Super Wallbank secures Sunderland Clarion’s first win of the season

Sunderland Clarion rider Neil Wallbank on his way to victory at Hetton Lyons Country Park. Picture by Darren Moore
Sunderland Clarion rider Neil Wallbank on his way to victory at Hetton Lyons Country Park. Picture by Darren Moore
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Sunderland Clarion secured a first victory of the season in the Prima Team Racing Criterium at Hetton Lyons Country Park.

The triumph came courtesy of a well-timed sprint from Neil Wallbank to take the honours in the 3/4 category race.

Wallbank won ahead of Durham University’s Jamie Francis, as they outpaced South Shields Velo pairing of Paul Tyrrell and Mark Keedy in the gallop to the line after an hour of racing.

The race was in the first a series sponsored by Prima Windows and Lawson Construction.

Wallbank was joined in the bunch by Sunderland Clarion team-mates Paul Cottrell and Kris Adlington, and his victory follows a strong start to the season which has seen him finish second in the two-day Tour of Northumberland, and fourth in the Reivers Road Race.

In the Elite/1/2/3 race, Planet X-Northside Cycling enjoyed a clean sweep of the poduium, with Alex Luhrs pipping team-mates William Brown and Ben Hetherington.

Sophie Enever (Speedflex Race Team) outfoxed the Team vertex-pedalpowersport.com duo of Emma Coldwell and Sarah Cramoysan to win the women’s race.

Tom Guy and Matt France represented Clarion in the Tyne Vagabonds Mountain Time Trial, a 47-mile race against the clock around Northumberland.

Guy clocked a time of 2hr 21min 48sec to finish 61st, while France completed the course in 2:28:32 to come home 82nd. The event was won by One Pro Cycling’s Richard Handley (1.51.50), ahead of GS Metro’s Carl Donaldson, who was just over two minutes behind in 1.54.05.

With a number of races coming up, including the regional championships at the start of June, a number of Clarion riders will be hoping it’s their time to get on the podium.