Thirty-six year old all-rounder Jon Clay won Sunday’s 106 mile Lancaster Grand Prix, the latest round of the Premier Calendar, based on Welwyn Garden City.
Bright sunshine and little wind encouraged some excellent racing and it wasn’t until the latter stages of the race that a break successfully got away from the main field. With Jon Clay and GB Track team-mates Bradley Wiggins and Matt Illingworth in the break, along with the winners of the series for the past two years – Gordon McCauley and Chris Newton – it was always likely to be the decisive move.
However, Clay wasn’t content to wait for the bunch sprint. Choosing his moment, he made a brave solo attack less than 2km from the finish. The other riders hesitated briefly and the experienced Yorkshireman was able to hold them off, finishing with seconds in hand. Linda McCartney Team rider Huw Pritchard finished second with new Series leader, Chris Newton, third.
Fresh from racing in Spain, with the British Cycling Federation’s World Class Performance Plan Track Team, Clay will be looking to compete in the Team Pursuit in the Sydney Olympic later in the year. He and his fellow track specialists will be looking to maintain fitness and form throughout the summer, before concentrating on fine-tuning their track techniques in the last few weeks before the Games.
Lancaster Grand Prix, 16th April
1. Jon Clay (Private Member – SLRM)
2. Huw Pritchard (Linda McCartney/WCU)
3. Chris Newton (Middridge RT)
4. Mat Illingworth (Private Member)
5. Bradley Wiggins (WCPP)
6. Rod Ellingworth (Team Mcell)
7. Mike Jones (Robert Grinsell Travel)
8. Julian Winn (GS Strada Rudy Project)
9. Gordon McCauley (Oleum.co.uk)
10. Julian Ramsbottom (Peter Read Racing/Caygill/Allsports)
11. Anthony Malarczyk (Real Cost Car Imports/Stephen Roche Cycles)
12. Hamish Haynes (Pricket Atom Elite/Pricket Wells)
13. John Tanner (Pro Vision/Planet X)
14. Paul Pickup (Liphook Cycles RT)
15. Wayne Randle (Pro Vision/Planet X)
16. Will Wright (Pricket Atom Elite/Pricket Wells)
17. Bryan Steel (Team Chilwell/Jim Steel)
18. Chris King (Amore-e-Vita)
19. Andy Lyons (Private member)
20. Kevin Dawson (Peter Read Racing)
Premier Calendar Overall After Round 6
1 Chris Newton 110
2 Jon Clay 90
3 Huw Pritchard 89
4 Andy Lyons 85
5 John Tanner 78
6 Wayne Randle 71
7 Gordon McCauley 69
8 Kevin Dawson 56
9 Julian Winn 54
10 Mark Lovatt 49
Premier Calendar – Next Race
22nd – 24th April Girvan (Scotland) Stage Race – stages
starting 10.45am each day from Beach Pavilion, Girvan.
Race Organiser David Miller, 01563 539 397