RAMSBOTTOM WINS VAGABONDS MTT
Julian Ramsbottom (Scunthorpe Poly CC) broke David Cook's six-year old course record when he won the Tyneside Vagabonds Mountain Time Trial at Belsay Northumberland.
With a £500 first prize courtesy of Quicksilver Moving & Storage, competition was always going to be fierce with starters including Graeme Obree (Fullarton Wheelers), Paul O'Mahoney (Pro Bike Kit), Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace Cycles), and former winners David Cook (Alpine-Rootz) and Keith Murray (WheelspinCycles.com).
It was a cool morning with a strengthening easterly wind, and the threat of rain not far away - in fact the course was frequently in the clouds with poor visibility. By the time check on the top of Bilsmoor after 27 miles, Ramsbottom was leading with 1-10-55 to Obree's 1-12-13, followed by Keith Murray (1-12-58), David Cook (1-13-40), and Ian Stott (Blackburn & District CTC - 1-14-14).
Paul O'Mahoney was already showing the effects of two wins the previous day as he went through in 1-16-14, and was never in contention.
Five miles later, on the climb of Winter's Gibbett, Obree (pictured) punctured but was fortunate to find a replacement wheel and lost minimal time. With the return leg into the rising wind, it was a finish for the strong men, and Ramsbottom held his speed all the way to the line to finish in 1-58-50 to take 35 seconds from the course record.
Murray made the most of Obree’s misfortune to take second with 2-01-11, with Obree third with 2-01-20. Joe Wilson (Sandy Wallace Cycles) left his effort too late as he finished fifth in 2-02-06, just two seconds behind David Cook, as he lead the Sandy Wallace Cycles team to the team prize backed up by Mark Atkinson and James Hall.
After the finish Ramsbottom revealed that he had driven round the course a few weeks earlier to check it out. As he thanked Quicksilver for sponsoring the race, he said: “The money will come in especially useful as it will be put towards my wedding later this year”. He also suggested he might return next year. Obree, however, enjoyed his ride a little less and when asked if he would return said, “ask me in a week’s time!”.
Phoebe Potts (Border City Wheelers) and James Alder (Bishop Auckland CC) retained their Ladies and Junior titles respectively, whilst Ian Taylor (Sunderland Clarion) got in some early-season hill climb practice as he won the timed ascent of Bilsmoor.
80-year-old rider Ron Longstaff (Zeus CRT.), who won the event in 1948 and 1954, finished in 3-09-04, and did not finish last! Longstaff got the biggest round of applause at the presentation.
TYNESIDE VAGABONDS MOUNTAIN TIME TRIAL: RESULTS
1 Julian Ramsbottom (Scunthorpe Poly CC) 1-58-23
2 Keith Murray (WheelspinCycles.com) 2-01-11
3 Graeme Obree (Fullarton Wheelers) 2-01-20
4 David Cook (Alpine-Rootz) 2-02-04
5 Joe Wilson (Sandy Wallace Cycles) 2-02-06
6 Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace Cycles) 2-02-47
7 Ian Stott (Blackburn & District CTC) 2-04-06
8 Paul O’Mahoney (Pro Bike Kit) 2-04-21
9 Iain Jones (Alpine-Rootz) 2-04-54
10 Michael Mallen (GS Metro) 2-05-51
1 Joe Wilson, Mark Atkinson, James Hall Sandy Wallace Cycles 6-21-13
1 Phoebe Potts Border City Wheelers 2-31-28
1 James Alder (Bishop Auckland CC) 2-20-16
Fastest Vet (Std)
1 Jack Watson (MI Racing) +28-12
Fastest Vet (Actual)
V40 William Mitchinson (WheelspinCycles.com) 2-07-21
V50 Trevor Greener (Hadrian RT) 2-16-00
V60 Rod Brooks (Warrington RC) 2-12-19
V70 Jack Watson (MI Racing) 2-23-04
V80 Ron Longstaff (Zeus CRT) 3-09-04
1 Gary Wilson (Wansbeck CC) 1-38-41
2 Howard Heighton (Tyneside Vagabonds CC) 1-45-41
3 Andrew Strong (Bishop Auckland CC) 1-48-10
1 Ian Taylor (Sunderland Clarion) 5-27
Photo: Paul Hardy