The Stockton Velo29-Altura Stockton Grand Prix has been won by Ian Wilkinson (UK Youth) in a group sprint with last years winner Graham Briggs (Raleigh) second and Evan Oliphant third.
Ian Wilkinson sprints to victory on the Riverside in Stockton.
The race saw a ten man break dominate the first half of the race with some top riders such as Yanto Barker (UK Youth), Tom Scully (Raleigh), Mike Cuming (Rapha) and so on before Herbalife brought it back and a bigger move then slipped off the front with five Raleigh, two from UK Youth and three from the GB Academy among the 20 or so riders.
The break resisted a chase group of six led by Ben Greenwood (Hope Factory racing) and as they entered the finishing loops, Mike Northey (Node 4) went clear. He opened up a good gap as the rest of the break sorted out who was going to chase.
The peloton is strung out behind Alex Peters well behind the break leading the race.
With the numbers, Raleigh did just that and brought Northey back before there was a flurry of little moves before it all came together for the final lap.
In the sprint, Wilkinson found a good wheel from a Metaltek rider and timed his move well to slip through on the barriers and win the race, his first Premier victory in a while.
The sprint to decide the winner of the 2013 Velo20-Altura Stockton GP
Evan Oliphant, Ian Wilkinson and Graham Briggs on the podium at Stockton
Mike Northey was out front for three of the six finishing loops but the wind and the chase saw him come back to the rest of the break.
Ian Wilkinson: “Fabulous weather, pretty cool course, crowds were not too bad and a cool finish circuit; Happy Days! A Premier Calendar win in the bank and I was due a win after a peaking in April (winning CiCLE Classic) and I have been feeling better the last few weeks.”
“There were ten guys away and we were loitering around in the peloton and I think it was Herbalife who rode and did a pretty good job actually. It came back and me and Tubs (Tobyn) were at the front and the break went on a little chicane type lane. I looked around and Tubs was there as well and I was like ‘nice’.”
Ian Wilkinson chases down a break by Alistair Slater.
“Being out numbered though, I thought we can’t really commit to this too much but we did our fare share.” Talking about the moment Mike Northey (Node 4) got away and opened a good gap, Ian explained it wasn’t really down to him and Tobyn to chase him down.
“I said to Tubs, we need to do our bit but it’s not really up to us. Mike is a strong time trialer but in all fairness he probably burnt himself up for the finish. It was a long way to go and there was a lot of head win out there.”
Asked about the finish sprint, Ian explained “Tubs and I were chatting and wondering what we were going to do as Raleigh were riding with five men, attacking a bit and then setting up the sprint for Briggsy who’s as fast as hell. Tubs and I decided we didn’t need to lead each other out, we’ll race each other like in the Tour Series.”
Tubs went a little earlier and with that headwind finish, I was leaving it as late as possible and the Metaltek boy did a real good sprint. I was on his wheel just waiting and he left the door the open and I came down the inside. Happy days” Holy cow that win was magic.”
Tobyn Horton: After being in the break all night Friday before a puncture ruined his chances of a podium place, two days later Tobyn made the break again in the much longer road race at Stockton. “It was pretty tough out there (on Sunday) and we had to play our cards right and conserve as much energy while rolling through just to give Raleigh a hand.”
Friday night he explained was frustrating in the National Series Town Centre Circuit Race series event. “The win was gone with George (Atkins) up the road but it was frustrating to miss out on another potential podium”.
Tobyn has proved to be one of the most consistent riders of the season in all sorts of races and while that big win has eluded him, he says “I’m sure it’s in the bank there somewhere! I just need to keep plugging away.”
Yanto Barker: Part of an early move, Yanto said afterwards “I only went with one little move and suddenly, that was it! It wasn’t a big enough group to succeed in a race that distance and there were a few people who were struggling”.
“But after we’d been caught and I saw five Raleigh’s in that front group, I was a bit concerned but when I saw it was Wilkes and Tubs I felt that was about as good as it gets for us. I kept my eye on them on the finishing circuit (riders were coming past each other in different directions) and that was a mega result for them.”
“We’re winning constantly and any kind of race as well. It was a really good job by the boys today so the big man will be happy”.
Bell lap and Raleigh’s Mark Christian leads out with Tobyn Horton on his wheel.
1 Ian Wilkinson (Team UK Youth) 4:12:23
2 Graham Briggs (Team Raleigh)
3 Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh)
4 Ben Stockdale (Metaltek Knights of Old)
5 Peter Williams (Team IG-Sigma Sport)
6 Harry Tanfield (Herbalife Leisure Lakes Bikes)
7 Mike Northey (Node4-Giordana)
8 Tom Stewart (Team Raleigh)
9 Tobyn Horton (Team UK Youth)
10 Simon Yates (100%ME) All @ same time
11 Rhys Lloyd (Metaltek Knights of Old) @ 3 seconds
12 Luke Grivell-Mellor (Rapha Condor JLT) @same time
13 Samuel Harrison (100%ME) @ 18 seconds
14 Alistair Slater (100%ME) @ 26 seconds
15 Eric Berthou (Team Raleigh) @ same time ???
16 Mark Christian (Team Raleigh) @ 31 seconds
17 Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) @ 3:23
18 Christopher Ope (Team UK Youth) @ 3:30
19 Dan Barry (Node4-Giordana)
20 George Atkins (100%ME)
21 Marcin Bialoblocki (Team UK Youth)
22 William Bjergfelt (MG Maxifuel)
23 Gruff Lewis (Metaltek Knights of Old)
24 Ben Greenwood (Team Hope Factory Racing) all @ same time
25 Greg Mansell (Team UK Youth) @4:04
26 Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT)
27 Andrew Hawdon (Herbalife Leisure Lakes)
28 Tom Barras (Wheelbase Altura)
29 Roman Van Urden (Node4-Giordana)
30 Christopher Latham (100%ME)
31 Tom Murray (Metaltek Knights of Old)
32 Jack Pullar (Madison Genesis)
33 Luke Ryan (Twenty3c.co.uk)
34 Samuel Lowe (100%ME)
35 Matt Cronshaw (IG-Sigma Sport) all @ same time
The break which formed after six laps of the big circuit. See the live album for many from the race …
Race Report and images courtesy of VeloUK.net