Full Results & Photos! 47th Clayton Velo Spring Classic


The early season classic that gets the road season underway in the North West is the Clayton Velo Spring Classic and the 2013 Edition was won by Richard Handley in a great sprint with Ryan Mullen.

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The road season got underway in the North West today with the running of the 47th Clayton Velo Spring Classic. The race is a 55 mile handicap event over 55 miles held just outside in Clithero in full view of the ‘witches ghosts’ on Pendle Hill which had snow on its peak.


James Gullen (3rd), Richard Handley (1st) and Ryan Mullen (2nd) at the presentation after the race.

It was a cold start, but dry with not a great deal of wind and the race was graced by the presence of many top British teams as well as lots of young riders, local riders and an Olympian from London in Lucy Martin.

The Juniors were first away followed by the lower category groups before the scratch group was off last over seven minutes behind the juniors. With sprints for the Juniors early on, the pace was on from the start and both the Junior and Scratch groups were splitting on the small hills on the rolling course.

A selection was made in the Junior group with Andrew Leigh, Jack Sadler and Will Thomas combining to make life difficult for the chasers while back in the Scratch group, each lap saw a different group off the front of the chasers. Steve Lampier (Node 4), former British road race champion Hamish Haynes (Hope Factory) and George Atkins (GB Academy) were among the riders getting away from the rest up the climb I was stood on.

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It wasn’t until after halfway through the race though that the race settled into a pattern with the three Juniors Will Thomas, Andrew Leigh and Jack Sadler (Vanillabikes.com) chased by three riders from the scratch group, Ryan Mullen (IG Sigma Sport), James Gullen (Hope Factory) and Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT). They came together with three or four laps to go with Thomas and Sadler being dropped by the other four after a lap or so with the elite riders.

Behind the front group, the chase saw the scratch group split to pieces with the likes of George Atkins chasing to get back to the front. No-one though was able to close the gap and the race was decided in a sprint between Mullen and Handley with the man in black getting it on the line after the IG Sigma Sport rider had attacked before the final corner which itself is four hundred or so metres from the line!

It had been one of the most aggressive races I’ve seen and afterwards I spoke to three of the riders.


Post Race Reactions

Richard Handley: In an endurance sprint for the line, Rapha’s Richard Handley just managed to get to Ryan Mullen and get his wheel in front to win the 2013 edition of this long running race. “It was a bit of a smashfest early on Richard agreed. “John (Herety) had told us to hold back early on because it was a mistake we made last year when we rode early.”

“We figured we’d catch the other groups anyway so we sat in a bit and there was a lot of attacking. We managed to get riders in most things and then a little group got away with Ryan and James. A couple tried to get across to it who brought them close and I managed gave it everything and managed to close the gap.”

“I didn’t really know how to ride from then on as they were both too strong to attack and so I risked a sprint and Ryan went too early. James hesitated and I just managed to catch him on the line.”

“The other two were keen to ride so I let them do more work than I did. Ryan was probably the strongest. I was pretty happy with how the legs felt though. I wasn’t sure how they would be after the trip back from Australia but they seemed okay. The trip to Australia saw us there for just over seven weeks and we got a lot of racing in there. It enabled us to spend time getting to know how each other rides and to do that in January rather than March was useful.”

Ryan Mullen: “Being in IG Sigma Sport is a good opportunity for me. It’s early season and I get to do a lot of the bigger races as the team is more interested in my development than anything. So I am really happy to be in the team.”

“I felt them watching me as they knew I could win the sprint I think and there was a lot of cat and mouse going on. They sat up and so I attacked 50 metres before the corner. I got a good gap but Richard Handley rode a good race and he sat on James Gullen until 200 to go and then came round him and caught me a metre before the line. I thought about celebrating but am glad I didn’t!”

“We were in Majorca last week for ten days after the first proper full winter of training I have had and I am feeling good and hoping for a good year. I have good form after riding the track so have some good speed. There is a lot of strong riders in the team this year though so I think it’s fair to say I’ll be doing a lot of donkey work for them which I’ happy with being in a team of this calibre.”

“The big goal this year will be the National Championships in Ireland and to have the champions jersey on British roads; that’s the big aim.”

James Gullen: “Ryan attacked and rolled past a group that was ahead of us and I went with him and no-one came with us. It was easy really. I had good form after a good winter. I have trained hard and hopefully I can keep that form for the rest of the year.”

Photo Report


The group of juniors are ready for the off. After a lap or two of settling in, the group split and three riders including Andrew Leigh and Jack Sadler (Vanillabikes.com)


Lots of rides in new colours including a very cold Steve Lampier riding for Node4-Giordana.


Will Thomas wins the first sprint from Jack Pullar.


