and the speed sky rocketed as the men in black chased flat stick.

Other teams joined in and the gap was coming down but this wasn’t WorldTour and the leaders were holding off the chase and it wasn’t until the final lap of the finishing circuit that the gap came down well under the minute. A small chase group had been caught and Russell Downing had got across to Liam Holohan who was on his own. Then ‘big power’ Russell Hampton jumped clear of the peloton and said to Rus, ‘come on’.

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‘Come on Rus’ says Rus Hampton to Russell Downing with Liam Holohan

Downing at first had to sit in as he had a rider up the road (Hugh Wilson) but Hampton carried on and once it was clear he was going to catch the break, Downing got stuck in. He and the NFTO team were happy to leave it to Hugh Wilson but as Hampton was closing down the break, Downing spoke to Hugh and asked for a leadout. Rhys Lloyd threw a spanner in the works with a lone move on the last lap but it was closed down and the next we saw was Downing well clear of the peloton, raising an arm in celebration.

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Rus Downing makes his move to chase down Liam Holohan up the road ….

After breaking his collarbone in the Lincoln GP, the ‘Fonz’ was back and how!

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Hugh Wilson of NFTO leads the break with just a few laps to go and the peloton still a minute behind

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Rus Downing, the NFTO policeman, chasing anything that moved off the front due to having a rider in the break.

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Four chasers led by Matt Holmes of Madison Genesis

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The break with two from Metalktek Kuota, Lloyd and Martin, enters the finishing circuits

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Adam Blythe looks across at a South Yorkshire legend, John Tanner at the front of the peloton as the races enters Stockton.

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This was an example of ‘scary’ Russell Downing. A chase group was gaining on a group ahead and he jumped them and crossed the gap on his own. Yes, the legs were very good today Fonzy!

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With the break’s lead having gone out to three minutes, the men in black got on the front and were going flatstick chasing for a while as well as throwing in few breaks from Graham Briggs as well.

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Team Raleigh lead the chase for the break

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Kristian House leads a move that had so many favourites and teams in it, and was shifting big time, that it was a surprise it was brought back.

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Peter Hawkins leads a move early on in the race that didn’t stick.

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Tommy Bustard leads one of the first moves off the front.

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The first attacker!

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Riders roll out from Stockton

1. Russell Downing, NFTO
2. Alex Peters, Madison Genesis
3. Russell Hampton, Athlonsport
4. Richard Handley, Rapha Condor JLT
5. Rhys Lloyd, Metaltek Kuota
6. Matt Cronshaw, Velosure Giordana
7. Hugh Wilson, NFTO
8. Chris Opie, Rapha Condor JLY @ 21 secs
9. Andrew Hawdon, KTM
10. Graham Briggs, Rapha Condor JLT
11. Adam Blythe, NFTO
12. Marcin BIaloblocki, Velosure Giordana
13. Tobyn Horton, Madison Genesis
14. Yanto Barker, Raleigh
15. Adam Duggleby, Wheelbase
16. Jack Pullar, Starley Primal
17. John Tanner,
18. Peter Hawkins, Madison Genesis
19. David McGowan, Metaltek Kuota
20. Tom Neale, Corley Cycles

21. William Bjergfelt, Metaltek Kuota
22. Gruffudd Lewis, Pedal Heaven
23. Peter Williams, Haribo Beacon
24. Alex Blain, Raleigh
25. Jack Rees, Achieve Skinnergate RT
26. James King, Haribo Beacon
27. Tom Barras, Wheelbase
28. Sam Williams, NFTO
29. Luke Ryan, Richardsons Trek
30. Simon Wilson, Wheelbase
31. Matt Holmes, Madison Genesis
32. Harry Godding, Caford CC
33. Zachary May, Metatek Kuota
34. Jack Breezer, Spirit Bikes
35. Andrew Hastings, Richardson Trek
36. Jake Womersley, Haribo Beacon,
37. David Lines, Starley Primal
38. Lawrence Carpenter, Catford CC
39. Jonathon Shuster, Corley Cycles
40. George Pym, Starley Primal
41. Scott Davies, Madison Genesis
42. Will Fox, Starley Primal
43. James Gullen, Velosure Giordana
44. Mitchell Webber, Pedal Heaven Colbournes
45. Max Steadman, Pedal Heaven
46. Mike Northey, Madison Genesis
47. Jacob Scott, Harobo Beacon
48. Dominic Jelfs, Madison Genesis
49. William Brown, Achieve Skinnergate
50. Rob Partridge, Velosure Giordana
66 finishers

Sprints:Rhys Lloyd, Metaltek Kuota

Race Report and images courtesy of VeloUK.net

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