Report: First Premier Win for Locke at Ryedale

Jonathan Tieran Locke of Rapha Condor Sharp has won the 2011 Ryedale Grand Prix.

With the blowing and the sun shining, the sprint for victory in the 2011 Ryedale GP came down to a four man sprint with Rapha’s Jonathan Tieran Locke the best up the long drag to Duncombe House ahead of Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) and Dan Fleeman (Raleigh).

The race started with a field of well over a hundred riders rolling out from the Duncombe Park and onto the first of two circuits used for the race. Several breaks broke clear but it was an eight man group which was then joined by a further group of 13 riders to make a group of 21 riders in the lead.

With several of the favourites back in the peloton, the question was whether such a large group was going to stay clear which it did under the impeteus of Endura Racing who were doing their best to split the group while the likes of Dan Craven of Rapha were doing their best to keep the Endura riders from getting very far.

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For three quarters of the race, the group of 21 held together at the front while behind the chase saw the peloton split into two. Into the final laps of the race and after a chat with his director sportif, Evan Oliphant of Endura Racing broke clear of the lead group on his own and and was then caught by five riders to make a lead group of six.

This small group worked hard to build a good lead and then on the run in, Oliphant was again on the attack and when he was brought back, Stephen Gallagher (Cycle Premier Metaltek) had a go but he too was caught within sight of the line and Locke powered to the front, chased all the way to the line by Oliphant, winner at Duncombe Park in 2006, and Dan Fleeman (Raleigh).

Post race interviews

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke “We left the sprint really late as we knew no-one was coming up on us and there were only the four of us. I tested it on the steep part there, to see if I could get away but didn’t really commit. I saw Evan was on my wheel and when it levelled off, I knew he was going to get a good sit so I just slowed up and waited for the sprint.”

“I knew it was a group of non-sprinters. “

“Early on it was a bit negative, little groups chipping off, people not wanting  to ride and I always get carried away in those situations and tend to do too much. Once we had a good gap and all the teams were represented, I knew it was going to stay away.”

“Endura were really strong and had us on the ropes a little bit at times. They kept firing riders off and Dan Craven and Ben Greenwood did an awesome job covering things and when Evan attacked, I went across to him and it was one from each team so I knew that was it.”

Asked were there any jitters in the big group with the size of it etc, Jon says, “really far out,  60 or 70k to go, there were attacks but in such a big group with half of them not working,  people wanted to get rid of them so it was aggressive.”

On the moment the final break was formed, “people were jumping about and I went to the back to see who was there, at which point John (Herety) said to me, mark the people who were strong. So just as I went to the front, Evan attacked, and I looked behind  to see only a few guys on my wheel, we committed and that was it.”

Evan Oliphant: “There was a lot of jumping around at first and we were trying to cover everything that went off the front. The strategy for the team was to get as many guys as possible in the front move and for us to attack as much as possible to split the race. I got away in a group of eight and then a second group with Scott and Clarke came up to make a lead group of 21. Clarkey was smashing it as we tried to split it because it was too big and no-one was riding and me and him kept getting away but Dan Craven (Rapha) was strong as well.”

“Towards the end on the second circuit, I attacked on my own before another five came up to me and we then rode for a lap and half with everyone in the group riding.”

“I spoke to Winny at the car and said I feel OK, and he said attack with 5km to go so I did. Jonathan Tiernan Locke was right on me though. So I sat up and went to the back before having another go with 2 or 3 km to go which meant I’d made two big efforts. Then Gallagher (Cycle Premier – Metaltek) attacked with a km and a half to go and I wanted to chase him but I knew if I did that, I’d have nothing at the end, so I chased a little bit before Jonathan rolled through and he took it up and then Fleeman (Raleigh) attacked with a km to go. It was then a sprint between me and Tiernan Locke and unfortunately he beat me.”

Dan Fleeman: “I like this race and I’ve always performed well here in the national champs twice before. I felt quite good and knew I had good legs so when I got across to the break I think I was the last one from Raleigh to get across, and we had four there. I was given a protected role  and asked the guys to ride through a little bit. “

“I didn’t want to let a group slip away so I was probably following too many moves, I wasn’t attacking but following everything and keeping an eye on the strong guys. It appeared myself, Clarkey, and Dan Craven, were the strongest on the hills and so I was following them but then Jonathan and Evan went and they were teammates of the others so I went with them and thought Dave won’t chase and nor will Dan so we were away.”

“I knew Stephen Gallagher was there and we had a good chance of staying away.”

“I almost got past Evan at the end in the sprint. I’m not much of a sprinter but its different sprinting after four and half hours of racing so it was quite good. I want to do well at the nationals where the extra 20 miles for the nationals will work for me. I haven’t had much racing but I guess I’ll be doing the next Premier (Reservoir ) and then the nationals and so I need to knuckle down and do some big rides.”


1. Jonathan Teiran Locke, Rapha Condor Sharp
2. Evan Oliphant, Endura Racing
3. Dan Fleeman, Raleigh
4. Rob Sharman, Twenty3C Orbea
5. Stephen Gallagher, Cycle Premier Metaltek
6. James Sharp, York Cycle Works
7. Scott Thwaites, Endura Racing, (under 23)
8. Dan Craven, Rapha Condor Sharp
9. Tom Last, Sigma Sport Specialized
10 .Dale Appleby, Cycle Premier Metaltek
11. Will Bjergfelt, Motorpoint
12. Dave Clark, Endura Racing
13. Ashley Cox, Corley Cycles
14. Richard Handley, Team Raleigh
15. Magnus Backstedt, UK Youth
16. Alex Higham, WyndyMilla
17. Ben Greenwood, Rapha Condor Sharp
18. Gael le Bellec, Raleigh
19. Steve Lampier, Sigma Sport Specialized
20. James Sampson, Motorpoint