Dean Robson’s long awaited victory finally came as he prevailed in the Scottish Highlands to claim the fourth round of the Knight Composites Classic TT Series, while Kelly Murphy (C2 Racing) was fastest female.
Northover VT rider Robson powered to a 40-33 finish to claim his first win in the national series in 15 years of trying.
The 31-year-old from Bristol rode to a second place finish in the previous round near Worcester, but Robson went one better to stake his claim for this year’s overall standings.
“It’s great to finally get a win in the national series – I’ve been trying for 15 years! I’m now going to celebrate by walking up Ben Nevis!” said Robson.
“I drove the course a couple of hours before the event to check for dodgy corners and pot holes, and it looked good so I thought I had a chance of getting the win.
“It was a very fair day, better than I expected. It started misty but the sun came out at the finish. I had to go hard, and when I crossed the line I threw up, so I knew I had gone hard.”
Robson led the way ahead of Rob Walker (Cambridge University CC) who was only 10 seconds behind in 40-43. Walker has faired well in the series taking two second places, a third and a fifth respectively giving him a good shot of the series going into the final two meetings.
Walker only just managed the second place however as Robert Friel (Bioracer – Project GO) pushed him all the way but couldn’t bridge the gap and had to settle for third, finishing a mere two seconds behind Walker. Friel’s time of 40-45 held off Gavin Shirley (Dooleys RT) who had ridden, and won, the day prior in the GTR Return to Life 32-mile 4-up TT who came in 43 seconds behind.
Kelly Murphy (C2 Racing) was the fastest female on the day as she crossed the line in 44-08. Murphy has got better with each race in the series with finishes of fourth, third, second and finally first, in that order.
“I’ve been doing OK in the series up to now, but this is my first win. I’ve finished fourth, third and second so I was due a win!
“This course is ideal for me, I like a lumpy and challenging course, and I like this Series because each round is a different type of course,” said Murphy.
Murphy led ahead of Victoria Smith (Aerocoach) and Jessica Rhodes-Jones (Beacon Roads CC) and has said she intends to complete the series and ride in the last two events as she has enjoyed the series so much.
Murphy had high praise for the fourth rounds venue: “The course is absolutely stunning, very rolling and lumpy but the scenery is beautiful. It was misty when we started but it soon cleared up.”
Second-placed Victoria Smith finished 46 seconds behind the winner, Murphy with a 44-54 but was comfortable in second as Jessica Rhodes-Jones trailed Smith by over a minute eventually crossing the line in 45-56.
In other categories Douglas Watson (GTR Return to Life) was the fastest veteran of the day, equalling the men’s winner Robson’s time of 40-33.
The junior category also saw its fair share of drama as Adam Jarps (Team Bottrill) and Thomas Prentice (GS Metro) effectively went head to head as the only two juniors.
Jarps reigned supreme with a time of 43-15 but it was Prentice who stole the attention.
After suffering a puncture and having to walk back to headquarters to get his bike repaired, Prentice got back onto the bike and powered back to the finish to bring valuable points home in the junior class.
Douglas Watson may have been the fastest veteran overall but it was David Hargreaves (North Lancashire Road Club) who claimed the veteran on standard prize. The 72-year-old from Blackburn went +8-48 better than his standard time with an overall time of 47-40.
Jackie Field (CC Ashwell) was Hargreaves’ female counterpart as she also claimed the veteran on standard prize with a time of 46-42 which was +5-47 up on standard.
Nicholas Fairfield (City RC Hull) was the only paracyclist in the field but powered to a time of 50-51 in the men’s C4 category, his eventual adjusted time came in at 45-59 for the 37-year-old.
Conditions got better throughout the day after a tentative start on the WW17/01 course that passes through Ballachulish and Glencoe. The course features many undulating obstacles whilst tracing the full length around Loch Leven before finishing in North Ballachulish.
* All reports are copyright of Cycling Time Trials/Snowdon Sports. Not to be used without permission. This report by Jack Cudworth.