Clarion’s Craig second in debut 100-miler

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SUNDERLAND Clarion’s Craig Stephenson continued a strong season of racing by taking second place in the Tyneside Vagabonds 100-mile time trial.

It was Stephenson’s first 100-mile attempt, having previously only taken part in the 25-mile time trial.

He finished the course in 4 hours 15 minutes, ending 10 minutes behind winner Keith Murray (Strategic Lions). David Robinson of the host club was third in 4.17.

The event, which doubles as the Northumberland and Durham championship, was described by Murray as the “most brutal time trial I’ve ever ridden”, with Stephenson (pictured) revealing it as “stepping into the unknown, one of his toughest days on the saddle”.

Elsewhere, Clarion riders Michael Sloanes and Matt France competed in the Mike Binks Memorial Road Race, in Stokesley.

The tough race on a lumpy course left riders exposed to a strong crosswind. The conditions and fast racing saw 15 of the 44 cyclists retire.

Sloanes finished in the third group on the road, while France was last man on the road, a lap down.

Nathan Edmondson, of Node 4–Giordana Racing, one of the nation’s top domestic teams, won from Tom Bustard (Herbalife–Leisure Bikes) and Scott McCrossan (Rock to Roll Racing) after they, and an elite group, had forced the pace and fractured the field, with a second group finishing 90 seconds behind the winners, after racing 70 miles.