Star Sloanes battles for second spot at Tadcaster

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SUNDERLAND Clarion’s Michael Sloanes defied Sunday’s dreadful weather to take second place in the Crosstrax’s Battlefield Autumn Classic, in Tadcaster.

Sloanes wrapped up his season in style.

On a rolling course, in blustery conditions, a number of moves went off through out the race.

Eventually, Sloanes managed to get away, kicking on a short climb to open a gap, and join up with those who had already broken away from the bunch.

The eight leading riders worked well together, after initially testing each others resolve. Eventually, they opened up a gap of 90 seconds on the bunch behind.

The sprint finish was into a strong headwind, and, taking this into account, Sloanes left his finishing kick as late as possible.

In the end, he was beaten into second place by the strong Nathan Wilson (Wilson Wheels), with Alastair Wareham (Team Swift) third.

In even worse conditions, a trio of Clarion riders – Neil Wallbank, Chris Barnard and Steve Gordon – took on the Border City Wheelers’ annual hill climb up Hartside.

The time trial saw riders racing against the clock from the Western side of the hill to the top, a distance of 5.3 miles.

Despite a strong tailwind, heavy rain and hailstones. the riders were determined to set good times.

Wallbank was the fastest Clarion rider in 20min 47.3sec, enough for 16th overall.

Barnard was next in 21:13.6, in 21st, with Steve Gordon another 16 seconds back in 21:29.7 for 23rd.

Derwentside CC’s Mick Jones won in 17:45.9. Clarion member Ian Taylor, representing, was runner-up in 18:03.7. The podium was rounded off by Arctic-SRAM RT’s James Dobbin (18:20.9).

H Mark Cavendish won stage four of the Tour of Britain in a sprint finish yesterday, with fellow Briton Sir Bradley Wiggins remaining top of the general classification. Wiggins leads Sky team-mate Ian Stannard by 37 seconds with four stages left.