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Carnac-Planet X Races Sheffield Grand Prix

 

The Sheffield Grand Prix is one of Sheffield’s longest running cycle races, the circuit was even used in the closing part of a stage in the 1990 Kellogg’s Tour of Britain (see 6:35 in the video below). Over the last few years the race has been redeveloped by British Cycling, with sponsorship from Sheffield Hallam University, into one of the major events in the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Series calendar. Each year some of the best Elite level riders turn out to compete for race points and prize money. Before the elite race starts the Sheffield Grand Prix also hosts a Support Race for category 3 and 4 racers. This race has become an important part of the regional development of racing and has seen a massive influx in the number of participants in past few years.

 

Our Carnac-Planet X riders Ben Last and James Vickers took part in this years support race, with 100 riders on the start list the race was set to be a highly contested. The racing kicked off at 7pm and after two fast paced laps splits in the main group began to appear. The leading group monopolised on this taking every chance to pull the race apart. Ben Last managed to bridge the gap to the leading group and held on for a number of laps as a numerous attacks went off the front. But with a rise in pace going over the top of the races cobbled climb Ben quickly found himself off the back and later pulling out before the end of the race.

 

‘The race was hard, everyone was moving all over the road, chopping and changing, and when we hit the cobbles all I could do was sit in the saddle and push until the road thankfully smoothed out towards the finish line.’

- Ben Last

 

Further back in the race splits between the riders had become more defined. After only a handful of laps a number of the starting riders had already been lapped out of the race. James Vickers found himself in the second group, just behind the race leaders. The organisation of the group lacked what was needed to work together and get back to the main group, slowly they came undone leaving James in a group of just four riders. Working together they put in a hard effort to catch the race leaders, but it was too hard and six laps before the end they were lapped out of the race.

 

‘I managed to start close to the front of the group, but the pressure was on from the gun with the usual big hits out of the corners. I stayed up front for the first 3 laps mixing it up with the top 25 riders but took the left hander off the home straight off balance and lost momentum pushing back a few riders, from this point I sat up a bit and watched the front 25 string out further and further and for some reason presumed that we would regroup. I worked with about 4 or 5 other guys picking off the dropped riders from the front group to try and bridge but it was never going to happen. I produced 311 Watts Normalized Power at 73KG, and I still didn’t get around (which is insane).’

Jame Vickers

 

The last 6 laps saw many of the riders in the leading group attempting to break off the front fot a solo effort to the finish, but in the end the race came down to a sprint. Junior rider Tomas Pidcock, of Speedflex, added another win to the incredible season he is having so far, finishing a wheel ahead of rival Alfie Moses.

 

Support Race Result

1. Thomas Pidcockm Speedflex

2. Alfie Moses, HMT Academy

3. Jim Brown, Holmfirth

4. Mathew Hoyle, Wheelbase

5. Josh Housley, Beeston RC

6. Brad Dransfield, Kirklees Cycling

7. Will KIng, Prologue Racing

8. Matthew Kellett, 3RT

9. Jonathhan Harvey, Dinington RC

10. Alex Hart, Sarum Velo

 

 

 

Rollowing the Support Race was the Men's Elite Race, from the start it was high contested, with One Pro Cycling and Raleigh taking control of the race. A number of breakaway attempts were quickly closed down by the main field, with Cult Energy’s Russell Downing being one of the main instigators. After 15 laps the race started to break up into smaller groups and riders began to get lapped. In a momentary lull in pace, as the lead group lapped out a large group at the back of the race, Madison Genesis’ Tom Scully took the opportunity to break and got away. From this moment on the race was his, as the chasing group stuggled to get organised and catch Scully. By the time Scully reached his final lap he had gained over a minutes lead on the rest of the race, crossing the line with ease as he celebrated his incredible win.

 

Elite Race Results

1. Tom Scully, Madison Genesis

2. Jon Mould, One Pro Cycling

3. Andrew Hawdon, Raleigh GAC

4. Matt Cronshaw, Madison Genesis

5. Will Fox, Pedal Heaven

6. Russell Downing, Cult Energy

7. Alex Paton, Pedal Heaven

8. Jacon Tipper, Neon Velo

9. Richard Hepworth, Sportgrub Kuota

10. David McGowan, Pedal Heaven

23 July 2015