THE first round of the Sunderland Clarion Crit Series, in association with TTR Barnes Chartered Accountants, saw top ten finishes for two Clarion riders.
A strong field of riders from across the region and beyond took to the start line in both races, alongside a good number of riders from the Clarion.
In the day’s main event, the 2/3/4 category race, Iain Beveridge claimed eighth place.
The race saw several attempted breakaways during the 50 minutes of racing around Hetton Lyons Country Park.
As the race approached the first prime sprint, two Blackhawk Bikes riders broke away from the pack. William Haynes and Alan Nixon competed for the first prime, with Nixon taking the spoils.
Breaks continued to appear, it was Nixon again who took the second prime.
The race then appeared to be coming back together, but Haynes and James King (Mountivation Development Academy) broke free from the bunch, with King taking the third prime.
By the time they took the bell it was clear that the victor would come from the pairing and King took it.
The bunch fought it out for the remaining ten places with Beveridge pushing through to take eighth.
Despite strong rides, Michael Sloanes and Chris Barnard couldn’t quite round off their day with a result, though they had better luck than Stuart Grey who punctured early on in the race.
Chris Wilson and Neil Ferguson both competed but didn’t have the legs to keep up with the frantic pace at the start.
In the earlier race, a tight 4th category race saw Matt France finish ninth in a bunch sprint.
He was joined in the race by Chris Wilson, Charles Monchâtre, and Paul Alderson all representing the Clarion.
The race was a cagey affair and the primes provided a little room for riders to get away, but not for long. The first prime was taken by David Kirton (Cleveland Wheelers), while Adam Lee snatched the second.
After 30 minutes of racing, the bunch was still together, and in the sprint Rob Shields (Gosforth RC) took the victory, narrowly beating Adam Lee (EMC).
Round 2 of the series takes place on Saturday, with the third and final round taking place on May 26 at Hetton Lyons Country Park (12.30 starts).
Results 2/3/4 Category Race: 1 James King (Mountivation Development Academy), 2 William Haynes (Blackhawk Bikes), 3 William Brown (Blackhawk Bikes), 4 Adam Robertson (Blumilk.com), 5 David Johnson (Adept Precision Racing Team/North East Healthcare Solutions), 6 Rick King, 7 Andrew Wooler, 8 Iain Beveridge (Sunderland Clarion), 9 Alex Bottomley (Velo 29-OTR-Vankru), 10 Rob Wheeler.
4th Category Race: 1 Rob Shields (Gosforth RC), 2 Dave Jones (EMC), 3 Adam Lee (EMC), 4 Jaack Van der Werff, 5 David Kirton (Cleveland Wheelers), 6 Matty Cooper, 7 Dan Bachini (Kyklos/ Edco Racing Team), 8 Darren Binks (Blackhawk Bikes), 9 Matt France (Sunderland Clarion), 10 Phil Bliss.