05/07/2011 - VIC SUTTON MEMORIAL RACES REPORT
Location :YORKSHIRE WOLDS
Vic Sutton Memorial Race
There’s only one word to describe this event which took place in the heart of the East Yorkshire Wolds; MAGNIFICENT. Conditions were perfect; little wind, blue skies, a course fit to hold a championship on and three separate races each with a story to tell.
Organiser Dean Fulstow received 100 entries altogether, 16 dns and 17 dnf. There were one or two punctures. The race started half way up the climb from Warter village, about 15 miles east of York, in bright sunshine, a climb which, along with the heat, was to be decisive in the outcome of the races.
The ABs were first to start and after a lap a group of 6 had a lead of half a minute. They were Richard Moore, Paul Bell, Richard Binks, John Hall, John Askew and Giles Didmore. Another lap and they had lost Askew but were joined by Neil Beasley and Andy Eagers and the gap to the main bunch was just over 50 seconds. After three laps it was still Moore, Didcock, Beasley, Hall and Bell in the lead, now 1’ 35” from the next group, 13 of them, who were themselves 2 minutes up on another group of 8 riders. The leading group were reduced to four at the end of lap four, Didcock slipping out the back on the climb and struggling 20 seconds behind. The peloton were stretched out two and a half minutes behind the leaders, now coming up in single file – the TV commentators would have said that they were now trying hard. They were Culpin, Brooks, Sparnon, Mustill, Askew, Baker, Johnson, Ellis, Malik, Hopkinson, Fulstow, Tayles and Gammelin.
Richard Binks proved the strongest at the finish with a comfortable margin of 5 or 6 lengths from Andy Eagers and Neil Beasley. Richard Moore was another two or three lengths behind, a good performance after his efforts in a criterium in Cottingham the previous evening (where he finished 2nd beaten only by half a wheel behind Jake Tanner). Paul Bell trailed behind not contesting having given his all on the lower slopes. John Hall led the rest of the pack in, having closed the gap down to half a minute.
John Askew told me that the ABs started very fast, the first lap in 25:23, but the CDs went around the course even faster, 15: 18. They were well stretched out though, with Paul Stubbs, Rob Whitfield, John Manning and Paul Wakefield driving hard with about a quarter of a minute to Dave Scargill and the rest. On the second lap a dozen riders were clear by half a minute. Led by Rob Whitfield they were, Stubbs, Thomas, Middleton, Hadfield, Hill, Davison, Wakefield, Easton and a couple of others with Ray Pugh hanging for dear life on the back.. Half a dozen riders were at half a minute, then the rest of the field stretched over three or four minutes.
At the end of lap three ten riders had got themselves organised. They were Paul Stubbs, Phil Thomas, Paul Wakefield, Steve Marrows, Keith Middleton, Gaz Hill, Rob Whitfield, John Hadfield, John Manning and Fred Easton. Tony May and Gert Gammelin were a minute and a half behind, with the rest of the field a further two minutes in arrears.
It was between Paul Stubbs and Steve Marrows at the finish, a close one with Stubbsy coming across first. Phil Thomas and Keith Middleton vied for 3rd place, the older (and wiser?) proving dominant. Then was Paul Wakefield and the rest, all within spitting distance.
Perhaps the riders in group EFG were a little more caution on the first lap, apart from the climb which is a real body blow, there’s a risky 50 mph descent around the back of the course, they all came up reasonably together after the first lap, led by Rob Stones and Allan Ramsay. Pacing yourself, I believe it’s called. The lap time was 28: 58.
Things were a bit different on the bell lap, a group of five had a 20 second lead over the finish line. They were Rob Stones, Brian Sunter, Allan Ramsey, Keith McKay and Richard Booth and it looked like the winners were coming from this lot. Ray Brummitt, Jack Watson, Alistair Cameron, Dave Maughan, Ken Corbett and John Elliot were the ones chasing and the rest were a further quarter of a minute behind.
It looked like Richard Booth had a problem around the course on the last lap as Allan Ramsey, taking advantage from Rob Stones’ attack on the climb, sailed past Rob at the finish, or would have if he hadn’t been going uphill. Keith McKay and Brian Sunter were close behind, with the rest of the bunch, led by Ken Corbett, were nearly two minutes down.
Vic Sutton’s wife Shirley, presenting the prizes and a plaque to each winner, reminded the AB riders that they weren’t born when Vic took 29th place overall in the Tour de France in 1959. Vic would certainly have enjoyed this event today