Report: Maureen Bain Memorial RR

1-2-3 for RST/Trigon Bikes team in the North East as Tom Stewart wins the Elite National B race over 95 kilometres

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Only a few months into the season, the new senior A team for RST/Trigon made their mark on the race in a big way when they finished the 57 mile race with three riders on the podium led by Tom Stewart with Sweden’s Gunnar Gronlund second and Matt Sumpton in third.

With only a few races under their wheels in 2012, the riders aboard their Trigon bikes tackled the fairly short race head on. The course saw them race out over two climbs, do a loop and then return over the same climbs to finish where they had started.

The circuit is said to be the same one used in the long running Tour of the Border which is now used in a single day race in memory of a prolific organiser in the North East, Maureen Bain, who passed away last year. Maureen organised the Tour of the Border/Easter 4-day for 57 years in a row!

No sooner had the riders been waved away to start racing, that attacks were being launched left, right and centre of the road but none of the moves managed to get any time on the bunch. It wasn’t until half an hour of attacking racing had passed, that RST/Trigon RST saw a great opportunity to force a breakaway as the race approached a very long drag that was exposed with a strong crosswind.

British Hill Climb champion Gunnar Gronlund takes up the story. “I simply told the guys to get to the front and start driving it in the gutter and after a while we managed to split the field and create a front group of about nine riders. In there were four from RST/Trigon”. Chris Walker (Milk Race winner) would have been proud of that move!

The race hit the first of the two climbs shortly after this split and RST/Trigon’s Tom Stewart managed to get a gap over the top. The rest of the group found themselves in a situation where they would have to try and bring him back and that put the other riders from RST/Trigon in the box seat. As the others chased Stewart, the other RST riders sat back and focused on shutting down any counter attacks.

Tom though was riding very strongly and soon opened up a gap of over a minute on the chasers. As they reached the second climb, Bilsmoor, another eight or nine riders joined the front group but they struggled to work together and by the time the leaders had done the loop and were about to go back over the two main climbs to the finish, Tom had a two minute lead.

After Boonen’s long solo win in Paris-Roubaix on the same day, Tom Stewart was emulating his name sake with a long solo effort of his own.

RST though were not finished and one of the country’s top time trialists, Gunnar Gronlund went on the attack himself, getting away on the final climb and racing the last 25 kilometres solo to finish second to his teammate.

Gunnar in an early season time trial to bring on the form for dominating road races like the Maureen Bain Memorial.

Stewart meanwhile had won the race after a break of around 55-60 kilometres on his own to win his first ever road race as a senior. As if that wasn’t special enough, RST’s Matt Sumpton attacked with four kilometres to go and finished third whilst leaving the crumbs for the group behind who sprinted it out for 4th.

Gunnar explained “All in all it was a well run event on a great course that produced some aggressive racing. The race organisers really deserve a bigger/high quality field in the future. For us in RST, it was a good day as well since we managed to take our first RR win this season and also work on our race tactics.”

Result (Provisional)
1. Tom Stewart, RST Clothing/Trigon Bikes
2. Gunnar Gronlund, RST Clothing/Trigon Bikes
3. Matt Sumpton, RST Clothing/Trigon Bikes
4. Giles Harrison, Blumilk
5. Dan Storey, RST Clothing/Trigon Bikes
6. Sam Boast, Team Hope
7. Craig Adams, GJS racing
8. Ewan Minty, Berwick Wheelers
9. Dominic Munnelly, Blumilk
10. James Alder, VC Briganti
11. Dale MacCallum, Bicycleworks
12. William Brown, Fietsen Tempo
13. Andrew Beattie, Infinity
14. Alan Nixon, Blackhawk
15. Matthew Theobalds, CS Grupetto




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