Steve Lampier leads Ryan Mullen, Joe Kelly and Luke Mellor in one of many splits in the scratch group.


 The three leaders, all juniors, led for three quarters of the race until a small group from the scratch group bridged across. In the background are the Pendle hills with a little snow on them. The race was dry but there was a snow flurry after the race…


George Atkins of the GB academy leads a split in the chase for the leading juniors.


With only a handful of laps to go, three riders got clear chasing the three juniors out front, Ryan Mullen, James Gullen and eventual winner Richard Handley.


Jack Sadler leads Ryan Mullen and the rest of the leading group with four to go.


Soon it was down to four, with only Andrew  Leigh staying with the scratch group riders.


The chase group behind only numbered half a dozen led here by George Atkins.


One to go for the leaders …


Ryan Mullen attacked out of the corner, three or four hundred metres out and Richard Handley had to first close the gap, then get alongside…


But in the closing twenty metres or so got past the young IG Sigma Sport rider and took the victory


The sprint for fifth is won by Pete Williams (centre) from Matt Cronshaw (left) and Steve Lampier (right).


First Junior, and fourth and an excellent ride, Andrew Leigh.


Olympian Lucy Martin rode as well and finished 60th and first woman.


Jack Sadler of VanillaBikes.com with this great looking Dedacciai


1 Richard Handley Rapha Condor Jlt 15:05.9
2 Ryan Mullen Ig Sigma Sport St
3 James Gullen Hope Factory Racing 15:09.7
4 Andy Leigh Velocity Wd40 St
5 Peter Williams Ig Sigma Sport 16:53.6
6 Matt Cronshaw Ig Sigma Sport St
7 Steve Lampier Node4giorana St
8 Alistair Slater 100%Me St
9 Mike Cumming Rapha Condor Jlt St
10 George Atkins 100%Me 17:02.0
11 Sam Williams Nfto Racing 17:25.1
12 Ben Dean Team Leapfrog 18:44.0
13 Hammish Haines Hope Factory Racing St
14 Michael Ashurst Biketreks St
15 Hefin Price Nfto Racing St
16 Tom Barras 19:28.5
17 Hugh Wilson Nfto Racing St
18 Dillon Byrne Champion Systems St
19 Chris Sherriffs Team Leapfrog St
20 Simon Wilson Team Corley St
21 Sam Lowe 100%Me 20:01.3
22 Chris Latham 100%Me St
23 Tom Neale Spalding Cc St
24 Jacob Tipper Biketreks St
25 Tom Bracegirdle Biiketreks St
26 Sam Boast Team Sportscover St
27 Christian Braybrooke Velocity Wd40 St
28 Daniel Fox Airdale Rt St
29 Mark Hammersley Team Wheelguru St
30 Hugh Carthy Rapha Condor Jlt St
31 Ewan Mcdonald Nfto Racing St
32 Chris Thompson Vs Cycles St
33 James Claydon Bill Nickson Cycles St
34 Steve Abbott Team Wallis St
35 Luke Mellor Rapha Condor Jlt St
36 Michael Rawson Kuota Spinergy St
37 Matt Lee Nfto Racing St
38 Shaun Pearson Ribble Valley Crc St
39 Ryan Bevis Nfto Racing St
40 Adam Birdsall Batley Cc St
41 Jonathan Cregeen Biketreks St
42 Will Thomas Velocity Wd40 St
43 Richard Hepworth Node4giorana St
44 Jack Waller Spirit Bikes Rt St
45 Henry Hunter Team Wallis St
46 Sean Mcgovern Team Wallis St
47 Joe Kelly 100%Me St
48 Lee Carter Ribble Valley Crc St
49 Michael Clarke Team Wheelguru St
50 Oliver Payton Team Csp St
51 John Clegg Ribble Valley Crc St
52 Ben Greenwood Hope Factory Racing St
53 Martin Woffindin Team Csp St
54 Matthew Bulmer Dirtwheels St
55 Leigh Cowell Kuota Spinergy St
56 Jack Sadler Vanillabikes.Com St
57 Mark Perry Dirtwheels @ 1 Lap
58 Eldon Garnett Team Wallis @ 1 Lap
59 Sam Dobson Unattached @ 1 Lap
60 Lucy Martin Boels Dolman @ 1 Lap
61 Connor French Team Csp @ 1 Lap
62 Richard Flynn Gmp Racing @ 1 Lap
63 Neil Welsh Team Csp @ 1 Lap
64 Darren Acton The Shed @ 1 Lap
65 Martin Podmore Unattached @ 1 Lap
66 Thomas Wiley University Manchester @ 1 Lap
67 Kevin Ainsworth North Lancs Rc @ 1 Lap

1 Will Thomas Velocity Wd40 Sprint 1

1 Will Thomas Velocity Wd40 Sprint 2

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