Report-Result: GS Metro APR Road Race


Ben Hetherington winner of the GS Metro APR Road Race at Cambo in Northumberland on Sunday

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Report-Result: GS Metro APR Road Race

Thanks to Ben Lane for the following.

Following the demise of the traditional North East season opener, the Wansbeck Pursuit, GS Metro took up the mantle of providing the North East’s roadmen with a fitting season opener. The face of road racing has changed in recent seasons with many riders partaking in the winter race series so one can expect the first few races of the season to sort the race ready from the hopefuls.

Ben_hetherington_Solo attack

Ben Hetherington

The race was supported with a good entry, 72 men taking to the start line split into three groups. The longmarkers having a 3 minute advantage over the middle group whom in turn had 5 minutes in hand on the scratchmen. With 7 laps of a windswept hilly circuit to cover the betting was on when the scratchmen would reel in their prey rather than if.

The usual shenanigans amongst the riders in the early skirmishes with the old heads in the front group debating with the organising team each lap that they had in fact covered one more lap than they had in reality, the spokesman for the group being the evergreen John Davidson (Cestria RT) who was buoyed by a circuit race win the previous day having just turned 52 years old earlier in the week. Could the wily old fox get the best out of the longmarkers to give them a fighting chance?

The middle group looked to be making good gains and the scratchmen had halved the deficit to 4 mins after only 2 laps. Then things maintained a status quo for a couple of laps. This despite experienced ex-pro and Tour of Britain veteran James Moss (MTS Cyclesport) driving the scratchmen to greater velocity via his unique style of bunch management. The punishing wind began to take its toll and riders from all groups began to be dropped, for many in the first two groups they were unable to match the pace of the subsequent groups as they passed by and ploughed lonely furrows in groups of two or three riders.

The race all came together with around 2 laps to go and the pace was knocked up another level. Approaching the bell Ben Hetherington (Achieve Northside Skinnergate) made his move. A big talent and on red hot form with a couple of wins under his belt already – had he gone too soon with 11.5 windswept kilometres remaining? Well supported by his team mates Hetherington had stretched his lead to over 30 seconds with half the lap remaining.

lead bunch GS Metro Pursuit

Despite efforts in the bunch from the MTS Cyclesport duo of Moss and Kipling, and some valiant riding from the host clubs Carl Donaldson, Hetherington was able to maintain his advantage and win in the most beautiful style as the only man in the photograph. 25 seconds or so later, Matt Kipling (MTS Cyclesport) took the bunch kick from Carl Donaldson (GS Metro). The best placed finisher from outside the scratch group was Chris Mather (M Steel Cycle Racing Team) who called on his years of experience to hang onto the scratchmen despite looking like he was on the cusp of being shelled at the bell to place 4th.

Best junior was Ralf Hodgson (VCUK-PH Mas) in 16th place and Timothy Home (NRG/Godleys RT) was best placed 4th cat rider in 15th place. Perhaps the loudest cheer as the prizes were presented by Maurice Harbottle (GS Metro founder member and chairman) was reserved for the ever popular figure of Ian Norris (Blumilk,com) who was the highest placed vet in 20th position.

The club would like to thank all the riders who made for a good day’s racing, the NEG whom provided fantastic support marshalling the groups on the road, the race officials and all the club members and family and friends who gave their day up in support of the organiser Neil Souter.

Thanks to Michael Craig for the photo’s

1 Ben Hetherington Achieve Northside Skinnergate
2 Matthew Kipling MTS Cycle Sport
3 Carl Donaldson GS Metro
4 Chris Mather M Steel Cycle Racing Team
5 Alex Luhrs Achieve Northside Skinnergate
6 Richard Jones Achieve Northside Skinnergate
7 Luke Mullen Lancaster University Cycling Club
8 William Brown Achieve Northside Skinnergate
9 Jonathan Wears Team Jewson-M.I.Racing-Polypipe
10 Ben Harrison Groundwater Engineering Race Team
11 James Moss MTS Cycle Sport
12 Freddie Jagger NUCC
13 Jack Rees Achieve Northside Skinnergate
14 Samuel Jackson Racing Team
15 Timothy Home NRG/Godleys RT
16 Ralf Hodgson VCUK-PH Mas
17 Joel Mcglynn Team WattCycle
18 Thomas Timothy Achieve Northside Skinnergate
19 Jacob Trotter Squadra RT
20 Ian Norris

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