A STRONG field of around 80 cyclists braved unseasonable winds and rain to make for an exciting test of endurance during this year’s High Peak Road Race.
The 42 mile long race over six laps around Chelmorton, Flagg and Monyash, on Sunday, July 1, welcomed riders from Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire.
Race organiser Peter Dungworth said: “It was very difficult out there and every rider who took part and completed this circuit in these conditions is a real hero.”
Riders told how the climbs were difficult but provided protection from the wind and said the flats - which should have provided some respite - were hit by strong winds in places making the overall going tough.
Spectators were also in awe of the small group of younger riders who threw themselves into the fray.
The Montura and Harrison Cameras handicapped race, organised by Norton Wheelers, Sharrow CC, Whirlow Wheelers and Sheffield Racing CC, included seniors, veterans, ladies and some youngsters with the long marker and middle marker handicapped groups setting off early before they were eventually caught by elite, scratch group riders.
An exciting sprint finish saw Peter Wilbraham, of Team Elite, win an aggressive sprint. He covered the 42 mile course in 1hr 52mins and 46secs. Second place went to John Wells, of VC Lincoln, and third place went to Graham Kemp, of Deeside Olympic. Former professional and amateur British Champion and Kellogg’s Tour winner Phil Thomas, of Liverpool Mercury Dolan, finished fourth.
The highest-placed North Midlands rider was John Himsworth, of Sheffrec, in seventh place with team-mate Keith Ainsworth in ninth place and ex-pro Shaun Snoddon finished eleventh.
Joanne Blakely, of Seamons CC, won the Lyn Collins Memorial Award as the event’s first woman to cross the line.
Pictured are road race cyclists during the 2012 High Peak Road Race. Picture courtesy of Mike Teare, of Abbeydale Web.